Election officials raise concerns over bill that would let Trump send Secret Service to polls

Election officials raise concerns over bill that would let Trump send Secret Service to polls
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More than a dozen top election officials across the country are raising concerns about a provision in a Homeland Security Department reauthorization bill that would allow President TrumpDonald John TrumpKoch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp Anti-abortion Dem wins primary fight Lipinski holds slim lead in tough Illinois primary fight MORE to dispatch Secret Service agents to polling places.

A letter signed by 19 bipartisan secretaries of state to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP senator blocking Trump's Intel nominee Spending bill delay raises risk of partial government shutdown support GOP leaders to Trump: Leave Mueller alone MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerConscience protections for health-care providers should be standard Pension committee must deliver on retirement promise Dem super PAC launches ad defending Donnelly on taxes MORE (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.

A spokeswoman for the agency denied that the Secret Service agents would be used in a law enforcement capacity, stating that the "clarifying language" was a response to a 2016 incident in which poll workers stopped agents from accompanying a lawmaker to vote over concerns it violated federal law.

“The only time armed Secret Service personnel would be at a polling place would be to facilitate the visiting of one of our protectees while they voted,” Secret Service spokeswoman Catherine Milhoan told the Globe.