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Observers Can Watch Polling Places, But They Can't Touch

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Democratic groups are concerned outside groups might try to disenfranchise voters on Election Day. The fear is that these groups might be providing outside training for poll workers. And there is concern that some partisans, serving as observers, might try to interfere with voters as they are casting ballots. Matt McClellan with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office says there will be observers at the polls but they won’t be interfering with voters or poll workers.

Monday, November 5, 2012 at 3:49 pm

McClellan: “These individuals are there to observe. They are not to be actors in the process. The secretary is for an open transparent process so there is nothing wrong with having observers there. They are there just to do that-simply observe. They cannot engage or challenge a voter. They are just there to watch. So we are not anticipating any issues.”

Late last week, Secretary of State Jon Husted said poll workers have been trained through his office, know the rules and are expected to follow those rules.

Husted: “A poll worker who is trained and officially there as someone who can act on the elections process who is working to implement the laws and the directives in the state of Ohio, who is trained according to the rules established by my office and the Ohio revised code. That is the official training they received. I am unaware that any of them has received training outside of that scope, even though I hear the rumors like you do. No one has provided me any evidence to the contrary."

The Secretary of State’s office says polling places throughout Ohio are ready for Election Day and expect it to run smoothly.

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