Poll watcher confident in poll stations in Collier County ahead of election
President Donald Trump has called on voters to watch the polls. Some people are worried he’s sending the wrong message. Both parties have volunteers who do this, but there is a process to becoming a poll watcher.
We looked at what it takes to legitimately become a poll watcher Wednesday.
Some people are worried about voter intimidation at the polls for the 2020 general election
“It made me anxious because voting is so important,” Tish Hevel said. “And it’s such a critical thing for everybody to be able to do safely and in a way that they don’t get harassed.”
So Hevel became a poll watcher, trained and registered through the Collier County Democratic Party to make sure poll workers follow proper procedure and to learn how to respond, in the event something doesn’t seem right.
“When I’m there, I’m there as an impartial observer, just to make sure that everything is handled the way it supposed to be,” Hevel said.
Jennifer Edwards, Collier County’s Supervisor of Elections, says poll workers are trained to only allow people like Hevel, who are approved with an ID badge to show up and poll watch.
“Poll watchers cannot talk to the voters in a polling location,” Edwards explained. “They can only ask questions of the clerk, who is the person that manages the polling location.”
Hevel emphasized the importance for voters to be prepared when they show up to the polls, and Edwards said poll workers are also trained to call the sheriff’s office if they feel threatened. Edwards says she doesn’t expect any trouble, and Hevel agrees.
“We are just all there to facilitate people voting in an efficient and safe manner,” Hevel said.