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Poll workers report brawl, death threat, candidates trying to run over each other outside St. Louis County voting centers

St. Louis Board of Elections said police were called to multiple scenes during final hours of election, but police said no arrests or reports were made.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Police were called Tuesday to reports of a brawl involving 40 people, candidates trying to run over each other, a death threat from one voter to a candidate and campaign supporters refusing to let voters in a polling place -- but say none of the incidents resulted in reports or arrests.

Poll workers and election judges reported the incidents to the St. Louis County Board of Election during the last two to three hours before polls closed at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“This is unusual,” said Rick Stream, the Republican St. Louis County Board of Elections Director. “We don’t normally have stuff like this.”

Stream said all of the incidents took place outside of polling places and did not interfere with voting.

Voter turnout came in at 27%, which was also lower than the 30% that was expected.

Stream summarized the disturbances poll workers reported as follows, saying police were called to most of them:

  • Poll workers reported 40 people including campaign supporters, candidates and voters “brawled” outside the Natural Bridge Library in Normandy. The workers said the incident began after candidates who were electioneering outside of the polling place began arguing with voters and election judges who said they were closer to the polling place than the 25-feet allowed by law, said St. Louis County Board of Elections spokeswoman Nicholle Spencer. Normandy Police Capt. Tamieka Sanders said police were called to the location twice Tuesday, once in the morning for a bat in the library. "He was not registered to vote," she quipped. The second time, officers found several people arguing because some were electioneering within 25 feet of a polling place. Sanders said by the time officers arrived, the people had moved, but asked officers to remain there until polls closed at 7 p.m.  
  • Poll workers reported two candidates tried to run over each other outside a polling place in Jennings. Stream said he doesn’t know the identity of those candidates. St. Louis County Police said officers from the Jennings Precinct responded to a disturbance call at the polling place in the 8800 block of Cozens around 5:45 p.m. and found two people arguing. Officers cleared the call about 10 minutes later and do not have any information about anyone trying to run each other over. 
  • At a University City polling place, a voter threatened to kill a candidate.
  • Poll workers at the Hazelwood Central High School polling place reported a campaign worker was refusing to let voters in. An officer in the North County Precinct responded to a call for service for a disturbance at the Hazelwood Central polling place around 6:20 p.m. A man was reportedly refusing to let people in to vote. The officer cleared the scene about three minutes later. No report was taken and no arrest was made.
  • Electioneering was going on closer than the allowable 25 feet to the JFK Community Center polling place in Florissant.

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Editor's note: An earlier version of this story indicated the JFK Community Center was in Ferguson. It is in Florissant. We regret the error.

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