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Multiple law enforcement agencies on call to ensure safety on Election Day in Leon County

Posted at 6:10 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 18:11:02-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Hours from polls opening for Election Day, ABC 27 breaks down voter turnout and what officials are doing to keep you safe at the polls.

COVID-19 brought more people out early, especially people wanting a mail-in ballot this go around.

Still, turnout is on par to break records between vote by mail and early voting. Leon County is already at 60 percent voter turnout.

"That is certainly a record," said Mark Earley, the Leon County Supervisor of Elections. "We've never seen numbers like that before."

Workers busy tabulating ballots, expecting to reach record highs.

"In 2016, our turnout was about 75 percent," Earley said. "Typically in a presidential year, we're around 80 percent. We hit 84 percent once."

This election is garnering a lot of attention, including some cases of voter intimidation.

"Small incidences where it was two people having a bit of an argument," said Earley. "Other than that, I've heard rumblings on social media and the virtual world. We haven't seen anything of that, and we've certainly been prepared for it."

That preparation includes local law enforcement on standby if there is an issue at the polls or unrest after election results.

"The police department will be here to protect and make sure those lines are safe for everyone," said Allan Morris, a Tallahassee Police Sergeant.

TPD and Leon County Sheriff's Office will patrol voting locations, and FBI presence is on standby in Leon if any form of voter intimidation or suppression comes about.

"The Department of Justice has an important role in fighting ballot fraud or discrimination at the polls," said Federal Elections Officer Andrew Grogan in a statement provided to ABC 27. "Together with other federal agencies and our State and local counterparts, all Department components will work to hold responsible anyone violating the laws protecting our elections."

Polls open Tuesday at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

If you need to drop off a mail ballot, the only place to drop those off is at the Supervisor of Elections Office.