Assembly Passes Bill to Outlaw Uniformed Guards at Polling Places

From a Times Staff Writer

The Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a Senate bill that would make it a felony to post uniformed security guards near voting booths.

The legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Milton Marks (D-San Francisco), was written as a direct response to allegations that the Orange County Republican Party hired uniformed guards to stand outside of 20 predominantly Latino precincts in Santa Ana to intimidate voters in the 72nd Assembly District election narrowly won by Assemblyman Curt Pringle (R-Garden Grove).

"This is not Panama," Marks said Thursday. "Elections in America shouldn't be decided by the number of political thugs each side can muster to the polls."

The bill now goes back to the Senate, which must concur with some minor amendments, before it is sent to Gov. George Deukmejian to be signed into law.

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