Election

In Michigan this year, it needs to be said: Voting sites are gun-free safe spaces


October 16, 2020, 10:54 AM

It has come to this: Michigan's top election official feels it's necessary to ban handguns and rifles where we vote.

"The presence of firearms at the polling place, clerk's office(s), or absent voter counting board may cause disruption, fear or intimidation," Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson tells local election officials.

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"Prohibiting the open-carry of firearms in areas where citizens cast their ballots is necessary to ensure every voter is protected,” she adds in a news release.

Friday's written guidance says puts openly carried guns in the same category as campaign signs and other political materials – prohibited within 100 feet of polling places. 

"Election inspectors should contact law enforcement immediately if these prohibitions are violated," the directive says. "The prohibition on open carry does not apply to law enforcement officers acting in the course of their duties."

Benson also provides a no-guns notice (below) that must be posted at each voting site.

The action comes eight days after federal and state law enforcers charged 13 men in an alleged kidnapping plot of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that included plans to storm the state Capitol. Two of the arrested men openly carried weapons during a protest inside the Capitol last April.

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(Image: Michigan Secretary of State)



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