Authorities to watch for drug impact on election

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Booze has been traded for votes in the Appalachian region in years past, but at least one election official is raising prescription pills as a new worry.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky's chief election official, is expected to voice that concern at a Capitol press conference on Tuesday where she'll appear with federal and state investigators and prosecutors to put unscrupulous politicians on notice that they'll be closely watched on Nov. 6.

Grimes said protecting the integrity of the election process is crucial and that swapping votes for pills or dollar bills won't be tolerated.

Law Enforcement Director Dan Smoot of the Operation UNITE anti-drug initiative in eastern Kentucky said he's aware of a case in which a former mayor was investigated for trading drugs for votes.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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