Polling place watchdogs planning for Election Day

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The concerns may vary, but groups like Judicial Watch and Virginia Civic Engagement Table are planning to have volunteers at polling places across the state next week.

They say they have one goal: Ensuring a clean election.

d38fa26ff3a4453fb9425b65d8623324-1“The whole organization should make sure that everyone who is eligible can cast a vote without any trouble,” Julie Emery with Virginia Civic Engagement Table said.

Robert Popper with Judicial Watch says they’re concerned about recent reports in Virginia showing more than 1,000 non-citizens being on the voter rolls, the registration of dead people and the photo ID law.

“We will be doing, you can call it fly on the wall monitoring,” he told 8News. We will be silently observing the process and taking notes. “We’ll be interested to see that the voter id law is enforced and the election officials do enforce them.”

Emery says they’ll be there to answer questions about the photo ID law.

“Because the photo id law is relatively new in Virginia, I suspect we’ll get a lot questions on that,” she said.

Emery’s group says they’ll be highly visible.

3a0a9a48f27643308eb298957c3df668“They will be out at the polling places, they’ll be wearing t-shirts that say ‘866 Our Vote,'” she explained.

Meanwhile, Judicial watch says they will be more obscure.

“The kind of monitoring we’re doing is very unobtrusive, non-confrontational, ideally you never know we’re there,” Popper said.

It’s not just voters they’ll be observing. Both groups say they’ll have an eye on poll watchers working independently or on behalf of a candidate or party.

“There will be other groups there for other reasons, we’ve talked about how to de-escalate should anything get tense out there,” Emery said.

Popper added, “poll watchers are certainly capable of becoming involved in interfering with the process in ways that are intrusive and in ways that are unlawful, so yes we will be watching other poll watchers as well.”

Both groups will also have attorneys on hand but say they won’t challenge voters. Instead, they will raise issues in court or in the media following the election.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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