The Christian Science Monitor

Poll watching: Democratic safeguard or intimidation?

On Election Day 2016, Jane Grimes Meneely arrived at a Nashville, Tennessee, community center ready to put her three-hour poll watcher training to use. Sent by the Clinton campaign, she wore a badge around her neck and a bright blue “ELECTION PROTECTION” sticker on her back.

Her job: Report concerns, but don’t interact directly with voters.

Over her six-plus-hour shift, however, Ms. Meneely says she never had to use her authority because the day “went really smoothly.”

“There was a part of me that wanted to use the training ... but also thankful that I didn’t have to,” she says.

Designated poll watchers like Ms. Meneely are a traditional part of the American election system. 

But the role of poll watching is getting heightened scrutiny since President Donald Trump, at

Voter intimidation is rare“Ballot security”Due diligence

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