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Gainesville attorney serves as poll watcher on Election Day in Florida
Lydia Sartain
Lydia Sartain

A Gainesville attorney served as a poll watcher Tuesday for the Clinton campaign in Florida, one of the country’s fiercest battleground states.

Lydia Sartain worked polling sites at the Titusville Public Library and the North Brevard Senior Center in Brevard County to “ensure the rights of eligible voters to vote freely and without any problems.”

The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign reached out to Sartain about a month ago while looking for lawyers to serve as poll watchers in battleground states.

Sartain said she asked to go to Florida or North Carolina, and a couple of days before the election, the campaign assigned her to an exact location.

With this being the first year all three of her daughters are old enough to vote, the Stewart, Melvin & Frost partner “wanted to set a good example for them” by being involved in the election process. She previously served as a poll watcher in her hometown of Blairsville.

Among the things Sartain was looking for were long lines that could discourage voting and people acting aggressively or intimidating voters. She also could help voters who showed up to the wrong precinct or advise people of why they had to use a provisional ballot.

Florida allows voters registered in that county to work as poll watchers inside, while out-of-state poll watchers can be outside looking for possible problems.

The former Georgia Northeastern Judicial Circuit district attorney said it was interesting seeing the excitement of voters who were old, young and of different races, with many of them bringing their children or grandchildren to show them the process.

Having voted early last week in Gainesville, Sartain said she was glad to see so many people in Florida doing the same, regardless of who they voted for.

“It’s just so important for everybody to vote,” Sartain said. “It’s a privilege. We need to do it.”

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