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As Fears Mount, Elections Chief Says Voter Intimidation Can Lead To Jail

Voters at election polling booths
Voters at election polling booths Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Phil Roeder from Des Moines, IA, USA - 11.2.2010 election da; 291/365, CC BY 2.0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=79215983

Addressing concerns about voter intimidation at the presidential polls in November, the Connecticut Secretary of State and Attorney General have issued statements reiterating the laws that protect voters.

While no formal threat has been made against voters, rumors of an “army for Trump” showing up to the booths carrying weapons.

“Every eligible voter in Connecticut must be able to exercise their fundamental right to vote,” said Secretary of State Denise Merrill.

The Trump organization is literally calling for an “army” of poll watchers, but there has been no official directive from Trump for these people to carry weapons. However, political analysts say Trump’s popularity with the far-right and militias means that he is encouraging armed radicals to appear at the polls, according to a well-sourced article in The Guardian and other media reports.

In her statement, Merrill cited federal and state laws that should keep people carrying weapons away from polling places. If someone is found guilty of this, they face up to 10 years in prison. Intimidating voters without the use of a weapon carries a sentence of up to one year in prison.

“Both Connecticut and federal law offer strong protections to voters against intimidation,” Merrill said, “and veery election official in Connecticut, from my office to poll workers in each town, must be vigilant in protecting our citizens to ensure that every eligible voter in Connecticut is able to safely cast their vote without intimidation.”

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