U.S. police chiefs worried about armed men at polling stations

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Police are feeling unprecedented pressure to preserve order at the polls

John Clair, the police chief of a rural town in Virginia experienced a particularly hot summer with heavily armed militia men along with other counter-protestors, turning up in droves and engaging in tense standoffs with the peaceful demonstrations of Black Lives Matter protestors.

“People would call me up and ask how I’m doing,” Clair recalled. “And what I’d say is, ‘I’m dealing with the most complex leadership challenge of my career in the midst of the most widespread social crisis in 100 years. But other than that, I’m doing okay.’”

Read More: Trump threatens to send law enforcement to polling places on Election Day

Clair is currently confronting a different kind of leadership challenge: Election Day.

For the past several weeks he’s been trying to figure out how to ensure security at the polls amid the threat of armed troublemakers without scaring away voters who might be offended by the sight of uniformed policemen.

Armed groups say they will show up to polling sites on Election Day, and experts are afraid it will intimidate voters #SmartNews https://t.co/rvY8fn5Zi3

— Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus)


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