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Officials plan for possible election day security alerts
The National Association of Secretaries of State has issued a planning guide, encouraging local elections officials nationwide to come up with contingencies if the homeland security threat level increases prior to or on Election Day.
The stated goal is to ensure a problem-free election. And officials in Franklin County have already put backup plans in place. But Ohio State University law professor and elections expert Daniel Tokaji says security concerns could suppress the vote.
With the election expected to be decided by razor thin margins this year, voter turnout will be a key factor in which candidate wins. Tokaji says there’s speculation that security alerts could be used to sway the outcome.
That argument simply doesn’t make sense so says James Carafono Senior Fellow for homeland security at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank.
Carafono says even if the alert level did rise in the days before the election, he doubts it would have an impact on voter turnout. He says the people who are planning to vote will likely vote regardless of a vague terror threat.
As it stands now, the department of homeland security has no immediate plans to raise the nation’s threat level. A spokesperson says they don’t have any new information to indicate, a place, time or method of attack.