Harris County politicos are bracing for uncertainty with Monday’s start to early balloting, as many voters remain confused about Texas’ voter identification requirements and Donald Trump continues to warn – without proof – of a “rigged election.” … Amid the tumult, local Democrats eager to keep tabs on balloting have rushed to train as poll watchers. “Why are the Democrats gearing up? Well it’s because the Republican presidential nominee is saying he’s not going to abide by the results. He’s saying the election is rigged,” said Harris County Democratic Party Chair Lane Lewis, projecting that roughly 180 people will complete one of the party’s poll watching courses. The Democratic Party certified just 20-30 poll watchers for the 2012 general election, Lewis said.
… Harris County Republican Party Chair Paul Simpson, on the other hand, characterized local GOP interest in poll watching as nothing out of the ordinary. “We always are concerned that the law be followed,” said Simpson, who said his party trained a couple hundred poll watchers this year.
Sanctioned poll watching is one thing, but Houston-area League of Women Voters president Aimee Mobley Turney worries about unauthorized monitoring.
“I’m not worried about an organized effort of people coming to watch the polls in a way that they shouldn’t be,” Turney said. “But because I have seen so much in the media lately, I am concerned about individuals coming to do that.”