In news from the U.S. overnight President Donald Trump is now threatening to send police officers to U.S. polling stations during the November election.
Initial reactions to the news claim the president is trying to make it harder for individual voters to cast their ballot.
However, although president, Trump does not hold all the cards in just how elections are run.
The president’s idea first went public as part of a Fox News interview with right wing host Sean Hannity with Mr. Trump hinting at asking both local and federal police to attend voting stations – presumably to counter the voter fraud the president has claimed will be a part of the election.
“We’re going to have everything,” Trump said. “We’re going to have sheriffs, and we’re going to have law enforcement, and we’re going to hopefully have U.S. attorneys and we’re going to have everybody, and attorney generals. But it’s very hard.”
In making the “very hard” claim, Trump is correct. Current U.S. federal law forbids the dispatch of “troops or armed men” to voting stations, although military personel, and not police, can be used if needed to help “repel armed enemies of the United States.”
As is, in this regard, the president really has no authority despite his desired intent; something House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was presumably well aware of when the told the electorate not to pay “any attention” to the president on the issue.
“It’s scary. But ignore that,” Ms. Pelosi of Trump’s remarks. “It’s a suppress-the-vote tactic.”