States Call In National Guard For Poll Worker Shortages, Potential Unrests

The National Guard is preparing for deployment on Election Day (November 3) as the last votes are being cast.

The coronavirus pandemic has made less people willing to volunteer as poll workers. Add in the influx of mail-in ballots, and election offices nationwide need assistance. Yahoo! News said at least 10 states have brought in their National Guard troops to help with such tasks, and another 14 are expected to do so this week.

But states are also worried about potential political unrest from election results. The governors of Massachusetts and Oregon have National Guard troops on standby in case of an uproar.

"[With] the electorate sharply polarized, the president warning supporters of a stolen election, and gun sales through the roof," The New York Times wrote. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has 1,000 Guard troops ready. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) declared a state of emergency around Portland. Guard troops trained in crowd control will be ready to assist local authorities to prepare for potential unrest.

“We know that there are some people who might use peaceful election night protests to promote violence and property destruction,” Gov. Brown said Monday (November 2). “That behavior is not acceptable.”

Only the National Guard, not the military, can maintain order domestically. "Still, the president can take control of Guard members and deploy the Army or Marines if he decides protests become an 'insurrection,' Yahoo! News wrote.

Photo: Getty Images

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