Joe Morrissey, Virginia Democrat, charged with Election Day violations

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RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia state senator has been accused by investigators of violating polling site regulations after he interacted with voters and election officials inside a polling place last year.

Democratic State Senator Joe Morrissey is also accused by Virginia State Police of standing outside the polling place and within the 40-foot zone where campaigning is prohibited and greeting voters and telling them he was running, news outlets reported. Police conducted the investigation at the request of the Richmond Commonwealth Attorney.

Video and pictures taken at the Powhatan Community Center in Richmond on Nov. 5, 2019 showed Morrissey interactions, according to news outlets. A criminal complaint said Morrissey was handing out doughnuts, thanking people for their support and inviting people to his watch party.

Officials said Morrissey is also accused of taking photos with staff for about 15 minutes, which kept the complainant and others from being able to cast a ballot.

Morrissey said he visited a voting precinct to deliver doughnuts to poll workers and that while he was there, some of the poll workers asked to take a picture with him and he agreed. He said he doesn’t believe he was in violation of Virginia code.

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