Top election officials across the country, both Republicans and Democrats, are raising concerns about a provision in a Homeland Security Department reauthorization bill that would allow President Trump to station Secret Service agents at polling places during federal elections.
A letter signed by nineteen secretaries of state and sent to both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) demands the Senate remove a proposal from the bill that would allow Secret Service agents to accompany lawmakers to polling places when they vote.
Their letter, according to the Boston Globe,
This is an alarming proposal which raises the possibility that armed federal agents will be patrolling neighborhood precincts and vote centers. There is no discernible need for federal secret service agents to intrude, at the direction of the president, who may also be a candidate in that election, into thousands of citadels where democracy is enshrined.
Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin says he’s worried that it could be used to intimidate voters. He also said there is “no basis” for providing Trump with this new authority:
This is worthy of a Third World country. I’m not going to tolerate people showing up to our polling places. I would not want to have federal agents showing up in largely Hispanic areas. The potential for mischief here is enormous.
Trump has accused Massachusetts residents of illegally casting ballots in New Hampshire as a part of a vast voter fraud scheme he believes cost him New Hampshire’s electorial college votes during the 2016 general election—but no evidence has been found that any such voter fraud occurred, with elections officials in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts saying there were no widespread irregularities.
Trump has also said that illegal ballots cast in other parts of the country cost him the popular vote, which he lost by nearly 3 million ballots. Here again there has also been no evidence whatsoever that there was widespread fraud.
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