Democrats accusing GOP of abuse in New Jersey

The Democratic National Committee has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the Republican National Committee, charging harassment of minority voters in last month's cliffhanger election for New Jersey governor.

The focal point of the suit is the Republicans' ''ballot security program.'' The GOP insists the program was meant to ensure an honest election, but Democrats say it intimidated blacks and Hispanics.

Republican Thomas H. Kean won the election over Democratic Rep. James J. Florio by only 1,677 votes - the closest contest for governor in New Jersey history. The lawsuit does not seek to overturn the outcome of the election.

In court papers, the Democrats charged the GOP task force disrupted polling places by harassing poll workers, stopped and questioned prospective voters and barred others from entering polling places, ripped down campaign signs, and restrained poll workers from helping voters cast their ballots.

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