Bibb County BOE: ‘Poll workers are tired, anxious’
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– Election workers in Bibb County are relieved to see election season come to a close, but not for reasons you may think.
“Our employees are on edge,” Board of Elections Chairman, Mike Kaplan said.
According to Board of Elections officials, poll watchers and observers caused trouble at polling locations on election day and during early voting.
Kaplan says his election workers feel tired and anxious.
The Board of Elections building was under constant surveillance since elections started.”We’ve had a lot of eyes on us… Our drop boxes have been under surveillance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since the election,” Kaplan explained.
Poll manager, Tom Gillon, says dealing with poll watchers was difficult at times.
“We had a lot of very eager poll watchers and observers. Letting them know what they’re allowed to do… sometimes became a full-time job,” Gillon said.
Bibb County Sheriff’s Office had deputies at each polling location to ensure the poll workers were able to do their jobs.
Although police made no arrests, Gillon says poll workers faced harassment from observers.
Gillon told us that some of the watchers recorded the license plate numbers of poll workers and staff. Adding that some of the observers even wanted to follow poll workers home from their polling places.
The Sheriff’s Office says it can only recall one incident where deputies had to help. However, they were able to keep things under control.
Kaplan says he hopes future elections go more smoothly for the safety of the election workers.
“I think what we had to deal with a lot… the pandemic, the new machinery, the eyes on us, and the passionate races. It’s time for us to move on,” Kaplan said. “We need to support our new president and those that won in our country. We’ll get back at it again in 2 years.”