COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Elections officials in a central Ohio county say they barred a conservative group from monitoring polling places because applications to do so weren't filed properly.
Franklin County Board of Elections spokesman Ben Piscitelli said Tuesday that managers were instructed to keep True the Vote representatives from the polls in the Columbus area because of the application problem. He declined further comment.
Catherine Engelbrecht, the director of Houston-based True the Vote, which is connected to the Tea Party, charged that the Ohio Democratic Party was behind pressure that led several local Ohio candidates to withdraw their permission for the group's members to act as election observers.
Engelbrecht also complained about "dangerous and offensive" suggestions that her group and an allied Ohio organization had forged candidate placement signatures that allowed the monitors to have a presence near the polling places.
Locally, one True the Vote affiliate, the Ohio Voter Integrity Project, was recruited by the Hamilton County Republican Party to act as poll watchers throughout the county.
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