The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


50 States

AZ: One Alleged Scuffle, But No Major Problems

By Ann Scott Tyson
Voter turnout in Arizona has been "extraordinary," with waits of as long as three hours, according to Emily DeRose, spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Arizona.

Local officials said there have been no major voting irregularities reported, but there was a scuffle today over a sign at one polling place.

A 78-year old woman filed a police complaint after struggling with a man who ripped down a large Democratic Party sign near a polling place in Chandler, a suburb of Phoenix. The sign criticized incumbent Republican state senator, John Huppenthal, for voting against funding for a local high school.

A Chandler police employee said a team of officers had taken the report and
photographed the scene.

Ruth Levin, a Democratic committee person who supports the senator's opponent, said she was sitting next to the sign, which she said was legally placed outside the 75-foot polling place perimeter, when a car pulled up. A man got out, took out a knife, and began cutting the plastic tape that tied the sign to two metal stakes. "That's wrong. Don't take it," Levin said, grabbing hold of one end of the sign. "I hung on for dear life," she recalled in a phone interview. "He wrenched it away from me and put it in the trunk of his car." Levin said she warned the man she would report his license plate, and grabbed the passenger door of the car, which swung open as the man started to drive away. On the front seat were several of Huppenthal's business cards. Levin later identified the man as Huppenthal. Huppenthal did not return a call seeking his comment.

"It's something out of a really bad sitcom," said DeRose. Police are trying to contact Huppenthal, she said.

Posted at 6:55 PM ET on Nov 4, 2008  | Category:  50 States
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