| Home

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Poll watchers will be in place for Election Day

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Voting problems?

Voters who encounter trouble at the polls are encouraged to call Election Protection at 1-866-OUR-VOTE, the U.S. Attorney's Office at 412-894-7516, or the FBI at 412-432-4000.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, 11:59 p.m.

Dozens of lawyers will be stationed throughout Western Pennsylvania on Tuesday to field complaints of election fraud and answer questions about voting rights.

Others,inside a command center at Reed Smith's Downtown offices, will dispatch their mobile counterparts to areas where a need arises. In all, more than 1,000 volunteers will be on call in Pennsylvania, including 60 lawyers and 100 non-lawyers in Allegheny County.

“The bottom line is that we want to make sure that everyone who is registered to vote and can cast a ballot is able to do so,” said Kim Watterson, a partner at Reed Smith who is helping coordinate the effort with lawyers, local nonprofits, the American Civil Liberties Union, Duquesne University, the University of Pittsburgh and Election Protection, a nationwide nonprofit.

The most common problems in Allegheny County include people leaving campaign literature inside polling locations, faulty voting machines and polling locations that open late, said Sara Rose, a lawyer for the ACLU of Pennsylvania.

“Most things are not done purposefully,” Rose said. “It's more a lack of communication.”

In addition to Election Protection's recruits, Assistant U.S. Attorney Shaun E. Sweeney and a team of lawyers at the direction of U.S. Attorney David Hickton will be on duty to handle any problems. Special agents from the FBI will be available to receive allegations of election fraud and other abuses.

“Every citizen must be able to vote without interference or discrimination and to have their vote counted,” Hickton said. “The Department of Justice will act promptly and aggressively to protect the integrity of the election process.”

Concerns about voter fraud appear to be arising earlier than usual this year, likely because of the hotly contested presidential race.

Residents of Florida and Virginia — where polls show President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney neck-and-neck — have received phone calls telling them they can vote by phone. In Florida, some voters are receiving bogus letters — purportedly signed by local election supervisors — questioning their citizenship and eligibility to vote.

In Pennsylvania, the state's new voter ID law could confuse voters or poll workers.

“There was a lot of back and forth, so it might be unclear to people what the law actually is this year,” Rose said.

Voters will be asked for photo ID, but are not required to produce it to vote.

The voter ID law aside, Republican and Democratic leaders praised efforts to ensure the integrity of the election process.

“I like anything that we do that will help more people vote and ensure the people who are voting should be voting,” said Jim Roddey, chairman of the Republican Committee of Allegheny County.

“It's good that there are many avenues to put out any fires that may ignite on Tuesday,” said Nancy Patton Mills, chairwoman of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee.

Adam Brandolph is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Kang’s 9th-inning home run gives Pirates wild victory over Twins
  2. Rossi: ‘Hockey guy’ Sutter will be missed
  3. Steelers’ Wheaton adjusting his game moving to slot receiver
  4. School credit ratings a problem for several in Western Pennsylvania
  5. Pirates notebook: Prospect Tucker unaware of ‘trade’ frenzy
  6. Penguins trade Sutter to Canucks, sign free agent center Fehr
  7. Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell gets suspension, fine reduced
  8. Van Halen plays plenty of favorites in First Niagara show
  9. 5 face trial in beating of black man in Pittsburgh
  10. More than 100 stamp bags confiscated in Greensburg; 4 arrested
  11. Pirates’ Liriano unaffected by poor last outing against Twins