Law enforcement prepping for potential clashes at polls on Election Day

Local News

(WTAJ) — The Coronavirus isn’t the only concern at the polls. Voter intimidation and threats of violence at polling places has some voters worried.

“Every voter can feel safe and confident going to the polls on November 3rd,” Pennsylvania Department of State Secretary Kathy Boockvar said.

Over the past two years, Pennsylvania Homeland Security Director Marcus Brown said they’ve worked with state and local law enforcement to understand threats at the polls and organize a response.

“Obviously this isn’t the first election that we’ve been working to put these things in place,” he said.

Brown said the 2016 Election introduced similar issues the state is seeing now.

“Discussions of voter fraud, rigged elections, there were tensions between both sides, there were threats of violence,” he said.

The department practices different scenarios, from inclement weather to traffic jams, power outages, and potential clashes outside of polling areas.

“We walk through the different scenarios and the different concerns that we have and obviously what’s being highlighted now is concerns of safety at polling areas,” Brown said.

It is illegal for a person or a corporation to mislead, threaten, or otherwise interfere with a voter and their right to support a candidate or position on the ballot.

“If there is a circumstance at any polling location where somebody does feel like they’re being intimated or feel unsafe at a polling place, they should be calling local law enforcement,” Brown said.

Another issue we’ve seen a lot of in the community is stolen political signs. This is a crime, a misdemeanor charge. If you do have a sign stolen, report it to your local police.

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