Guns at voting sites emerge as flash point in Michigan amid nationwide election tension

Guns at voting sites emerge as flash point in Michigan amid nationwide election tension

Armed members of the “boogaloo” movement hold a rally Oct. 17 at the Michigan Capitol in Lansing. (Seth Herald/Getty Images) As tensions mount ahead of Election Day, a legal battle in Michigan is highlighting fears some officials and civil rights groups have about what will happen when people show up at polling sites with guns — which is legal in numerous jurisdictions across the United States. Michigan, already the site of election-year unease, was thrust into the center of the armed-voter debate after state officials announced a ban on openly carried weapons at polling sites, saying guns could intimidate voters or election workers. Gun rights groups challenged the move in court and have argued it forces Michigan residents to choose between their right to vote and their right to bear arms. Many Americans will be able to show up at their polling locations with guns, something that has unnerved law enforcement officials and experts nationwide at a time of pitched anxiety over whether clashes or violence could break out before, on or after Election Day. Gun rights supporters argue that law-abiding gun owners should be able to continue carrying their weapons where doing so is allowed. Exactly where that is allowed varies widely, echoing the way the country’s election processes vary from state to state. “There are no national rules on guns in polling places,” said Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles and an expert on the Second Amendment. “As with so […]

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