19 States Just Responded To Trump’s Plan To Send Secret Service To Polling Places
Top election officials across the country are raising concerns about a provision in a Homeland Security Department reauthorization bill that would allow President Trump to dispatch Secret Service agents to polling places.
The Trump administration, aided by its Republican allies in Congress, tried to surreptitiously hide the controversial law as a small provision in a bigger bill that everyone else in Congress is anxious to pass, hoping that either it will be willfully ignored because the main provisions are too important to hold up over a debate about the merits of a teensy little amendment or that in the haste to pass the bill nobody notices this little section here.
But the Boston Globe on Sunday revealed a stealth provision hidden in the bowels of a bill to reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security that would allow President Trump to send Secret Service agents to polls across the country during a federal election, prompting a swift response from election officials.
A letter signed by 19 bipartisan secretaries of state to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) demands the Senate leave out a proposal from final legislation that would allow Secret Service agents to accompany lawmakers to polling places when they vote.
“This is an alarming proposal which raises the possibility that armed federal agents will be patrolling neighborhood precincts and vote centers,” reads a letter obtained by The Boston Globe.
“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,” the letter continues.
One of the letter’s signatories, Democratic Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin called the DHS proposal “worthy of a Third World country.”
“This is worthy of a Third World country,” said Galvin. “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,” he added.