By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services
A three-term Arizona lawmaker wants police posted at every polling place to deal with possible violence he fears could result because of the current divisive and angry political atmosphere.
But Rep. Jay Lawrence, R-Scottsdale, rejected any suggestion that the heightened intensity of feelings has anything to do with the comments and tweets coming out of the White House.
And he doesn’t intend to have the state pick up the cost should HB 2137 become law.
“I would like to have security at every polling station to make certain that if there is a problem at the polling station, someone has a police officer with whom they can speak with regard to the offense that is being seen,” he said.
Lawrence could not cite a single instance in Arizona history where anyone sought to interrupt voting. But he said things are different now.
“Have you ever seen voting as it’s been going on in the last election?” Lawrence said.
“Have you ever seen the discord between political parties that now exists?” he continued. “There has never been a society, save perhaps the Civil War, that was so opposed to each other and so opposed to the thoughts of each other.”
Lawrence said this isn’t about mediating disputes between election officials and people who are told they’re not registered to vote.