St. Paul City Councilor cleared of ballot dispute charges

A St. Paul city council member has been cleared of charges related to an incident when he helped a woman vote for him.

The Pioneer Press reports that the verdict written by a Ramsey County District Court judge found that Dai Thao translated for a Hmong woman with the "full knowledge" of election judges and it wasn't until after the ballot was cast that he was told he could not help the voter in any way.

The verdict says the judges knew they had an obligation to ask Thao to leave rather than let him help than woman, but opted instead to utilize Thao's language skills.

Thao was charged in February with unlawfully marking a ballot, misconduct in or near polling places, and unlawful assistance of a voter.