Secretary of State’s office launches “Poll Worker First Response” app

Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 4:46 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Georgians continue to turn out to vote early this fall with record numbers continuing each day.

So far, just under 400,000 voters have shown up across the state to vote in-person as of Wednesday morning.

“This is really almost presidential levels when you look at 2020. So, we’re just excited about the turnout that we’re seeing. People and voters are energized,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

As more people head to the polls, there is also more security according to the Secretary of State’s office.

This week, they launched “Poll Worker First Response”—an app that poll workers can use to report threats that could impact the voting process.

“If you’re the poll manager, and you see something at your precinct, you can quickly text in what you’re looking at, and is it someone being unruly, someone being rude, or is it actually a physical threat.”

Raffensperger says these messages then go through a chain of command.

“That information goes to our state election director, his number two, our deputy. It also goes to our county election director, we can also loop in law enforcement.”

He says this app is the result of threats against poll workers, especially in 2020.

“Coming out of 2020, there was so much misinformation, people were threatening poll workers. We had some counties that went 75% for President Trump, meanwhile those poll workers were being followed home.”

According to the Secretary of State’s office, 81 counties have enrolled to use the app. It’s provided to them for free.

Raffensperger says he hopes it’ll have a positive impact.

“We want everyone to go out there and exercise the priceless right to vote. We want to put a smile on their face, we want to keep those lines as short as possible. We’re just excited that we’re seeing big participation, we want to keep everyone safe.”

Early voting continues over the next two week, including weekends. Elections officials say it’s best to come out sooner rather than later to avoid any lines at the polls.