LANSING, Mich. — In a matter of hours, polling locations will open their doors for Election Day.
Monday night, police and city clerks were preparing to keep mid-Michigan voters safe as they vote in-person on Tuesday.
The East Lansing Deputy Chief Steve Gonzalez says officers won’t be stationed outside of polling locations, but will be available as needed.
“Here in East Lansing, if someone feels, you know, intimidated, or concerned about the safety of a poll, we would encourage them to either contact the police department or contact the election inspectors that are working the locations itself,” said Chief Gonzalez.
The chief says the police department put together an operational plan for the presidential election day as he expects a record turnout at the polls.
“We’ve been in close contact with East Lansing’s city clerks office to make sure that we’re coordinating our efforts with them. We’re also coordinating our efforts with the Michigan State University police department simply because there are city of East Lansing polling locations on campus as well,” he said.
With concerns about the open carry act, the chief says they have been tracking all the legal ramifications and encourage people who feel unsafe to call the police or an election inspector at the polling location.
Those who decided to vote in-person say they feel completely safe heading to polling locations and will be taking all necessary COVID-19 safety precautions.
“Keep safety as a first priority. Keep our social distancing. Keep our masks on. I think we’ll be okay. I’ve talked to the municipality that I live in, our community leaders and our policing and they’ve got the precautions in place. I do not have any fears of voting in person tomorrow,” " said Nicole Dungey.
Theresa Allen, who also plans on voting in-person on Tuesday feels similarly.
“Open carry is open carry. We don’t always know when people have them. In the past, who’s to say that there weren’t people carrying then? I’m not nervous. I’m not concerned. It doesn’t really scare me. I’d like to think that there are clear heads out there and people are being responsible,” she said.
The polling locations in East Lansing open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday.
To find your polling location, click HERE.
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