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Law Enforcement and ICE at Polls

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All voters are protected against intimidation or reprisal at the polls.

Rumors that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will patrol voting locations have emerged online in the last several years. In 2018, flyers making this claim were found near polling places in Milwaukee, WI. ICE described these flyers as fake. Before the 2016 election, an image circulated on social media appearing to show an immigration officer arresting someone at a polling place. This image was a hoax.

ICE will not patrol or conduct law enforcement operations at polling places, according to the federal agency.

PolitiFact has found that claims about ICE agents patrolling polling places are false. Facebook has flagged posts with this claim as part of its effort to combat false news and information on its News Feed.

Intimidation at the polls has been a recurring problem in American history, but it is rarer today. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 included provisions against intimidation, threats, or coercion at the polls. Some sections of the Voting Rights Act were invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 in the case Shelby County v. Holder, but the sections including protections against voter intimidation have not been invalidated. The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 includes similar voter protections.

Voters that feel harassed or intimidated at the polls, or that see flyers or other advertisements that claim to be from ICE, can report them several ways. Tell your local election officials, your District Attorney, or call the Election Protection Hotline: 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

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