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GOP Complains of "Intimidation" in Philly

In a conference call with reporters this afternoon, senior advisors from the McCain-Palin campaign highlighted cases of what they called "voter irregularities in key battleground states"—Pennsylvania, Virginia and New Hampshire. "What we have tried to do is take examples of voting irregularities and bring them to your attention," said Brian Jones, one of the advisors. "We have sifted through some stuff. We have filtered out some stuff."

Advisor Ben Porritt described "the most egregious act we have seen today," two members of the New Black Panther Party who guarded a polling location for about an hour, one of them with a night stick in hand. "Intimidation is suppression," Porritt said.

In a written statement released shortly after the call, advisors cited one source of the information as a Fox News report. But an Obama campaign volunteer who was at the scene denied in an interview that the Black Panthers – or anybody else – were intimidating voters, a plausible conclusion given that it would be hard to find a Republican in the district.

During the call, Porritt pointed to two other cases in Pennsylvania. He said Republican poll observers were tossed from several precincts in Philadelphia, a longtime "hot spot" for voter fraud, and Democratic supporters of Barack Obama in Lancaster were calling Republican voters telling them their polling places had changed. Asked how he knew the identity of the callers, Porritt said, "It’s difficult for us to believe that these calls are coming from Republicans to Republicans." He said the calls don’t pass the "smell test."

Ed O’Callaghan spoke about a lawsuit filed half an hour before the call against the secretary of state in New Hampshire, arguing that Republican officials were not given adequate access to same-day registration tables. O’Callaghan later said, "It is unclear whether it is election observers from both parties that are being prevented."

O’Callaghan also spoke about a lawsuit in Virginia, filed yesterday, to ensure that military absentee ballots are counted properly.

"As we find evidence to file lawsuits to seek redress, we are going to do that," O’Callaghan said.

We gave a call to elections officials in Pennsylvania, Virginia and New Hampshire but haven’t heard back yet.   

For more stories from around the Web on voting issues, see our VoteWatch . We’re updating it all day.

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