Delaware County officials offer warning to agitators as Election Day approaches

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ByJaclyn Lee via WPVI logo
Friday, October 30, 2020
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With Election Day just four days away, keeping voters and poll workers safe is a top priority in the community.

HAVERFORD TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- With Election Day just four days away, keeping voters and poll workers safe is a top priority in the community.

Oat Foundry, a Bridesburg based company that makes split-flap signs, used their supplies to create and donate 12,000 face shields to poll workers on Election Day.

"For the poll workers specifically, they're Philadelphians and many of them, volunteers who just want to help out, who believe in how important elections are - it's bipartisan," said Mark Kuhn, CEO of Oat Foundry. "It's people who say, 'I believe in this and I believe everyone's vote should be counted' and especially right now, there's still a lot of people who are going to vote in person and we think poll workers should also be protected, so it's part of that donation."

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In Delaware County, officials from both sides of the aisle wanted to assure voters the process will be smooth on Tuesday.

"There's a lot of noise you are going to hear, there's parties telling you that the other side are hooligans of the worst sort," said First Assistant District Attorney Tanner Rouse. "Stay calm, stay focused, relax. The people you are going to be interacting with on Election Day are your neighbors."

Delco officials said they have conducted less than a dozen investigations into people planning to intimidate voters on Election Day. Rouse has a strong warning for anyone who wants to form militias or intimidate voters.

"Don't do it," said Rouse. "We don't need your help, we don't want your help. If you want to support law enforcement, that's a beautiful thing. Buy them some coffee, buy them some pizza, have a great day with your family stay out of the way."

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So if you are going to the polls on Election Day, health experts do not recommend wearing gloves and say to use hand sanitizer before and after voting. They say to wear a mask over your nose and mouth and spend as little time in the polling place as possible.

"Try to get a sample copy of the ballot and decide how you're planning to vote before you actually get into the voting machine so that it won't take too long," said Dr. Robert Fischer, Head of Infectious Disease Division at Albert Einstein Medical Center. "If the poll is extremely crowded and you have reason to believe it will be less crowded at some other time, possibly consider coming back later."

If a voter chooses not to wear a mask, they will still get to vote. However Rouse said they will have to be patient because the election official must clear out the polling place in order to to keep everyone safe.

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said each polling place will have hand sanitizer, masks markers for voters.

Rouse said if anyone has concerns come Election Day, call the District Attorney hotline at 610-891-4797. He said local police will be on standby and no one will mess with the election.