The vitriolic Republican senatorial primary between Rand Paul and Trey Grayson spilled over at the polls on Tuesday.
Accusations of voter intimidation and complaints of improper conduct flew from the campaigns of Grayson, the establishment's candidate, and Paul, the darling of the Tea Party movement.
Grayson's camp said Paul was using "bullying and intimidation." Paul backers fired back, accusing Grayson of abusing the power of his office and attempting "to influence poll workers."
Paul had questioned whether Grayson, the current Secretary of State, should recuse himself from official duties overseeing the election, but the state Executive Branch Ethics Commission ruled unanimously in March that there was no conflict of interest.
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On Tuesday, Paul supporters around the state attempted to scrutinize all aspects of the vote, from voting machines to the tally of absentee ballots, and conduct exit polling throughout the day.
Les Fugate, deputy assistant secretary of state, said that apparently sparked incidents around the state, particularly as polls opened.
A Wayne County sheriff's deputy removed someone from a polling place after a complaint of interfering with the election. Fugate said the Board of Elections was told the person was a Paul supporter, but details of the incident were unavailable from the county clerk's office.
In Laurel County, someone who said they were with the Paul campaign asked to inspect voting machines, which is allowed before the election but not during voting.
The person left peacefully when asked to, according to Laurel County Clerk Dean Johnson. Grayson's campaign said Paul was instructing campaign workers "to engage in illegal activity at polling places."
"This despicable behavior should not be tolerated," said Nate Hodson, Grayson's campaign manager, in a news release. "Rand Paul needs to rein in his goon squad and follow the law."
David Adams, Paul's campaign manager, called the Grayson campaign's allegations "ridiculous."
Katie Gabhart, general counsel for the state Board of Elections, said there was a flurry of complaints in the morning. "We got quite a few complaints about overzealous supporters, and we've been in contact with the (Paul) campaign," Gabhart said. "I can't tell you no one's violated the law but, if they did, it was individuals and not a global scheme."
Complaints involving local races will be investigated by the attorney general's office, but complaints involving national races, including the U.S. Senate primary campaigns, will be turned over to the U.S. attorney because Attorney General Jack Conway is a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the Senate race, his office said.