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Extra security in place ahead of Nov. 8 elections; more poll workers needed

Extra security precautions are being put in place to make sure poll workers are kept safe.

NEW ORLEANS — With just over a week left until the mid-term elections, federal officials are monitoring threats to election workers and voting systems.

"The threats that they are receiving are intimidation, some of the threats are real, 'we're going to hang you,' "I'm going to put a bullet in your head, it's unnerving," Kim Wyman, Senior Election Security Lead for the nation's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, also known as "CISA" said.

She says that those threats are driving election workers to quit out of concern for their own safety and some states are having trouble staffing their polls.

According to the FBI, the threats are focused mostly on the seven swing states: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Wisconsin.

The threats aren't as prevalent here in Louisiana, but extra security precautions are being put in place to make sure poll workers are kept safe.

“We've taken some extra measures, I can't really talk about those measures, but we are taking precautions," Orleans Parish Clerk of Court Darren Lombard said.

Lombard says that Louisiana has one of the safest and most accurate election systems in the nation. He's confident that the Nov. 8 elections will go on without a hitch.

But like many states, we still need more poll workers.

"We have enough staff to get it done, but we're not at the optimum number," Lombard said.

So, this Saturday, he spent the morning at Xavier University where new election workers were being trained for the mid-term elections.

It's a crash course on election security and the democratic process. Lombard says that if you've got questions about how safe and secure Louisiana's elections are -- becoming a poll worker will give you all the answers you need.

"I think anyone who has any questions, who wants to get involved, should come on down," he said.

There's still time to get trained to work at a New Orleans polling station for the Nov. 8 election. If you're interested, call the Clerk of Court's office at 504-658-9000.

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