Two temporary Broward County election workers were fired Tuesday after two party representatives got into a dispute at a Pompano Beach precinct.
The two part-time workers were terminated for violating professional standards when they responded to a disagreement between two poll watchers representing the Democratic and Republican parties, said Tonya Edwards, a Broward County Supervisor of Elections spokeswoman.
"Since I wasn't there, all I can say is that they lacked the professionalism we maintain in our standards," Edwards said. "But voting was not disrupted."
A Democratic poll watcher and a Republican poll watcher got into two disagreements about the place inside the polling center they could observe balloting, said lawyer Kevin Tynan of the Broward County Republican Executive Committee. County poll workers diffused the first incident, which occurred about 9 a.m. ET.
A second incident at 10:30 a.m. prompted the workers to summon the Broward County Sheriff's Office to the polling center, which was inside a community center.
“It had to do with where the poll watchers were standing and what they were looking at,” said Tynan, who looked into the incident on behalf of Republican Party. “I think it could have been handled differently but the issue has been diffused.”
Strict rules govern where poll watchers can stand inside a polling place, Edwards. Political parties and candidates are allowed to assign someone to represent them, and their supervision is part of the training county election supervisors give temporary workers.
"They are taught that poll watchers must give voters their privacy and there are only certain things that they can look at," she said.
The two workers were among roughly 10,000 extra part-time employees that the county brings on to manage elections, Edwards said. Through the years, temporary workers have been fired for violations such as sleeping.
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