Talk of rigged elections sparks fear of confrontations at polling sites

Posted October 21, 2016

— Making unsubstantiated allegations of massive voter fraud, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and running mate Mike Pence have been urging supporters to deputize themselves as poll watchers to ensure the integrity of the election.

"Donald Trump and I are encouraging all of our supporters around the country and, frankly, every American whatever their politics to take the opportunity to be involved in a respectful way in providing accountability at our polling places," Pence said Tuesday during a stop in Hillsborough.

Wake County elections director Gary Sims said Friday that he has fielded some calls from would-be poll watchers, but he said North Carolina law already includes legitimate poll observers appointed in advance by political parties.

"They can come in and observe what's going on in the polling place, but the key word is observe. There cannot be interactions with them and our officials (or) voters," Sims said.

Voters in line at early-voting sites around the county are usually met by poll greeters from each party, precinct workers and people handing out sample ballots and information. So far, Sims said, no one's been greeted by any self-appointed poll watchers, and he said he hopes it stays that way over the next two-plus weeks.

"I'll admit, I was nervous before this started, but that's not what we saw," Sims said, noting that voters have been cordial during the first two days of early voting despite the charged political atmosphere. "Democrats standing next to Republicans standing next to Libertarians standing next to unaffiliated voters, and they’re talking about their grandkids."

Anyone other than official poll watchers can observe voting lines from outside a 50-foot buffer zone, he said, but harassing or obstructing voters will not be permitted. Any voter who experiences that should report it to precinct officials, he said.

"We do need to make sure that we're enforcing and making sure that voters are not being impeded," Sims said. "We have a lot that we can do. No. 1, we have full support if we need to call 911."


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  • Barney Gravel Oct 25, 2016
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    Lance take your meds, if you cannot add anything productive to the argument. Florida is using Smartmatic voting machines from Mark Braun, (of the UK). He is a business associate and ally of George Soros. That is a fact, it is undisputable.

  • Lance Boyle Oct 25, 2016
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    The American Taliban - GOP will be at a polling site near you. Take back our county from these misguided war mongers

  • Jim Halbert Oct 24, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    the video by James O'Keefe? You can't be serious. O'Keefe is a professional scam artist. Look up his past video controversies and outcomes. People don't settle $100k lawsuits for truthful videos... This new video about Fogel and Creamer is still pretty fresh, but I can't wait to see the final outcome of this and the full unedited video. I'm going to guess that the $10,000 paid to O'Keefe through the Trump Foundation played a not so small part in the making of this latest hit job production.

  • Carol Smith Oct 23, 2016
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    Trump loves to incite and manipulate his supporters. What he says is nothing new. The problem with trump's remarks to his low info voters is that they are the people who get violent at his rallies are likely to bring guns to voting sites. One of his ardent fans said they will take Hillary out. Trump does nothing to calm these people and i am constantly surprised that he does not get called out for his dangerous and reckless behavior. It is obvious that every time his numbers slip, he blames it on something or someone else. This is not leadership but his supporters do not care. On interviews, trump supporters were asked questions about issues that concerned them and they could not put forth any specifics. These are the people who will bring guns to voting sites since trump told them to "deputize"themselves. Trump is an inciter and a liar and is never held accountable, probably because he has spent untold millions in hush money.

  • Salatheal Hasty Oct 23, 2016
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    This so called "fear" happens every 4 years...LOL...

  • Doug Bogard Oct 23, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    The hate, bigotry, racism and ignorance are gifts from Barrak Obamma and his administration.
    I know the liberal way is to blame it on the republicans, but that is Obamma's baby.
    The violence at Trump rally was created by Fogel and Creamer, DNC employee's. Creamers ties go to the white house. Did you not see the video, or are you ignoring that like the media has? Speaking of the media, never has it been this corrupt for one candidate. They suppress negative Clinton stories while persecuting Trump on hearsay. Immigration is a hot topic only because Trump brought it to the forefront. We have 12-16 illegal immigrants inside our borders. That is 12-16 million criminals. The law says they are criminals. I tend to follow the law every day. I have to or I will be subject to the punishment of the law. Which brings me to the last point I will make. Hillary Clinton is a criminal who has placed herself above the law.
    Trump 2016

  • Clarence Hill Oct 22, 2016
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    Just vote and be civil. Trump has been smart enough to get the media to give him free media coverage of his rallies and"firecracker-comments"--while Clinton spends millions on TV ads. Yet, with those high-dollar TV spots Clinton also buys free, slanted endorsements. Trump makes me nervous but I voted for him because I can't trust Clinton. Think U.S. Supreme Court and it should be enough reason for Americans to elect Trump. Sanders supporters, come on in and help us make America great again.

  • Clayton Dent Oct 22, 2016
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    I remember when The Black Panthers were standing outside of polling places with baseball bats and calling themselves "security". The media didn't make too big of a fus over that. Can't understand why....

  • Pam Price Oct 22, 2016
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    View quoted thread


  • Samuel Tyler Oct 22, 2016
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    I can't believe any sensible human being with a moderate IQ would support a lying ,corrupt, egotistical maniac who defends murdering innocent babies, defends a pathological sexual predator, then touts she is for children's and womens right. Give me a freakin break. Anyone who promises to extend Obama's failed policies, 9 trillion in debt added in the last 8 years, middle class insurance premiums to soar, open borders, 100K more refugees to enter the US un vetted. Someone who won't support LEO. instead invites an illegal immigrant and mother of a th%g on stage at the DNC has to have to have a lot of loose screws up stairs. She should be in prison and getting medical attention for her spastic seizures and failure to remember anything. Especially when asked under oath. SMDH