OC Registrar of Voters ready for poll watchers
(FOX 11) - Donald Trump, who says the system is rigged, has asked his supporters to be out watching voting locations.
To some voters, like Mohammad Yassaman, having poll watchers is a good idea.
"It's very important to be done to make sure it's clean," Yassaman said.
Not everyone agrees.
"It's terrible. I think It'll scare people away," Voter Patricia Mondragon said.
In a campaign climate of mistrust, public officials are trying to restore a sense of confidence in a number of ways. Neal Kelley is the Registrar of Voters in Orange County. He says early voting was brisk and the only poll watcher that has shown up so far observed what was being done with absentee ballots.
According to Kelley, there were no problems with that and he hopes that can be said of Election Day operations. A years-worth of work has gone into planning for Election Day 2016.
"I think people need to understand that we don't want interference with the voters or the voting process and that's where I have concerns," Kelley said.
We went to a poll worker training class at the office building that houses Kelley and his team.
At the three-hour session, volunteers were taught such things as what to do to make things work smoothly. They were also told about how to interact with poll observers.
One group that will be out in force is the Election Integrity Project. They say they'll be following the rules.
When you ask Kelley about the rules, he'll tell you "you can't interfere with the process of voting."
"You can't sit at the official table where the polling place is, you can't sit at the official table. You can't interfere with that voter or intimidate that voter so, for instance, nobody can challenge the eligibility of a voter except for the poll worker, that's it."
Every county has a handbook on what poll watchers can and cannot do. Check your county's government website for more information. For Orange County, visit www.OCVOTE.com/Election-Library.
Meanwhile, the bottom line for Kelley is the same thing that voter Rebecca Henderson feels.
"People should be able to go in and vote freely and without worrying who's going to be outside intimidating anyone," Henderson said. "That's how I feel about it."
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