Law enforcement agencies speak on election day preparations

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – With election day just hours away, News 19 went searching to learn how law enforcement agencies are readying to keep the day running smoothly.

“This has been in the making the months,” said Madison County’s Public Information Officer, Investigator Brent Patterson.

Patterson said law enforcement agencies have been working with the probate court, circuit clerk and other officials since the summer to make a plan.

For police officers like Madison’s Major John Stringer, the number one concern going into tomorrow is the sheer number of people expected to come out to vote, and making sure they stay safe on the roads.

“We do expect it to be high-volume with traffic, a big turn out,” Major Stringer said. “We’ve got officers who are working extra shifts, they’re working their off days, they’re working overtime. And we really appreciate that they’re willing to do that.”

Police officers from different departments will be at work to keep voter flow running smoothly as they enter and leave sites. In the state of Alabama, sheriff’s offices take on the role of safeguarding voters and their votes at the polls.

“Any election is a major undertaking for the sheriff’s office. We play a vital role in the process as far as securing and maintaining order at the precincts, as well as collecting data and the ballots once it’s over. So it’s an all-day, all-hands-on-deck undertaking for us,” said Morgan County’s Public Information Officer, Mike Swafford.

While sheriff’s offices are in charge of transporting and safe keeping ballots until they are counted, they are also in charge of preventing some of the big issues like voter intimidation or suppression.

“That’s what we do. At the end of the day, we’re safeguarding their Constitutional rights to make sure that when they do vote, that it is counted and we prepare and make sure it gets where it needs to go,” Investigator Patterson said.

All three of the agencies News 19 spoke to assured us they do not have any indication of unrest among the people, but they will be monitoring outlets like social media just in case.

“There’s so much going on in this world right now but tomorrow, people, get out and vote. Let your law enforcements do their jobs and we’re going to do those to the best of our ability,” Investigator Patterson said.

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