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Partisan Attorneys Watching the Polls

November 6, 2012 | WMFE - Lawyers representing both major political parties are at the polls today monitoring the election. They are available to answer voter questions, keep an eye out for any problems and make sure everything goes smoothly as Reagan McCarthy reports.

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Long lines, issues with I.D’s, voter harassment, those are just a few of the things poll watchers around the state will be looking out for today.

Thousands of lawyers, both Democrats and Republicans, will be on stand-by and monitoring polling locations around Florida in case something comes up.

The idea is to make sure no voters are disenfranchised.

Richard Neidig is a retired attorney in Sarasota. He says he’s working with a number of other lawyers in his area to help the Republican Party keep tabs on everything going on at the polls.

“There job is to be like Sgt. Joe Friday in the old Drag Net program. You know Stg. Friday used to say ‘just the facts mam, just the facts.’ That’s what we’re looking for.”

Neidig says the lawyers he’s working with will notify elections officials, the Republican arty and even Romney’s campaign if they believe the elections law is being violated.

“And if we believe the elections law is being violated we will communicate immediately with the clerk of that polling place and we will also communicate with that supervisor of elections.” Neidig says.  “We have somebody who is local here who is designated to do that just as we have a couple of litigators standing by locally in case something arises that we have to go to court for or that we have to respond to.”

Meanwhile the Democratic Party is also sending out a team of poll watchers. The Obama campaign has created what it’s calling the Victory Council, which includes volunteer legal professionals across the country. Patricia Tassinari is a member of the Victory Council. She volunteered during the primary and will be at the polls again today.

She says last time everything went smoothly and she hopes it will again this time too. She says there will be monitors both in and outside the polling locations.

“I know there will be people standing outside the 100 yard mark and will be looking and watching for people harassing people before they go into the polls. So that we definitely would want to keep an eye on as well.”

Officials from both sides of the aisle say they’re working to make sure the elections are fair and go as smoothly as possible.


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