Story and photos by Rebecca Jefferis Williamson
October 27, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Poll workers are trained to de-escalate disturbances at polling sites. Even so, with a record number of early voting taking place not only in San Diego County but across the country, this is an election that might have the biggest need to beware of voter intimidation and interference at polling and ballot drop-off sites.
The County of San Diego Registrar of Voters released information that outlines the prohibited activities at polling and ballot drop off sites. The flyer outlines the activities as such: no intimidation of voters, no tampering with the voting system, no falsely acting as election officials, no unauthorized uniformed personnel, no payment for voting or bribery, no campaigning at or near polls, no vandalism at polling places and no interfering with the election process. The Nov. 3rd vote has seen unprecedented media stories on what will not be allowed and cites the California election codes that might be broken.
ECM reached out to the County of San Diego Registrar of Voters via email and Antonia Hutzell, public relations coordinator responded with these tips:
ECM: What is the hotline for calling?
Registrar: Report suspicious behavior to the Registrar’s office 858-565-5800 or to San Diego Law Enforcement Coordination Center 858-495-7200 or www.sd-lecc.org. If an emergency, call 9-1-1.
ECM: What should a voter look out for in their email regarding voter interference?
Registrar: Any activity that interferes or suppresses voters from casting their ballots such as harassment, payment for voting or bribery, vandalism, or falsely acting as an election official.
ECM: What is the quickest way to report it?
Registrar: See attached flyer (link is below).
ECM: Any reports of voter interference in any local election sites?
Registrar: No, the San Diego County Registrar of Voters has been working collaboratively with state, federal, and local law enforcement agencies to ensure safe and secure operations at all polling places and mail ballot drop-off locations and stands ready to respond to any credible intelligence provided by law enforcement.
Poll workers are trained on de-escalation techniques and on what actions to take if there is a disturbance at a polling location. Poll workers will also monitor voter flows and public observation at the polls. Observer rights and responsibilities are posted in each polling place to outline what an observer may/may not do while inside a polling location. Observers who interfere, disrupt, intimidate, or break any California election laws will be asked to leave.
ECM: Were there any fake ballot drop boxes that showed up in San Diego County?
Registrar: We have not had any reported cases of unofficial drop boxes in San Diego County but if it were brought to our attention, we would report it to the Secretary of State’s Fraud Investigation Unit to take appropriate action. Our consistent messages to voters is to return your ballot to a trusted source, either through the U.S. Postal Service or at one of our official mail ballot drop-off locations around the county. You can visit sdvote.com for a list of locations – http://sdvote.com/content/rov/en/elections/return-to-trusted-source.html. San Diego County voters should always visit sdvote.com to receive accurate information about voting in the upcoming elections.
With different time zones set in place in the USA there is a strong probability that some election results will find their way onto social media. Some do not want to know trends, others do.
To report violations, call local law enforcement (non-emergency) at:
CARLSBAD POLICE DEPT. (760) 931-2197
CHULA VISTA POLICE DEPT. (619) 691-5151
CORONADO POLICE DEPT. (619) 522-7350
EL CAJON POLICE DEPT. (619) 579-3311
ESCONDIDO POLICE DEPT. (760) 839-4722
LA MESA POLICE DEPT. (619) 667-1400
NATIONAL CITY POLICE DEPT. (619) 336-4411
OCEANSIDE POLICE DEPT. (760) 435-4900
SAN DIEGO POLICE DEPT. (619) 531-2000
SAN DIEGO SHERIFF'S DEPT. (858) 565-5200
The flyer for Vote Safer, San Diego can be found here.