By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota GOP is looking into accusations that some people weren’t allowed to vote on Super Tuesday at a caucus site in Vadnais Heights.

Althena Perez says she is one of the people who didn’t get to participate in the political process.

“I showed up to the caucus site actually 40 minutes early,” she said.

But when she got to Vadnais Heights Elementary School, she couldn’t believe the crowd.

“The line was literally out the door and wrapped around past the school, and there were some people coming out saying there is not enough room,” Perez said.

She said she waited outside for an hour to caucus.

“By the time that we got inside, they had basically said, ‘Time’s up, you guys don’t get to vote, you guys don’t get a ballot,'” Perez said.

James Toole said he and his wife were the last two voters to cast their ballots.

“[Organizers] were overwhelmed,” he said. “The whole setup was not really organized for the number of people they had.”

Toole says looking at the faces of those who did not get to vote made him speak up.

“I went upstairs and said, ‘You’ve got to leave this open,’ and [organizers] said, ‘No, the state law says 8 p.m.'”

Toole said there were at least 100 people left in line who didn’t get to vote Tuesday night.

Perez was one of them.

“I was angry, I was angry,” she said. “I was like, ‘This can’t be right, this can’t be right.'”

The Minnesota GOP is looking into the matter. A party spokesperson says volunteers were instructed to err on the side of participation over deadlines, but some used their own discretion.

Minnesota GOP leaders say that, by law, caucuses start at 7 p.m. and balloting is technically supposed to be done by 8 p.m.

In some cases on Super Tuesday, however, the balloting was extended for people who were in line by 7 p.m.

Reg Chapman

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