Michigan election officials wary of GOP-trained poll workers disrupting midterms

Michigan’s secretary of state has warned local officials that hundreds of poll workers may be preparing to try to intimidate voters

click to enlarge Supporters of President Donald Trump interrupted the ballot-counting process at Detroit's TCF Center on Nov. 4. - Devi Bones / Shutterstock.com
Devi Bones / Shutterstock.com
Supporters of President Donald Trump interrupted the ballot-counting process at Detroit's TCF Center on Nov. 4.

Elections officials in Michigan and other states are on the lookout for organized disruptions of Tuesday's midterm elections, but say they're prepared to deal with whatever happens.

Reports from the Associated Press and other media outlets say Republican operatives pushing false claims about the 2020 election have recruited thousands of sympathetic poll workers. Michigan's secretary of state has warned local officials that hundreds of poll workers may be preparing to try to intimidate voters, both inside and outside of polling places.

As a precaution, said Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown, she has sent out instructions on how to handle problems.

"We have shared with our local clerks, as well as our law enforcement, election-day crimes, misdemeanors, and felonies," she said, "just so they have that tool in their toolbox to understand how serious we will take any wrongdoing on Election Day."

Brown said she remains hopeful that "everyone will be respectful" and no Michigan voters will feel intimidated.

Michigan GOP officials have said they are not aware of any disruptions planned on Election Day. However, for several months, Republican candidates and party officials have reinforced the debunked claim that the 2020 presidential election was tainted by widespread fraud.

Brown said she's confident in the procedures put in place to deal with any type of voter interference.

"Depending upon what the situation is, I'd say at first, they should either contact their precincts or election-day workers or their local clerk, depending upon what it is," she said. "If it's the election workers that are seeing a problem, they should be calling their local law enforcement."

Brown said while thousands of Michiganders have voted early, she still expects a large turnout on Tuesday. She said voters who still have an early ballot should, rather than mail them at this late date, take them to their local elections office or deposit them in a dropbox by Election Day.

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