Attempted abduction outside polling station leaves residents on high alert

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NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. - There's a scary twist on Election Day for one Volusia County family.

Investigators are looking for the man they said tried to snatch young children from a polling place.

They told Channel 9's Blaine Tolison that a mother left her kids sitting on a bench outside a New Smyrna Beach voting precinct when a man pulled up and tried to lure them into his van.

Authorities are having trouble tracking him down.

It's a busy polling location, but no one seemed to notice him.

The mother said she left her 9- and 7-year-old for just a few minutes when a man approached them.

They were sitting on a bench in the parking lot waiting for her while she voted at the Washington Street polling location.

She didn't know what happened until the ride home when her son and daughter said that a man asked them to get in his van and said there were other children inside for them to play with.

"I think the poll watchers that are at the door should have seen it and I’m glad if they did get a good description, so police have (something) to go on," said resident Leslie Sachs.

Campaign workers said they didn't notice a thing and were surprised because of the large volume of traffic in the area. They’ve since been on high alert.

"I certainly hope that they catch whoever did it and we'll be watching the rest of the day,” said resident Sonny Panholzer. “I understand they have a lookout for a van of some type, a grey or white van."

The kids described a man in a gray van, wearing a gray hat, shirt and pants. Police said he was short, between 5 feet four inches and 5 feet 6 inches.

When he asked the children to get in his van, police said the 9-year-old boy refused and the man then left.

Police have not been able to find the man or his van