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Carroll residents, law enforcement prepared for Election Day

As Americans cast their vote today, some Carroll residents will be in action, working to ensure Election Day goes off without a hitch.

For some, that means traveling to polling places around Carroll County and Baltimore City to electioneer or poll watch.

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Tim Craig, Carroll County chair of the Trump campaign, said there are a few county residents who have signed up as poll watchers. The poll watchers will monitor the process and look for suspicious activity, including voters misidentifying themselves, said Craig, who said he did not conduct the county's poll watcher training.

Here's what you need to know before you go to the polls Tuesday.

About a dozen Carroll residents have also traveled to closely contested Pennsylvania in recent weeks to support the Trump campaign, he said, but the main concern today, he said, is here at home.

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"Our primary goal is to win Carroll County by a very large margin," he said.

Don West, chair of the Carroll County Democratic Central Committee, said his eyes are also focused on Carroll.

"We've got work to do at home before we worry about Pennsylvania," West said, pointing to Democrats' loss of the gubernatorial election in 2014.

He said he plans to visit a few polling sites around the county himself as a poll watcher to watch for any intimidation of Democrats.

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"I am really concerned about intimidation of voters," West said. "There's a line that people can't cross and I just want to make sure that's not crossed."

Law enforcement will also be present at polling places.

The Carroll County Sheriff's Office will have deputies patrolling the polls, said Cpl. Jon Light. He was not aware if deputies would be stationed at the polling places throughout the county, but said the deputies will be checking periodically.

Westminster Police Chief Jeff Spaulding said he will also have officers patrolling polling places in Westminster.

"This election is different than most," Spaulding said, noting that there seems to be more friction this year than in elections past. But he said his staff is prepared for Election Day. Spaulding said he was part of a conference call Monday with law enforcement officers from throughout the state addressing any polling concerns.

While the election has been characterized as more tense than previous ones, the majority of the law enforcement in the county is not planning for additional patrols because of the election.

Light said there have been things said on the news, and "certainly we are aware of these things," but noted that the office has not heard anything to suggest problems in Carroll County.

Maryland State Police is operating with similar thoughts.

"None of the troopers are individually concerned," said Lt. Patrick McCrory, barrack commander at the Westminster Barrack.

He will have a full staff on Election Day, but is not planning to have additional patrols. They will be ready to assist the Sheriff's Office if needed, he said.

Chief Michael Spaulding, in Sykesville, said his team is not preparing any additional patrols but will have a full staff monitoring polling sites as needed.

Chief John Hess said Manchester Police and Lt. Stacey Gaegler, of the Hampstead Police, will have routine patrols in polling site areas.

In past elections, Gaegler said the department has been asked to accompany the ballots to the counting site, but did not receive a request this year.

Polls across Maryland are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

410-857-3315

twitter.com/heatherleighnor



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