Monday, March 12, 2018

Trump Wants New Authority Over Polling Places

President Trump would be able to dispatch Secret Service Agents to Polling Places Nationwide during a Federal Election, a vast expansion of Executive Authority, if a Provision in a Homeland Security Reauthorization Bill remains intact.

The Rider has prompted outrage from more than a dozen Top Elections Officials around the Country, including Secretary of State William F. Galvin of Massachusetts, a Democrat, who says he is worried that it could be used to Intimidate Voters and said there is “no basis” for providing Trump with this New Authority.

“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,” according to a Letter opposing the Provision that was signed by 19 Bipartisan Secretaries of State and elections Commissioners.

The Letter, sent to the Senate’s Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and its Minority Leader, Charles Schumer (D-NY), on Friday afternoon, requests that the Senate keep the Secret Service Provision from the Final Legislation. The Elections Officials described the Proposal as “unprecedented and shocking.”

“This is an alarming proposal which raises the possibility that armed federal agents will be patrolling neighborhood precincts and vote centers,” according to the Letter.

The Provision is a Rider attached to Legislation that would Re-Authorize the Department of Homeland Security, already Cleared the House of Representatives.

The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs didn’t include the Rider in the Version of the Bill it Approved this week, according to Ben Voelkel, a Spokesman for Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), who Chairs the Senate Committee.

The full Senate must still approve the Bill, and then the Two Versions of the Legislation would need to be Reconciled before going to the President for Approval.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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