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Ingham County Clerk: Don't let poll-watchers intimidate you

Posted at 8:35 AM, Oct 21, 2016

Some people are worried about voter intimidation on election day.

"People are confused about who they should pick, and probably scared to say who they're going to pick," says Jason Williams.

He feels like it's wrong that people would intimidate voters at the polls.

"Anybody who wants to vote should be able to respectfully and willfully vote for whoever they want to."

Ingham county clerk, Barb Byrum, says voters shouldn't be concerned about intimidation at polling places, but if they are they can call their clerk.

"We'll call the cops and let law enforcement deal with it," states Byrum. "I have zero tolerance for the possible intimidation of my voters, and I stand ready to make sure people are held accountable if they are infringing on an individuals right to vote."

Those who are at polling locations to campaign for their candidate without intimidating voters need to be a certain distance away.

"They are to remain 100 feet or more away from the entrance," explains Byrum.

Both the Michigan Democratic and Republican parties are collaborating with clerks to make sure there won't be any voter intimidation.

"Election day, that's really a sacred time for people, for citizens, to start to have their say, and while we certainly hope that doesn't happen, we will be prepared if any individual or any organized effort is there to make it harder for people to vote," asserts Michigan Democratic Party chair Brandon Dillon.

Parties are especially making sure their poll watchers won't interfere.

Michigan Republican Party's Sarah Anderson clarifies: "our volunteers are instructed under no circumstances are they to engage with voters, to speak with voters, to offer advice to voters, even if they are asked."

With all these measures in place, voters should be able to cast their vote without any worries.

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Donald Trump has been in the headlines lately, claiming the Presidential election is going to be rigged at the polls.

He's been pushing it quite a bit and asking his supporters to go to polling precincts to make sure every is on the up and up on Election Day.

And while poll-watching is legal, intimidating voters is not.

The Ingham County Clerk says voters shouldn't be concerned about intimidation at polling places, but if they are, they can reach out and call their clerk.

"We'll call the cops and let law enforcement deal with it. I have zero tolerance for the possible intimidation of my voters," said Barb Byrum, Ingham County Clerk. "And I stand ready to make sure people are held accountable if they are infringing on an individual's right to vote."

Both the Michigan Democratic and Republican parties are collaborating with clerks to make sure there won't be any voter intimidation and ensuring their poll-watchers won't interfere.