Kansas City Election Board says poll watchers must be chosen by party’s county committee

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As we inch closer to election day, voter both fraud and intimidation continue to be hot topics.

During Tuesday’s presidential debate, President Donald Trump said, “I’m urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully because that is what has to happen.”

“As you know today, there was a big problem,” Trump said. “In Philadelphia, they went in to watch. They were — they are called poll watchers. They weren’t allowed to watch. You know why? Because bad things happen in Philadelphia. Bad things.”

There’s been a lot of confusion about poll watchers since.

“That’s the biggest call that we’re getting today,” Lauri Ealom with the Kansas City Board of Elections said. “How do we plan to deal with, if in fact, regular citizens show up at the poll and want to observe and watch.”

There are specific people chosen by both party’s county committee to serve as poll watchers. They must be registered voters.

“They’re able to watch, not only at the polls. But they’re also able to watch when we start the opening of absentee balloting and processing,” Ealom said.

The Jackson County Democrats said in a statement to FOX4 that poll watchers are essential to making sure people can exercise their right to vote.

Jackson County Republicans echo that statement, saying in part:

“Every American should be able to trust the process to be completely fair and honest. Poll watchers are an extra set of eyes that help make sure our elections are honest.”

Ealom said in Kansas City, election workers are working overtime the next few weeks, to make sure casting ballots is a smooth and fair process.

In Kansas, poll watchers must be a member of a candidate’s family, a registered voter, or at least 14 years old, but satisfy all of the other requirement for being a voter other than age.

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