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Local law enforcement focusing on Election Day security

Police in Fort Smith and Fayetteville have contingency plans in case of an Election Day emergency.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Local law enforcement agencies say they’re prepared to handle anything that may happen on Election Day.

On the last day of early voting, there was a long line of voters outside the Washington County Courthouse.

Fayetteville police expect a similar turnout on Election Day.

“As with any election, we’ll have extra patrols at the polling places, and officers that’ll be the top priority will be to keep an eye on those polling locations to keep everyone safe," said Sgt. Anthony Murphy, with the Fayetteville Police Department. 

Meanwhile, in Sebastian County, the election commission chairman says you won’t see extra security measures at the polls, but local law enforcement agencies have been contacted.

“We’ve notified both the Fort Smith Police Department and Sebastian County Sheriff’s Department of the physical addresses of the vote centers," said David Damron, Sebastian County Election Commission Chairman. 

One change voters will see are two separate lines, one for those with a mask and another for those who choose not to wear one.

“We are cleaning all the equipment for those people that come in without a mask between voters," Damron said.

The Fort Smith Police Department didn’t go into specifics on its strategy going into election day, but a spokesperson says there are plans in place for any situation.

"I don’t anticipate tomorrow being any different. They’ve always respected the right to vote and the constitution of the U.S., and tomorrow we expect the same thing," said Aric Mitchell, Fort Smith Police Department spokesperson.  

Whether you live in the River Valley or Northwest Arkansas, if there is a threat and don't hesitate to call 911.

“Tension is definitely higher in this election than I can remember in previous elections, so we’re defiantly going to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary, and if someone sees something, definitely give us a call. We’re all in this together," Sgt. Murphy said. 

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