Federal Authorities Prepare for Civil Unrest on Election Day
The FBI and others are quietly working on a contingency plan.
In less than one month, Americans the nation over will be preparing to head to the polls to cast their votes in what has been referred to by many as “the most important election of our lifetime”.
This is a civic duty of the utmost importance, and something that Americans of all political stripes take great pride in. We are a free nation, after all, and being given the voice of our vote is one of the great freedoms that the Founding Father installed all those years ago.
But this election has been fueled by a very real political divide here in America, with increasing bouts of violence over the course of the last year. Now, federal authorities are growing concerned that this agitation could spill over into a violent election day brouhaha, and they are taking steps to mitigate that risk.
Bracing for possible civil unrest on Election Day, the Justice Department is planning to station officials in a command center at FBI headquarters to coordinate the federal response to any disturbances or other problems with voting that may arise across the country, officials familiar with the matter said.
Though the Justice Department monitors elections every year to ensure voters can cast their ballots, officials’ concerns are more acute this year that America’s toxic politics, combined with the potential uncertainty surrounding vote tallies, could produce violent demonstrations or clashes between opposing factions, those familiar with the matter said.
Preparations have been underway in recent weeks to deal with a wide range of possible problems, the officials said. Like others, they spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions.
There are concerns among political experts that the vast array of voting methods being utilized in 2020 could lead to a delay in election results, and possibly jarring swings in the race as ballots are counted over the course of several days. This uncertainty is concerning, as it could compound the stress that Americans are already feeling about the election itself.
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