Web Exclusive: Poll watchers ready for election day

(CNN/WXIX) - With the election just a day away, the push to the polls is growing across the country.  Also growing is the importance of the role of the poll watcher.  They have been dispatched to voting precincts to make sure any voting issues are either avoided or addressed.

There were long lines in South Florida and in Cincinnati, Ohio as early voting came to a close and those weren't the only crowds this hotly contested election is attracted. 

"10,000 grassroots and legal volunteers across the country on election day," says Eric Marshall, Election Protection.  "Everywhere.  They are going to be everywhere. They've trained people in 50 states to legally poll watch," says Christian Adams, True the Vote. 
Lawyers and poll watchers of all political stripes descended on Ohio and across the country in search of any issues that need to be challenged.  "We're looking for long lines that might be the result of machines breaking down, uh poll workers that might be asking the wrong questions, asking for ID when they shouldn't be," says Eric Marshall, Election Protection.

Groups like the left leaning Election Protection have been training for weeks so they're ready respond to any problems at the polls in real time.  "With all the changes nationally in the voting laws, I think we're prepared for a significant amount of confusion on election day," says Andrew Schlichter, Election Protection Volunteer.

Former Justice Department lawyer Christian Adams now represents True the Vote, a Tea Party affiliated group with a simple goal.  "Free and fair elections.  True the Vote stands for election integrity.  Follow the law, period," says Christian Adams, True the Vote.

But True the Vote has real critics of their own from the left.  "True to vote has consistently challenged the voting rights of legitimate voters. We must address anybody who tries to deny anybody that right to vote and I -- I consider it criminal. I consider it unpatriotic and -- highly offensive," says Rep. Elijah Cummings, (D) Maryland.

A claim Adams does not take lightly.  "They're liars.  They're bearing false witness against law abiding citizens who are doing no more than observing the process. And they should be ashamed of themselves," says Christian Adams, True the Vote. 

Whatever the election watchers find, it may ultimately be up to super lawyers like Ted Olsen to determine whether to go to court. Olson -- a Romney advisor led Republicans to victory in the Supreme Court battle between George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000.  "I've been clearing my calendar just in case I need to be ready for the next five weeks," says Theodore Olson, 2000 Bush Campaign Lawyer.  He says if elections officials want to avoid litigation, they shouldn't change direction in the middle of the game.  

"If you follow the rules that were in place on Election Day with respect to counting the ballots, then the presumptive outcome will be respected when the Electoral College votes are counted," says Theodore Olson, 2000 Bush Campaign Lawyer.

Poll watchers won't be alone.  The Justice Department is dispatching more than 780 federal observers and monitors to 23 states to watch for potential problems which would violate voting rights.


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