Minnesota Secretary of State says Trump's idea of police at polls 'can't happen'

In an interview with Sean Hannity on FOX News on Thursday, President Trump said police are going to be stationed at the polls on Nov. 3 to prevent voter fraud.

Trump says that on election day he's going to send law enforcement to polling locations pic.twitter.com/OpaYvUBY8P

— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) August 21, 2020

“We’re going to have everything,” is how the President put it.

Minnesota’s Secretary of State had a definitive response.

"I knew that that's not something that's permitted under state or federal law," Steve Simon told WCCO. "We've dealt with that from time to time in Minnesota. So that's why I was familiar with it. And I just wanted to reassure people. Whoever's suggesting that whether it was the president or a governor or someone else, if that can't happen, you can always of course, call in law enforcement. If there's an incident, if someone pulls out a gun at a polling place or someone faints or anything like that, that's fine. Of course. But you can't in advance preemptively, deploy law enforcement at polling places. That's really clear."

Steve Simon posted the message on Twitter in response to the President's telephone interview broadcast on FOX News Thursday night.

“We’re going to have sheriffs, and we’re going to have law enforcement. And we’re going to have hopefully U.S. attorneys, and we’re going to have everybody and attorney generals,” said Trump during the interview with host Sean Hannity. 

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Trump has told his supporters during campaign stops that only a rigged election will keep him from winning a second four-year term.

He also has not said whether he’ll abide by the results of the election.  

Voting rights activists say stationing police at polls is tantamount to voter intimidation, and Simon agrees."I can see how people would come to that conclusion. Hhe shouldn't be talking about that. If he knows or has reason to know that you can't do it under federal or state law, so it's not helpful. Let's put it that way."

According to Minnesota statute 204C.06, the Secretary of State is right. Subdivision 6 states:    

"Peace officers.  Except when summoned by an election judge to restore the peace or when voting or registering to vote, no peace officer shall enter or remain in a polling place or stand within 50 feet of the entrance of a polling place."