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Off-duty police at precincts are greeting St. Paul voters with pay raise proposal

Voters in St. Paul precincts are reporting that off-duty St. Paul police officers, not in uniform, are standing at polling places trying to collect signatures for a future city-wide referendum on a measure that would effectively raise their pay.

Joe Mansky, Ramsey County’s top election official, said he had talked to police federation officials Friday about their plans to gather signatures during the election and advised them it was perfectly legal, so long as they stayed 100 feet from the polling places.

“I did see them this morning at two precincts,” Mansky said. They were far enough away to be legal, he said.

The police union is gathering the signatures in an effort to take their plan directly to St. Paul voters — bypassing the City Council and mayor — by seeking a referendum on aplan that would increase wages by keeping police pay in line with top-paying cities.

Tony Lonetree of the Strib has a story on the details of the plan here.

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