This has been one of the most divisive election campaigns in history and there are concerns that there could be election day violence regardless of the results. Tempers have run high across the country during the 2016 cycle, with punches thrown at a few campaign events; some of that violence incited by Clinton campaign political activists.
The Hill reports,
The Hill reached out to more than a dozen police departments across the country to inquire if they’re preparing enhanced security plans for Nov. 8. Those that responded said they aren’t making different security preparations than usual, at least for now.
Things took a darker turn over the weekend when a North Carolina GOP campaign office was firebombed, and armed protesters stationed themselves outside a Virginia Democratic congressional candidate’s campaign office.
GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s repeated warnings that the election is being rigged against him is a new factor. At Wednesday’s debate, he refused to say he would accept the results.
Trump has also offered racially-tinged warnings of possible voting fraud in cities with large African-American populations, including Philadelphia and Chicago. He’s called on his supporters to sign up as “election observers,” asking volunteers to sign up on his campaign website to “Help Me Stop Crooked Hillary From Rigging This Election!”
The possibility of Trump volunteers clashing with Clinton voters would be more likely if a number of people take up Trump’s call.
Both parties typically have poll watchers across locations where people vote. Local political parties frequently nominate officials like clerks and inspectors to conduct voting. Candidates and parties then have an additional layer of oversight by sending poll watchers to observe and monitor the election officials.
Poll watchers can point out perceived irregularities or errors to the election officials. Beyond that, party lawyers are available to assist if officials reject the poll watchers’ claims.
Officials in one of the states where Trump and his supporters have suggested there could be fraud say there is no credible threat of violence, and that they have no plan to beef up the police presence.
“At present, there is no credible threat that would affect the conduct of the upcoming election,” Pennsylvania Secretary of State Pedro A. Cortés said in a statement.
“Still, we remain vigilant and will continue to work closely with our partners to monitor potential incidents and respond quickly should the need arise,” said Cortés, who noted that his department has been coordinating with local and federal law enforcement.
Pennsylvania is one of the most hotly-contested states in the country, and Trump supporters have noted news reports about precincts in Philadelphia that in 2012 reported no votes from GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
Reporters for The Philadelphia Inquirer searched for GOP voters in the predominately African American precincts that reported no votes for Romney, but were unable to find any who voted for the GOP nominee.
Police presence at polling locations vary by state. In Pennsylvania, for instance, uniformed law enforcement can’t come within 100 feet of a polling place unless called by an election judge or county Board of Elections.
Read the full story at The Hill