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As political tensions rise, Pulaski County works to keep voters safe at the polls

After an incident at a polling location in Little Rock, officials told us how they plan to keep it safe for all voters.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — In a contentious midterm election year with national politicians already seeing threats, Pulaski County is working hard to keep everyone safe.

Pulaski County election commissioner Sydney Rasch said voters while voters might feel strongly about their candidate, when it comes down to it, voters need to leave their passion at the door, or rather 100 feet away from it.

"We definitely want to ensure that voters don't feel intimidated at the polls," Rasch said.

But on Friday, at one Little Rock polling site, things got heated when some mayoral candidate supporters allegedly showed concealed handguns to intimidate the other side's voters.

RELATED: Early voting altercation causes Little Rock mayoral candidate to step in

Things were de-escalated without any major problems, but it begs the question-- what's in place to keep you safe?

"We've got precautions in place," Rasch said. "If you feel unsafe going to the polls, if there's any reason you can always call the police."

And while law enforcement like Little Rock Police are on standby if needed, and will have extra patrols, they don't expect there to be many issues.

Long serving poll workers like Cheryl Yopp at the Laman Library site added she feels just as safe this year as she always has.

"We have not had any safety issues at the library in the last 17 years," Yopp said.

At Laman, Yopp is even taking strategies previously used for social distancing and using the to direct voter traffic and avoid confrontations altogether.

"I have it directed where you come in one door and go out another so you don't ever cross people," Yopp explained.

As for if firearms are allowed around the polls? It all depends where the polling site is.

Rasch shared that while, "There's no law that explicitly prohibits guns at polling locations," election workers "revert to just other state laws, which prohibit guns in locations such as libraries, churches."

All election staff coming together to protect voters, and their right to vote.

"It's important to get your opinion out there. Don't write it on Facebook, come vote and show your opinion," Yopp added.

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