The following is a statement from State Board Chair Damon Circosta on maintaining an orderly and safe voting environment for the 2022 general election:
The bipartisan members of the State Board of Elections are united in seeking to ensure that voting is conducted in an orderly fashion this fall, and that no voters experience intimidation. That is why we unanimously approved changes to our rules governing voting places: to head off the types of disruptive behaviors by some poll observers that we unfortunately saw in the May primary, and to provide clear guidance to poll workers on behaviors that are not permitted at the polls.
Last week, the Rules Review Commission disagreed with this State’s elections agency on whether these rule changes were necessary to maintain the integrity of the voting process. The Rules Review Commission lacks the expertise and the authority to determine how to best maintain order at the polls. However, we do not have the luxury of time to go back and forth with the Commission or the courts to ensure that our reasonable rules are put in place before voting begins. We, as elections officials, must focus our attention on preparing for the upcoming election.
To that end, we at the State Board will do everything we can to ensure that the county boards of elections and county poll workers understand their authority and procedures to maintain an orderly and safe voting environment for all voters. It is our duty to the voting public to protect their right to vote, and it will be protected.