LANSING, Mich. – The countdown is on until Election Day. The focus is on in-person voting and keeping Michigan voters safe from COVID-19 and possible harassment or intimidation while people wait in line to cast their ballot.
“My understanding is that Michigan State Police are going to enforce the (open carry) ban anywhere that local law enforcement is unable or unwilling to do so,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
Benson said strict COVID-19 safety rules will be enforced, but she is also defending her call to ban openly carried firearms within 100 feet of polling places.
The Local 4 Defenders asked if any credible threats of violence have been made, or are state and local officials seeing evidence of voter intimidation to keep voters from polls?
- Read: Michigan bans open carry of firearms at voting locations on Election Day
- Read: Livingston County sheriff questions open carry ban at polls on Election Day
They said they are not seeing any threats. They are hearing from voters concerned about possible threats.
“The role that voters have asked me to play as the chief election officer is to enforce the law in this way and ensure they are protected on Election Day,” Benson said.
Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon was on a call with Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, coming up with a list of what law enforcement should look for at the polls that would intimidate anyone from going to cast their vote.
Will banning open carry invite open carry protests for law enforcement to deal with?
“It depends upon what people choose to do in expressing what they believe is their Second Amendment right. It always but the police in a precarious position,” Napoleon said.