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Both Political Parties Ready to Slug Out Any Election Day Legal Battles

November 01, 2004
By: Ben Welsh
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - In a tight governor's race that two recent polls placed within the margin of error, both major parties said they have a staff of lawyers and poll watchers ready and on the lookout against dirty tricks this Election Day.

Republican Spokesman Paul Sloca said the GOP have a "rapid-response legal team" of party workers numbered in the hundreds but declined to go into further detail about his party's plans.

"I don't want to be specific about where they are," Sloca said. "Suffice it say we are ready to take on any legal challenge the Democrats throw at us,"

Meanwhile, the Democratic party chair said his side was prepared to handle any legal challenge but that he was unsure if the election would be resolved Tuesday night.

"We may have a late night. It's right after Halloween so it's easy to conjure up the scary scenario," Party Chairman Roger Wilson said. "To try to predict or forecast something like that is next to impossible."

Both sides said they had no legal action planned and neither predicted Missouri would feature the sort of legal drama expected in the swing states polling closely in the presidential race. However, both sides said they're prepared against the sort of Election Day troubles that bogged down the 2000 election in Florida.

"It's a defensive measure as well as it is a measure to ensure that voters are able to cast their ballots," Republican Spokesman John Hancock said.