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The Latest: Coeur d’Alene Tribe denies voter intimidation

March 28, 2018

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Latest on backers of a ballot initiative accusing critics of voter intimidation (all times local):

12:10 p.m.

Officials with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe say they have hired employees to counter claims surrounding a proposed ballot initiative, but deny accusations their operatives are intimidating voters.

Tyrel Stevenson with the North Idaho Voter Project — a political action committee connected to the tribe — says he’s concerned with the growing amount of misinformation regarding the ballot initiative seeking to legalize lucrative betting terminals known as instant horse racing.

Tribes across the state have previously come out against the betting terminals because they argue that the machines do not use the legal wagering allowed under Idaho law.

Such machines were briefly legal in Idaho, but lawmakers banned them in 2015 after deeming them too similar to illegal slot machines.

Proponents of the initiative say their petitioners have been followed and harassed.

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10:50 a.m.

Backers of a ballot initiative seeking to legalize lucrative betting machines in Idaho say a political action committee has hired operatives to deter voters from signing the petition.

Bruce Newcomb, chairman of the Save Idaho Horse Racing, said Wednesday that signature blockers with the North Idaho Voter Project have been following his campaign staff and have become verbally abusive at times.

An official with North Idaho Voter Project — which is connected to the Coeur d’Alene Tribe — did not immediately return a request for comment.

Tribes across the state have previously come out against the betting terminals because they argue that the machines do not use the legal wagering allowed under Idaho law.

Such machines were briefly legal in Idaho, but lawmakers banned them in 2015 after deeming them too similar to illegal slot machines.

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