ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Bernalillo County Clerk’s Office is preparing for an expected record turnout on Election Day and a larger turnout means more efforts to keep voters safe. Linda Stover, the Bernalillo County Clerk said although no uniformed officers are allowed at the polling locations, voters should feel safe.
“If there is a problem at the polls, the presiding judge will be the one that gets notified, that will notify our election hotline and then they will make the decision on whether to send out a sheriff’s deputy to call the FBI, to notify the district attorney,” said Stover.
The Secretary of State’s Office said it is illegal to interfere with the voting process by intimidating or preventing anyone from voting. You can’t wear anything related to a candidate like a mask or a shirt. They said if that’s the case they will be asked by a polling staffer to take off the attire or asked to leave. But if they refuse to do so, law enforcement will be called.
The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office said they have added additional deputies strictly assigned to respond to election day issues.
“We’ll have four (deputies) per shift and we have two shifts per day and what we’re trying to do is be proactive,” said Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales. “We did have an information briefing last week with the FBI nothing concerning just that we want a message to make sure everyone knows we’re out there and we are collaborating amongst each other.”
Officials with the Albuquerque Police Department said they have increased their staffing levels for Election Day as well. They said their main priority will be to respond to any issues that might arise at polling locations.
BCSO and APD said there haven’t been any issues regarding voter intimidation during early voting. Polls are open Tuesday from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
The penalty for interfering in an election ranges from a petty misdemeanor to a fourth-degree felony. The Secretary of State Office said it is too late to mail an absentee ballot, you should drop it off at a polling location Tuesday.
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