A state government effort to suppress voter turnout? Not quite

Here’s a new twist on how to discourage turnout on Election Day: The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issued an air pollution warning for the Twin Cities, urging the elderly, kids and people with breathing problems of any kind to stay home today – or at least to “postpone or reduce vigorous activity.”

“Pockets of unhealthy air will exist across the state,” the PCA said. Apparently the agency was referring to actual air, not to the toxic political commercials that have been arriving on our television sets.

Excessive ozone and particles are expected, the PCA warned — ozone today and particles tomorrow, with the AQI (air quality index) pushing past 90.

“Ozone and fine particles can be drawn deeply into the lungs, so reduce activities that lead to deep or accelerated breathing. Even individuals that are otherwise healthy may experience health effects when air pollutant levels increase,’ the agency advised.

Voters apparently weren’t paying attention.

Patrick Born, an election judge at a polling site in Southeast Minneapolis, said this is his fifth election as an official. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said, peering at a long line in the early afternoon, usually a pause when officials can, ahem, catch their breath. But not today.

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