Federal Forces and the Election
How will federal forces impact the election, if at all?
The Center for Strategic & International Studies, a bi-partisan think tank, published a detailed primer on the topic, which includes breakdowns of laws around when federal forces can be deployed and how they can be used.
Three Key Takeaways
- There is no wiggle room when it comes to federal law. A federal official can only deploy federal forces to an election site if “necessary to repel armed enemies” of the United States. It’s a crime otherwise.
- The National Guard, DHS law enforcement and U.S. Marshals Service could be domestically deployed.
- However, “irregular” deployments are still possible due to legal ambiguities. While federal law applies to polling places, whether it includes ballot boxes is not that explicit. And, “armed enemies” could include domestic terrorists.