Friday, August 19, 2022

Election Day security: What can voters in the Historic Triangle expect Tuesday?

Election Day is Tuesday. Do you know what to expect at the Historic Triangle polling stations? Above: Vote here sign outside of the City Center satellite polling station in Newport News on Friday, Oct. 30. (WYDaily/ Julia Marsigliano)
Election Day is Tuesday. Do you know what to expect at the Historic Triangle polling stations?  (WYDaily/ Julia Marsigliano)

Election Day is Tuesday and law enforcement agencies in the Historic Triangle are getting ready.

So what sort of security measures can voters expect at the polls?

Nothing.

That’s right, neither James City County Police officers or York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office deputies will provide security at the polling stations.

Instead, there will be increased patrols in the area, said James City County Police spokeswoman Stephanie Williams and Shelley Ward, YPSO spokeswoman.

“They’re going to be patrolling the area,” Williams said, adding they will have additional officers on the road Tuesday. “But they [the polling stations] will not be staffed by a police officer.”

Firearms

When asked if there was a certain perimeter firearms are allowed outside the polling stations, Ward said if the polling place is at a school, the same rules about firearms apply.

“…You have to abide by the school rules other than that there are no restrictions on carrying a firearm,” Ward wrote in a text message.

Williams wrote in an email it depends on the polling location.

“Firearms are prohibited at polling locations where the location type itself prohibits firearms,” Williams wrote.

Voter intimidation

In James City County, Williams said people experiencing voter intimidation can call the police department or the registrar’s office.

“If there is an immediate concern, yeah we would want to be notified so we can get out there and see what’s going on,” Williams said.

She also said people with “concerns with any type of voter intimidation should be reported to the election officials at the polls.”

In York County, voters who think they need “immediate assistance” can call 911.

“I mean if they feel like they need a deputy to come assist them…then they should call 911,” Ward said.

It’s unclear what the Williamsburg Police Department is doing on Election Day — department spokesmen Charles Ericsson and John Heilman were not immediately available for comment.

Know your rights

The ACLU created a Know Your Voting Rights guide just in case there is an issue at the polling station:

What are my general rights on Election Day?

  • If the polls close while you’re still in line, stay in line – you have the right to vote.
  • If you make a mistake on your ballot, ask for a new one.
  • If the machines are down at your polling place, ask for a paper ballot.
  • If you run into any problems or have questions on Election Day, call the Election Protection Hotline:

YOU MIGHT WANT TO CHECK OUT THESE STORIES:

Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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