Police departments around the nation are not anticipating civil unrest on Election Day despite arguments between liberals and conservatives over whether President Obama’s defeat could spark riots.
In 2008, police departments in Oakland, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia revealed they were taking special precautions in case public reaction to the election spiraled out of control.
Tensions were running high four years ago after the disputed results of the 2000 presidential election and long lines at polling places in poor urban areas in 2004.
James Carville said a month before Obama’s historic victory in 2008 that “it would be very, very, very dramatic out there” if Obama lost, a statement that some commentators interpreted as predicting riots.
Police departments appear much less concerned about this year’s election.
Spokesmen for the Detroit and Philadelphia police departments said no special measures would be deployed for Election Night.
“We’re not anticipating civil unrest on Election Night,” said a spokesman for the Detroit police department who did not give his name. “We’re going to collect the ballots like we usually do. If a situation arises and we need to respond, we’ll respond to the scene and assess.”
In 2008, James Tate, then the second deputy chief of the department, told The Hill that extra manpower would be assigned on Election Night and noted that police had to control rioters who vandalized cars after the Tigers won the 1984 World Series.
Spokesmen for police departments in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus, Miami, Houston and Los Angeles likewise said they were not aware of any special preparations for civil unrest.
Civil rights leaders say they are concerned about disputes over who is allowed to vote and warn there could be a loud public response if poor and minority voters feel they are being disenfranchised.
“I think there are some people that are deeply concerned that we may have something more akin to the shenanigans we experienced in 2000,” said Hilary Shelton, Washington bureau director of the NAACP.
But they do not anticipate rioting. “I think you could see people demonstrating and raising concerns, as we do in our democratic process when something doesn’t go right, when we feel we’re being short[changed] or otherwise cheated,” Shelton said. “I think we’ve seen these things happen in very nonviolent ways. If your question is about moral outrage, I think there would be a demonstration of moral outrage if we experience anything like the shenanigans of 2000”...
Civil rights groups met with representatives from the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe on Tuesday to discuss the monitoring of those states that have witnessed fierce disputes over election law...
Speculation about civil unrest and possible rioting following the election is a sensitive and charged topic that has sparked accusations on both sides.
The liberal website ThinkProgress.org on Tuesday accused the conservative-leaning website Infowars.com of fanning fears of riots in minority communities if Obama loses...
Conservative author Ann Coulter said in a recent interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity that liberals are themselves spreading panic about post-election riots.
“The threats to riot and the claim that abortion will somehow miraculously be illegal in places like California and New York is not going to swing the undecided voters here, Sean,” Coulter said, “though I will note that white liberals are always threatening black riots whenever they’re about to lose an election. Al Gore did it in 2000.”
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Editor's Note: We hope that the New Black Panther Party has been alerted to the fact that they will not be doing anything violent should Mr. Obama lose...but more disturbing than the possibility of a violent reaction to a US election, is the idea that a European organization is being asked to monitor US elections for fraud and criminal activity...and the Progressive Left says we don't need more secured access to the ballot box...
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