One Year Later, Joe Morrissey Accused of Polling Site Violations

Virginia state senator Joe Morrissey talks to supporters after winning the primary vote at Plaza Mexico Mexican Restaurant in Petersburg, VA on June 11, 2019. (Photo by Parker Michels-Boyce for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

By Associated Press

December 6, 2020

Morrissey accused of violating 40-foot zone during 2019 election.

RICHMOND — Virginia State Senator Joe Morrissey has been accused by investigators of violating polling site regulations after he interacted with voters and election officials inside a polling place last year.

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’s 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 he 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 the Virginia Code.

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