On the first day of early voting, Austin Police reports no issues despite long lines
The Austin Police Department reports no issues that required their attention during the first day of early voting, Tuesday.
Amid long lines and record voter registration efforts, Austin Assistant Police Chief Joe Chacon told reporters Tuesday afternoon that no patrol officers have been dispatched to polling sites so far.
Police officials and city leaders expressed concern this week about election-related unrest. But so far, Chacon said there have been no specific threats in Austin that raise concern.
"Austin Police Department will be prepared if something comes up," Chacon said.
The department is "adequately staffed" for election patrol efforts, Chacon said, despite no additional staffing made available.
APD will not provide an active role in site security, with no officers assigned or stationed to actively monitor polling sites, Chacon said. Instead, polling judges are located at each site and have been trained when it might be necessary to contact authorities.
Patrol officers have been made aware of polling location sites and will manage long lines that potentially become a safety hazard for voters and passing motorists.
"However, they are not there to take any action other than that," Chacon said.
Early voting runs from Oct. 13-30 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Election Day voting takes place 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 3.
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