The presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have lodged a joint complaint charging the Rick Santorum campaign with "serious and prejudicial misconduct" at the March 17 caucus in Jefferson County, Mo.
The Romney and Paul campaigns have asked the state party to refrain from recognizing the delegates elected at the caucus who support Santorum, the St Louis Post-Dispatch
The complaint was sent to the state party this week and claims that Santorum backers forced a delay at the caucus when they surmised that they didn’t have the votes to elect their delegates, the Post-Dispatch reports. The complaint says the delay stemmed from the "intentional removal" of registration documents needed to conduct caucus business.
The papers were returned, but only "after a substantial portion of the caucus attendees left in frustration, changing the make-up of the electorate" and causing the selection of delegates in favor of Santorum, the complaint says. It says voting was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., but didn’t actually start until 6:30 p.m.
"They intentionally tried to alter the outcome of the caucus with dirty tricks," Romney spokesman Ryan Williams told the Post-Dispatch.
The complaint asks that the Jefferson County delegates not be seated at congressional district conventions on April 21, or the statewide meeting on June 2, the Post-Dispatch reports.
Janet Engelbach, chairwoman of the Jefferson County Republican Party and organizer of the caucus, says the snafu was an innocent mistake. The registration documents were removed inadvertently by a volunteer who had to leave early and packed the paperwork with her computer, she told the paper. "It was a mistake. It went out the door innocently."
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