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OKLAHOMA HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR ISSUES ELECTION SECURITY BULLETIN TO LAW ENFORCEMENT

10-27-2004

(Oklahoma City) State Homeland Security officials have issued a bulletin to Oklahoma law enforcement agencies, urging them to be especially vigilant during the upcoming November 2 elections. Oklahoma Homeland Security Director Kerry Pettingill stressed that no specific threat had been made against Oklahoma, saying that the call for increased vigilance was strictly a precautionary measure.

?We do not wish to alarm the public, but we do believe it is prudent to ask local law enforcement agencies to be especially vigilant during the election process,? said Pettingill. ?Citizens should feel secure in exercising their right to vote. The staff at OKOHS and I will not hesitate to vote on Election Day and I would encourage others to do the same.?

The bulletin states, ?Through the vigilance of federal, state, local officials and citizens we can ensure that every registered voter has the opportunity to cast their vote. It is our goal to address these election security concerns in a post-September 11 environment in a way which emphasizes being prepared and in no way impedes the opportunity for voters to cast their ballots on Election Day.? The bulletin also encourages local law enforcement to work with facility managers of local polling places and to consider increased patrols on Election Day.

Director Pettingill issued the bulletin as a result of meetings with election officials and information from the United States Department of Homeland Security. ?We have coordinated our efforts with the Governor?s Office and with State Election Board Secretary Mike Clingman to ensure a uniform approach to election security,? stated Pettingill. ?We appreciate the efforts of Governor Henry and State Election Board Secretary Clingman in this issue. The coordination and preparedness of our state and local election boards should be reassuring to all.?

The Department of Homeland Security recently held a secure unclassified briefing on election security issues. The Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, OSBI, Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, and State Election Board Secretary Clingman participated in the briefing. The secure briefing provided no specific Election Day or polling place threat rather it outlined general election security concerns in a post-9-11 environment.