Michigan troopers will watch polls in counties where sheriffs may ignore voter intimidation, Nessel says


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Amid increasing concerns about voter intimidation, Michigan plans to dispatch state troopers to polling places in counties where officials fear local sheriffs may not enforce the law, Attorney General Dana Nessel said Sunday on Showtime’s The Circus.

Election officials across the country are bracing for potential trouble as President Donald Trump continues to call for an “army” of supporters to “monitor” voting.

Those concerns are amplified in places like Barry County, where Sheriff Dar Leaf appeared to defend the suspects in a plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Nessel said the state is preparing “for every possible scenario.”

"If you have a county sheriff that seems to be sympathetic to any of these organizations and we think they're not going to enforce the laws, then we'll get somebody else who will, the Michigan State Police," Nessel said.

In some states with early voting, Trump supporters have gathered outside polling stations, making voters feel unsafe. In Fairfax County in Virginia, a Democratic stronghold, election officials helped voters access their polling location after dozens of Trump supporters, many of whom weren’t wearing masks, stood in the way on a sidewalk outside the building, waving flags and Trump 2020 banners.

“The most important thing is this: We don’t want people to harass voters when they are in the process of exercising what is a fundamental right, which is their right to vote,” Nessel said. “I feel like its my job to do everything I can to make sure that there is a safe and secure vote. I am very hopeful that law enforcement will agree.”

On Friday, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson issued a directive banning the open carry of guns outside polling places, clerk’s offices, and absent voter counting boards on Election Day.

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