Maricopa County election officials: Voter intimidation won't be tolerated on Election Day

Posted at 9:43 PM, Oct 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-20 02:00:31-04

Nobody should be scared to cast their ballots. That’s the word from the head of Maricopa County elections.

"You don't want to intimidate someone in there voting, either helping them or not,” said Helen Purcell, Maricopa County Recorder. 

This intense election is drawing fiery passion on both sides. 

Talk of election rigging, voter fraud and no threats to political offices, may spook some voters, especially on Election Day.

"Education is the answer,” said Tim Sifert, communication director for the Arizona Republican Party.

“We want to make sure all the polls, all of the voting, all of the ballot counting happens in a transparent way," added Sifert.

Both the Grand Old Party and Democrats will use volunteers, called poll observers on Election Day.

Those volunteers are vetted by the individual parties, and then cleared by the country recorder to silently watch the process.

Those poll observers report and problems or irregularities to party leaders on Election Day.

"If done properly. the poll observers, are really just eyes and ears and nobody would notice they were inside the polling places,” said Sifert.

Like in many elections, each polling location is protected by an imaginary 75-foot bubble, preventing campaigning, even guns from reaching the voting booth.

But outside that bubble, anything goes.

"Nobody knows for sure what is going to happen on Election Day, but we want to be as safe and careful as possible,” said Samantha Pstross, the executive director of the Arizona Advocacy Network.

Volunteers with Arizona Advocacy Network, a non-partisan group will stand watch at pre-determined trouble spots around the state to help answer questions and make sure voters are not intimidated by anyone.