As the nation prepares for Election Day and the possibility of civil unrest in the following days, the Illinois National Guard is in a “state of readiness” and prepared to respond to communities throughout the state, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.
The National Guard has landed in Chicago. Yes, those are mounted machine guns on the turrets. https://t.co/jwgqHzHqED
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) November 2, 2020
No guns mounted, there is a CROW system in place of the turret. It’s an optical/aiming system that *can* have a weapon mounted but these do not currently.
BREAKING – National Guard spotted heading towards Chicago.pic.twitter.com/JtWncEurNv
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) November 2, 2020
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Illinois National Guard said the agency won’t “discuss the specifics of troop movements or future plans out of concern for the safety of the troops involved.”
According to a tweet issued Monday afternoon from Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications, the city of Chicago has not made calls to deploy the National Guard in the city.
The City has not made any calls to deploy the National Guard in Chicago. Similar to past emergency preparedness plans, the State has stationed personnel at McCormick Place to be ready to respond if needed, however, there are currently no plans for them to be deployed. https://t.co/EoxZiw90Rs
— Chicago OEMC (@ChicagoOEMC) November 2, 2020
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.”
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.
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.