(KLFY) When heading to the polls on election day, only certain people will be allowed inside of the building: voters, commissioners, and poll watchers.
But who are the poll watchers? They are volunteers who will assist with the check and balance systems set in place when it comes to voting, and they have the ability to challenge voters if they feel something is wrong.
“We always want everything we do out in the open so that people have confidence that their vote is counted and it’s done accurately,” Lafayette Parish Clerk of Court Louis Perret said
Let’s say two people have the same name in Lafayette. In this hypothetical situation, John Smith votes for himself. He later comes back and tries to vote again, because there’s someone else named John Smith registered to vote. A poll watcher can challenge this since he’s already voted. There’s 370 total in Lafayette to help watch the polls.
Each poll watcher has a certified letter signed by Perret. In order to enter the building, they’ll need to check in with the commissioners.
“It’s something that we take very seriously, generally one warning is enough to get people to back down. If we have problems, we will have the law enforced and we plan to abide by the law tomorrow,” Perret said.
Intimidating a voter can cause you to face charges. Let’s say John Smith tells Sally Smith to vote for a specific candidate or else. The poll watchers are also there to make sure this doesn’t happen. John Smith could also face felony charges.
Another thing to keep in mind before heading out to vote: Make sure you aren’t wearing anything campaign related. This could be considered electioneering.
You can report election fraud by calling 1.800.722.5305.