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     FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) _ Virginia’s Board of Elections is sending out last-minute instructions to local election boards clarifying poll watchers’ rights in the wake of a lawsuit from Fairfax County Democrats.

     The state board sent instructions Monday urging election officials to be “as flexible and transparent as possible” today (Tuesday) in their dealings with Democratic and Republican poll watchers.

     Fairfax County Democrats sued local and state elections officials last week, saying that the county was training its precinct workers to illegally bar poll watchers from speaking to voters. Democrats say poll watchers need to be able to interact with voters to ensure they aren’t unfairly denied ballot access.

     On Monday, following another court hearing, Fairfax County officials also sent last-minute instructions to election officials clarifying that poll watchers can talk to voters in most circumstances.