As of last week, National Guard troops have reportedly been activated in 10 different states ahead of the Nov. 3 election and 14 more states are expected to activate their guard units this week, according to the New York Times.
National Guard units are being deployed or activated and standing by in anticipation of civil unrest surrounding election day. Videos posted on social media have shown some National Guard units deploying in Pennsylvania and Illinois.
NBC Chicago news photographer George Mycyk tweeted, “Spotted the National Guard coming into Chicago and pulling into McCormick Place.”
Spotted the National Guard coming into Chicago and pulling into McCormick Place. pic.twitter.com/h6Ekzb1Vue
— GeorgeMycykNBC (@GeorgeMycykNBC) November 2, 2020
Another Twitter user tweeted, “BREAKING – National Guard spotted heading towards Chicago.”
BREAKING – National Guard spotted heading towards Chicago.pic.twitter.com/JtWncEurNv
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) November 2, 2020
National Guard troops were also seen in Philadelphia, Pa.
NBC Philadelphia journalist Brandon Hudson tweeted, “National Guard on location at the Park West Town Center shopping plaza. Looters have targeted this place in May/June and last week.”
— Brandon Hudson (@BHudTV) November 2, 2020
The New York Times reported on Monday, Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts ordered 1,000 members of the National Guard to activate on standby in case of unrest following Tuesday’s election.
On Monday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency in the Portland area in anticipation of possible political violence. Oregon Public Broadcasting also reported Brown is also readying National Guard troops for potential deployment.
Reports last week indicated up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops would be deployed to five different Texas cities, but Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris, the adjutant general of the Texas Army National Guard, said there are no plans to send guard troops to polling locations.
“The Texas National Guard continues to support [The Texas Department of Public Safety] guarding historical landmarks such as the Alamo and the State Capitol,” Norris said last week. “To be clear, there has been no request nor plan to provide any type of support at any polling location in Texas.”
Texas Guard spokesman Brandon Jones told the San Antonio Express-News, “We have not been asked to go to any polling locations as of yet. Now that could change, leading up to the election or after the election.”
The New York Times reported hundreds of National Guard troops in various states have also deployed for non-law enforcement roles, including to assist poll workers. In New Jersey and Wisconsin, guard troops have been called in to assist with the elections and are at the polls wearing civilian clothes, so as not to alarm voters by the site of camouflage uniformed soldiers at polling stations.
Wisconsin National Guard spokesman Maj. Joe Trovato told the New York Times, the guard troops were wearing plain clothes because “it creates a sense of normalcy.” Trovato added, “We’re not trying to alarm anyone; we are just trying to support the election.”