Local Republican poll watchers monitor Hillsborough polling places

Posted at 5:34 PM, Aug 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-30 18:17:50-04

More than a dozen Republican Party poll watchers are in place through Hillsborough County Polling Places.

This comes after Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump asked supporters to become election monitors, as he said he is concerned about voter fraud.

Julie Kaplan is one of those local poll watchers. She was stationed to monitor a polling location in Apollo Beach, checking for mistakes, voting inaccuracies and anything else she may find that seems unorthodox. Poll watchers are volunteers and do not get paid.

"You hear stories about people getting two ballots or you hear stories about people coming back and voting again," Kaplan said. "I think it's very important to make sure the best that you can that everything is going right."

She said she saw no problems at her voting location.

In Florida, poll watchers are asked to wear a large piece of paper that says it is illegal for them to talk to voters working to cast a ballot. They are also not allowed to talk to poll workers, Kaplan said.

Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer said his poll workers are fully trained and up for the job of making sure everything is fair and follows the law on election day.

"We've got tech specialists out there making sure the equipment is running and running appropriately," Latimer said. 'We do a tremendous amount of training with our poll workers. They know how to run a polling site."

The voter process appeared to have few, if any problems Tuesday, Latimer said.

He also called voter turnout "robust", saying more than 22,000 people turned out to cast a ballot on election day. At least 80,000 people voted by mail and about 27,000 people voted early, he said

Check your polling location here and unofficial voter turnout numbers