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NYPD bulletin urges vigilance at polling sites as Election Day nears

NYPD bulletin urges vigilance at polling places
NYPD bulletin urges vigilance at polling places 02:01

NEW YORK -- With less than two weeks to Election Day, an NYPD bulletin is urging vigilance at polling sites. 

There are no specific credible threats to candidates, polling sites or workers in our area. But according to the bulletin, there's a lot of chatter online and generalized threats, CBS2's Alice Gainer reported Thursday. 

Violent extremists, particularly racially and ethnically motivated ones, as well as antigovernment and anti-authority, continue to look at targets like political rallies, poll workers and voting sites, according to the bulletin obtained by CBS News

So where does this intelligence come from? Hostile rhetoric in online forums, chat groups and encrypted channels where false information circulates. 

In July, Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for governor, was attacked by a man during a campaign event outside Rochester. Zeldin was not hurt. 

New York City has more than a thousand public voting sites open from Oct. 29 through Nov. 8. 

"A lot of people say, 'Eh, it's not going to happen here,' but they have to prepare for it as if it's going to be a larger-than-life reality," said Brian Boyd, an intelligence analyst, counterterrorism specialist and former Green Beret who served in the Departments of Defense, Justice and Treasury. 

Boyd pointed to the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

"They underreacted, rather than to prepare for it," said Boyd. 

So what should we expect? 

"The police will be there in their normal way. Some of them will be undercover, some will be in passive reserves, some will be in highly visible, marked vehicles. But they are going to prepare for it the best they can. The average citizen just needs to be very, very aware, much like they would any circumstance and if you see anything, report it," said Boyd. 

Again, there are no specific credible threats in our area. The alert is a reminder to remain vigilant. 

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