Just days before early voting will begin in North Carolina, state election officials barred local police officers from stationing officers at polling places.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections said the uniformed officers are a form of voter intimidation. If an officer is required to direct traffic or handle parking issues, they must be in plain clothes, the NCSBE said in a memo.
But a local police group says you can’t keep officers out of the polls either to vote or provide security.
“Guidance to our members is that officers should follow department policies regarding wearing uniforms on duty. We also suggest that local [Boards of Elections] should be aware that officers may come to vote in uniform,” the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police said in a statement.
Over the weekend, the NCSBE issued a memo detailing steps to prevent voter intimidation. This year, the NCSBE opted to ban law enforcement from polling precincts.