Midterms

No, ICE will not be stationed at polling centers looking for immigrants

Voters start arriving to polling centers

Voters started arriving to polling centers early on Election Day. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on November 6, 2018.
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Voters started arriving to polling centers early on Election Day. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on November 6, 2018.

As millions of people head to the polls for the midterm election, there’s at least one thing voters shouldn’t see: ICE agents patrolling the polls.

Rumors began swirling on social media that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents would be patrolling polling stations across the country.

A Milwaukee woman reported finding a flier saying that ICE would be stationed at polling places, and that voters were encouraged to “report illegal aliens,” according to ProPublica. She reported it.

But the agency said earlier in the year that it would not be stationed at polling places and that any suggestions it does are false.

“ICE does not patrol or conduct enforcement operations at polling locations. Any flyers or advertisements claiming otherwise are false,” ICE wrote on Twitter.

President Trump tweeted before the election that law enforcement officials would be looking out for “ILLEGAL VOTING” but did not suggest any would be ICE agents.

Rumors of ICE arriving at polling places are not new. In 2016, doctored photos circulated online that appeared to show an immigration agent arresting someone outside a polling place, Buzzfeed News reported at the time.

The image was photoshopped and the Twitter account that originally posted it is now listed as suspended. Similar photos also showed up on Election Day, according to the site.

Concerns about government agents at polling places have surfaced before.

Elections officials raised the alarm earlier in 2018 after a provision was introduced that would have allowed President Trump to dispatch Secret Service agents to polling places, The Hill reported. The Secret Service said at the time they would only be there to protect an official if they went there to vote, according to the site.

Franklin County Auditor Matt Beaton offers last-minute voters tips to make sure there ballots are counted in time for the November 6 mid-term election.

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