Officers to patrol ballot box locations in Vancouver

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Move aimed to deter voter intimidation

FILE – Ballot drop box in Washington state (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Vancouver Police Department announced Monday officers will be monitoring ballot boxes around the city through Election Day.

The move is to deter potential voter intimidation and/or tampering with the ballot boxes as well as provide security to election officials collecting ballots, according to VPD. Officers will also be looking for any non-authorized ballot boxes.

“We just wanted to make sure voters in Vancouver feeling safe that they can drop off their ballot without any problems and that the ballot boxes are going to be secure,” said Kim Kapp, spokesperson for VPD.

Increased patrols of the ballot boxes will last through November 3, according to VPD.

“We are in communication with the Clark County elections office with regards to the times their personnel are going to be collecting ballots, so we have an opportunity to connect there,” said Kapp. “We won’t be touching ballots or doing anything with that—we are just literally going to be a presence there so there’s a level of safety and awareness that we are around, and hopefully people feel secure with voting.”

VPD’s increased presence comes as many cities across the country brace for widespread “poll watching” on Election Day. Monitoring the votes at polling places is allowed in most states, but rules vary and it’s not a free-for-all. States have established rules, in part, to avoid any hint that observers will harass or intimidate voters.

In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has been urging his supporters to go the polls and “watch very carefully,” raising concerns about possible voter intimidation.

Any incidents of voter intimidation or ballot box tampering should be reported by calling 3-1-1.

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