Polling place roundup: 3:30 p.m. glean

Somali discrimination/intimidation, illegal campaigning and registration problems highlight our post-11 a.m. update:

One of the interesting stories out of today might be how Somali voters are treated.

Minnesota Independent’s Molly Priesmeyer says GOP vote-challengers arrived at Cedar-Riverside’s Brian Coyle Center claiming they’d been told a translator was telling people who to vote for. Witnesses tell Priesmeyer the only translator doing that was pitching for Norm Coleman. Later, Coleman staffer Mahamoud Wardere, who refused to reveal his identity originally., came in and also “translated for Coleman.”

[Note to mainstream media: if true, this is a big one given the translators’ day jobs.]

The Strib’s Whistleblower offers an infuriating-then-reassuring tale of an “elderly white woman” election judge who insisted a Somali woman had to speak English to cast her ballot. The crowd, and other election judges, got that ruling overturned. Note: this is a reader report.

MPR’s Bob Collins puts it bluntly: “Same-day registration is saving voter rights in Minnesota.”

Writes Collins, “Occasionally, there are claims in Minnesota that same-day voter registration could lead to voter fraud. Today, it appears to be preventing fairly widespread voter disenfranchisement.”

He says a “handful” of people who have voted before are told they’re not registered. No biggie; someone can vouch for them, or they can use a driver’s license.

OurVoteLive currently has 68 Minnesota problem reports.

The pro-DFL Minnesota Campaign Report says West St. Paul City Council candidate Mark Mohr has campaigned inside polling places, perhaps by representing himself as a poll-watcher. That’s uncool. MCR says the report is confirmed, but doesn’t say how.

Minnesota Democrats Exposed says Third District Congressional candidate Ashwin Madia was illicitly campaigning near polling places. Minnesota Campaign Report says both DFLer Madia and Republican Erik Paulsen were asked to leave a polling place. Both reports are unconfirmed by independent media.

Twitterer mdean_tps claims over 500 calls have been made to the Election Protection Hotline today.

For context, both dailies agree that overall, things are good.

Strib: “Voting moves briskly with few problems.” Interesting notes from the ‘burbs and exurbs: Credit River Township saw a third of its registered voters move through in three hours (the polling day is 13 hours long), while half the registered voters in Columbia Heights had cast ballots by noon.

The PiPress quotes Secretary of State officials saying, “Across the state things are going well,” noting only “small glitches” that shouldn’t stop turnout from topping an 80 percent turnout goal. Also, “officials have printed extra ballots — as many as twice the expected turnout in some cases — to make sure they don’t run short.”

St. Cloud lines are moving fine on an “extremely busy” day, the St. Cloud Times reports. A few balky voting machines have gummed up the works in isolated spots.

Fox9 offers a very short list of busy polling places, including evening-turnout hotspots.

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