A new DHS funding authorization bill would allow, upon the President’s orders, armed Federal Secret Service agents to be present at voting locations in the next election. You can read the rationale provided by the Secret Service in the linked article. However, there is no purpose to having such agents be dispatched to polling places during a national election.
What would be the need for armed Secret Service agents to be present at voting locations? If lawmakers are concerned about their security at voting locations, local police can provide armed escort. However, if congressional members feel the hatred for them is so high in their districts that they would be in danger by showing their face in public, they need to find a different occupation. After all, they likely wont be winning reelection anyways.
I do not mean to infer that all Secret Service agents are corrupt. They are not. But, it is an undeniable fact that, justifiable or not, certain communities in this country have a long history of distrust of law enforcement and could be intimidated into not voting. In addition, like any human organisation, the Secret Service is prone to abuse in the exercise of its power. The fact that abuse of this proposed power could alter the result of this nation’s fair and free elections, is entirely unacceptable.
We have not even touched on the fact that this proposal would provide a huge incentive for a corrupt President to order dispatch of Federal agents to voting locations for a nefarious purpose: his own assured reelection. Would you, the reader of this piece, trust [insert your most hated President’s name here] not to abuse this power? Obama? Trump? Nixon?
It is interesting that the so called “small government Conservative” Republicans in the house believe it is appropriate for Federal agents to play a role in national elections; which have always been regulated by individual states. The founders decentralized control over the regulation of Federal elections for a reason. Giving the President the power to dispatch Federal agents to voting locations during an election where his political future is to be determined, is a little like trusting the wolf to guard the henhouse. In the end you end up bit.