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US Michigan bans guns at polling places on Election Day

05:15  18 october  2020
05:15  18 october  2020 Source:   cbsnews.com

Why Do Nonwhite Georgia Voters Have to Wait in Line for Hours? Their Numbers Have Soared, and Their Polling Places Have Dwindled.

  Why Do Nonwhite Georgia Voters Have to Wait in Line for Hours? Their Numbers Have Soared, and Their Polling Places Have Dwindled. by Stephen Fowler, Georgia Public Broadcasting Congress works for you. Learn how to be a better boss with the User’s Guide to Democracy, a series of personalized emails about what your representatives actually do. This article is co-published by ProPublica, Georgia Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio. Kathy spotted the long line of voters as she pulled into the Christian City Welcome Center about 3:30 p.m., ready to cast her ballot in the June 9 primary election. Hundreds of people were waiting in the heat and rain outside the lush, tree-lined complex in Union City, an Atlanta suburb with 22,400 residents, nearly 88% of them Black.

Michigan 's secretary of state banned the open carry of guns at polling places and other official voting locations on Election Day in the state. The move comes on the heels of arrests related to an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Fourteen men charged in the cases have ties to

Michigan will not allow the open carrying of guns at polling places , clerk's offices and other locations where absentee ballots are counted, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced Friday. View 2020 presidential election polling . Friday's guidance only applies to Election Day itself, when long

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced Friday that people will not be allowed to openly carry guns "in a polling place, in any hallway used by voters to enter or exit, or within 100 feet of any entrance to a building in which a polling place is located" on Election Day. 

a group of people standing in a field flying a kite: Michigan Capitol-Guns © Paul Sancya / AP Michigan Capitol-Guns

"The presence of firearms at the polling place, clerk's office(s), or absent voter counting board may cause disruption, fear, or intimidation for voters, election workers, and others present," Benson wrote in her memo.  

Individuals can leave their firearms in their cars within 100 feet of a building if they are legally allowed to do so. Benson also noted that concealed carry will not be allowed in any building that already prohibits the practice. 

One piece of alleged extremist plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer included a 'plan to target and kill police'

  One piece of alleged extremist plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer included a 'plan to target and kill police' Law enforcement is on high alert in Michigan as alleged plot involving alleged anti-government activists included targeting police."We're cautious. We're absolutely more careful," said First Lt. Mike Shaw of the Michigan State Police. "This is one of the tactics these anti-government, domestic terrorism groups use. Law enforcement is the face of the government. if you're mad at the government, you're mad at the police.

Concealed guns will be allowed, except in cases where the polling place already bans concealed carry weapons. “ Michigan voters have the right to vote in person on Election Day free from threat and intimidation,” Nessel said.” An armed presence at the polls is inconsistent with our notion of a

Michigan is prohibiting the open carry of guns within 100 feet of polling places amid fears of voter intimidation during the pivotal Nov. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson sent guidance to local election officials on Friday — 18 days before Election Day — to clarify that the open carry of firearms on

The announcement comes amid rising fears of violence on Election Day. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel told Showtime's "The Circus" that they are preparing for "every potential scenario" on Election Day.

"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," she said. "And I feel like it's my job to do everything I can to ensure there is a safe and secure vote, and I'm hopeful law enforcement will agree." 

Joey Roberts, the president of Open Carry Michigan Inc., said Saturday that his organization doesn't feel Benson has the legal authority to ban openly carrying guns. He said the group is currently discussing its options to fight the ban, and he said "ligation is on the table."

Michigan extremists plotted to kidnap Gov. Whitmer, start civil war. Here's why the state is a 'hotbed' for similar groups

  Michigan extremists plotted to kidnap Gov. Whitmer, start civil war. Here's why the state is a 'hotbed' for similar groups Michigan has had a long history of armed groups similar to the Wolverine Watchmen. The group is accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.Michigan has had a long history of groups of armed men and women, which are active in every state, according to Amy Cooter, a senior lecturer at Vanderbilt University, who has studied them for more than a dozen years. Modern armed groups, she said, date to the early 1990s as a response to perceived fears of tyrannical government.

In new guidance to local election officials, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson clarified that the state is prohibiting the open carry of guns on Election Day within 100 feet of polling places , clerks offices, and absentee-vote counting boards in an attempt to curtail voter intimidation.

Guns aren’t banned in those places in Michigan in all situations. I'll admit having a guaranteed day off of school for election day was kind of nice, but I would trade that for sane gun laws any day . I think the laws are tricky. They do prohibit in certain places , but government buildings and schools

"There's been some talk about some gun bans at the state Capitol and that kind of stuff, and we were aware of that, but this caught us all by surprise," Roberts said. 

Michigan's House and Senate have introduced bills to permanently ban guns at the state Capitol building. In April, armed protesters entered the building in Lansing and stood in the gallery above lawmakers during a protest against coronavirus restrictions.

Benson's action  comes just weeks after the announcement of charges against individuals accused of plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer and storm the state Capitol. Two of the 14 individuals charged were photographed at the April protest.

Whitmer has drawn a direct line between the political rhetoric, especially amid the lockdowns, and the alleged plot to kidnap her. When President Trump mentioned her during a recent rally, the crowd chanted "lock her up" and Mr. Trump said "lock them all up."

Whitmer tweeted shortly after Mr. Trump's comments, "This is exactly the rhetoric that has put me, my family, and other government officials' lives in danger while we try to save the lives of our fellow Americans. It needs to stop."

The alleged kidnapping plot against the Michigan governor as told in photos .
A photo series showing how the kidnapping plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer unfolded. Tensions between Whitmer, the state's second female governor, and right-wing activists have been playing out publicly, with large protests through the spring and summer as the governor instituted restrictions to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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This is interesting!