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St. Louis County election officials say voters safe despite fear of threats nationwide

Voting election illustration
Nat Thomas
St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis County election officials are taking nationwide threats of violence seriously but want to assure voters that they will be safe on Election Day.

The St. Louis County Board of Elections will ask police to dispatch officers to polling places Tuesday if there are any threats, an election official said.

Elections officials will be watching for intimidation of poll workers or voters, said Eric Fey, the county’s Democratic director of elections. But so far there are no signs that anyone plans to interfere with voters and poll workers.

“We've met with the St Louis County Police Department and the election crime coordinator with the St Louis FBI office, and they are seeing no intelligence that would lead anybody to believe there are going to be those types of problems,” Fey said Monday.

As people across the nation prepare to vote on Tuesday, voters and election workers in many states are concerned about their safety at the polls. The Department of Homeland Security issued threat advisories, warning of potential violence toward political candidates, election officials, and others. According to the federal agency, the threat of domestic violence is fueled by extreme ideology.

Election officials nationwide are taking such concerns seriously. One in six officials across the country have experienced threats of violence and harassment, according to a poll from the Brennan Center for Justice. Despite these threats, St. Louis-area election officials are assuring voters there’s no cause for concern.

Fey said in-person absentee voting that has been running smoothly for the past two weeks is a good indication that polling places should be safe for voters and poll workers on Election Day.

“I would encourage everybody to vote and then on the off chance that something arises, please call the election board to let us know, or if it's an emergent situation call 911,” he said.

Follow Britny on Twitter: @becordera

Britny Cordera is a poet and journalist based in St. Louis and is currently serving as a newsroom intern at St. Louis Public Radio.