Jackson County prosecutor says office will be watching, resolving issues at polling places on Election Day

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If you’re voting in Jackson County on Tuesday, you will see the longest ballot in county history, which means you may also see some lines at the polls.

But you might also see something else that is brand new this election season: a new Jackson County Public Corruption Unit on the lookout for voting irregularities.

“This is the first year that we’re doing this kind of effort,” Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said.

With high turnout expected, Peters Baker put out a statement assuring voters that her team will be monitoring irregularities that might include, “act or threat of violence towards a voter with the intent of denying that person the right to vote; knowingly telling a voter false information about voting for the purpose of preventing any person from going to the polls; bribing a voter to either vote for or against a specific candidate or issue; interfering or attempting to interfere with any voter inside a polling place."

Peters Baker is instructing anyone who witnesses irregularities at the polls to call the Public Corruption Unit at 816-881-3111.

“We focus on a variety of issues. This falls right into the gamut of this new unit, so we’re ready to go,” Peters Baker said.

The Kansas City Election Board will also make sure people follow the law while stumping for candidates and issues at the polls. In Missouri, that has to be 25 feet away from the entrance to the polls.

"They actually have a piece of string that`s 25 feet long, and they will market from the outer most part. And then they`ll draw piece of chalk on the line and those people may not come with in that area," said Shawn Kieffer with the KC Election Board.

Voters are also restricted from wearing apparel for any candidate on the ballot. But gear for those not on the ballot, like President Trump or even Ronald Reagan, is OK.

"If they wanted to wear a Reagan shirt for somebody who's not on the ballot, that`s more than fine," Kieffer said. "But if they want to wear someone who's actually on the ballot, then we would have them turn their shirt inside out."

So while Jackson County officials are expecting big crowds, but they`re also hoping everyone -- voters and election workers -- follow the rule of law.

Peters Baker said she has full confidence in the staff and workers with both the Jackson County and Kansas City election boards. She said she hopes the new unit will add an additional layer of confidence for all registered voters on Tuesday.

“We want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to cast their vote,” Peters Baker said.



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