I TEAM: new spotlight on security for poll workers

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CLEVELAND - The FOX 8 I TEAM has found new fallout from an election season that at times has turned nasty.

Cuyahoga County poll workers are getting handbooks that include a section on “emergency situations.” Workers say for the first time in their training, instructors talked about things such as what to do if there’s a gunman or some other big trouble.

Terry Pohorence said, "This year was the only year they said anything about what to do if there's a disruptive person comes into the polls to maybe shoot somebody, or stop the election."

And Carol Corpus said, "But this year, they did give us instructions what to do if we were in danger. You know, we were to leave, call 911, call the board of elections, and don't go back in for anything."

No question, the presidential campaign has gotten testy. And back during the primary this year, a Cuyahoga County poll worker got arrested with a gun for threatening other workers.

We went to the man in charge of Cuyahoga County election officials. What’s behind the extra safety training?

Henry Curtis said, "We're always evaluating our training.” Curtis added, there’s no specific reason for the new spotlight on emergencies. He said, "I believe it’s our responsibility as an agency...to make sure that they can respond quickly and responsibly to any situation."

Terry Pohorence has worked the polls a long time. She added, "You never know. I'm certainly gonna be more alert."

And Carol Corpus says she’s even concerned about people posing as election observers. She said, "Someone who might have some mischief up their sleeve or some real danger, all they need is a suit to get in."

This is shaping up to be an election like no other, so even some of the preps are new.

Meantime, court records show that the worker arrested for the gun during the primary could go to prison just days before the general election. Sentencing is set for the end of the month.

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