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Protesters pepper-sprayed in march to N.C. polling place

Published: Nov. 1, 2020 at 5:13 AM CDT
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GRAHAM, N.C. (CNN) - A Black Lives Matter rally in North Carolina was broken up by police with tear gas Saturday as protesters tried to get to the polls.

The “I am Change” group had planned to march to the polls when police moved to disperse the crowd.

Graham police claim the gathering became unsafe and that the protesters refused to listen to their verbal commands.

Saturday marked the last day of early voting in North Carolina.

Police say they didn’t spray chemical irritants on the protesters but aimed at the ground instead.

Eight arrests were made.

One pollworker said they had expected a large crowd from the rally, but none of the people involved in the protest showed up to vote.

However, a spokesperson for the state board of elections disagreed and said voting did continue and was not interrupted.

As of 5 p.m. Saturday, more than 4.5 million ballots had been cast in North Carolina - 95 percent of the total number of votes statewide in 2016.

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