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Florida elections supervisor says armed men purporting to represent Trump campaign showed up at polling place. Trump campaign says no way.


Convenient timing

Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Trump campaign says that armed men outside a St. Petersburg, Florida, polling place were not sent or hired by the campaign.

Pinellas County's supervisor of elections said that the armed men who set up a tent outside an early voting site this week reportedly insisted they were there on behalf of the president's 2020 re-election campaign.

What are the details?

According to WFLA-TV, Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus said that two armed men set up a tent outside an early voting site on Wednesday and claimed to be with the Trump campaign.

"The sheriff [Bob Gualtieri] told me the persons that were dressed in these security uniforms had indicated to sheriff's deputies that they belonged to a licensed security company and they indicated — and this has not been confirmed yet — that they were hired by the Trump campaign," Marcus told the station on Wednesday evening.

Marcus added, "The sheriff and I take this very seriously. Voter intimidation, deterring voters from voting, impeding a voter's ability to cast a ballot in this election is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in any way, shape, or form. So we anticipated many things going into this election. Not only cybersecurity, but physical security and we had a plan in place and executed that plan."

Gualtieri told the station that he and his officers will do their best to prevent any interference at polling places.

"I just don't want to get too deep into the specifics because we're trying to balance it," he said. "But I'll say it's a combination of uniformed personnel who will be in the area, and also, we're gonna use some undercover personnel just to monitor the situation."

A spokesperson for the Trump campaign told the station, "The campaign did not hire these individuals, nor did the campaign direct them to go to the voting location."

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