Secretary of State Alex Padilla on issues at the polls

The possibility of voter fraud and intimidation on Election Day has groups from both sides of the aisle claiming they’ll send poll watchers to monitor the democratic process. Alex Padilla, the Secretary of State for California, is the state’s top election officer, and he says poll workers will not tolerate any infringement on voting rights.

“Observers are welcome but under the right guidelines for decorum,” Padilla told KCRW’s Chery Glaser. He encourages potential poll watchers to check in with their local registrar, so that they understand the rules.

The most important thing to keep in mind is the only person that can challenge a person’s right to vote an official poll worker, not watchers. As part of the normal election procedure, every county will have their own observers rotating through the polling places to keep poll watchers in check.

“We’ve heard the chatter, but we’ll be ready should it happen anywhere within the state,” Padilla said. “Nothing out of the ordinary, but heightened awareness given the political climate today.”

The California Secretary of State urged voters to report any incidents of intimidation. Voters who do not feel safe voting in their assigned polling place may go to a different location to cast a provisional ballot.

Mapping voter issues through Google Trends

People who want to watch the polls virtually can do so on Electionland. Hundreds of journalism students and journalists are collaborating on this project to report on issues at the polls. Electionland’s real-time Google Trends Map shows where people are searching for some of the most common polling problems, like long wait times or voter intimidation. Check it out below: