Marshals to patrol voting booths after poll workers say they were threatened by voters

Poll workers say they fear for their safety

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Marshals are being sent to the polls in Fulton County after workers said they feared for their safety.

A highly-contentious congressional race in Georgia’s 6th District has apparently taken its toll on Fulton County poll workers.

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“Some people just get into some verbal altercations with some unkind words,” said Richard Barron, the Director of Registration and Elections for Fulton County. “(A voter) called her the same word for a female dog.”

According to him, a voter called her the same world for a female dog. But for Barron, the situation is nothing to take lightly.

“He yelled at everyone in the whole polling place, then went out, tore up the 'vote here' signs and then threw them back in the polling location,” Barron said.

This is why the Fulton County Election’s Office is taking extra precautions in the final days of early voting. This week, the county hired Marshals to step up patrols at its early-voting locations because of the so-called unruly voters.

“They are in uniform, and they also, walk the lines, the polling locations," Barron said. "They are evident.”

Barron said one of the incidents between the poll workers was sent to the Secretary of State's office for investigation, but it was dropped after the voter apologized to the poll worker. Meanwhile, Barron said a combative campaign has likely caused the irritation at the polls. 

“It probably flares peoples tempers up at home before they even get to the polling place, and I think people are really suffering from fatigue from this election," he said.

But Barron wants voters to remember one thing: “I just want to remind people to be nice to the poll workers, because they are there for the voters.”

The election between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel is Tuesday June 20. The final day of early voting is Friday. 

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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