Election judges could be armed come midterm elections - FOX34 Lubbock

Election judges could be armed come midterm elections

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Firearms are not allowed at poll sites while voters are casting ballots here in the state of Texas according to the Texas penal code.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton put out a formal opinion offering guidance on arming election judges in November. He cited Hooks v State which ruled judges given the authority by district courts are allowed to keep guns at polling places. Attorney General Ken Paxton's opinion came in response to a lawmakers inquiry on the eve of the primary elections in March. 

Presiding election judges who are licensed to carry could be allowed to bring guns if an advisory is officially issued by the Texas Secretary of State's office. This agency oversees the election and its process. 

"I have read through it and others here in Lubbock county have read through it we are to await an advisory from the Secretary of State's office," said Neal Burt, Civil Division Chief for the Lubbock County District Attorney's office. "The advisory will give more information and guidance of exactly how this particular AG opinion is going to affect our election cycle. "

There is no expected date as to when the Secretary of State's office will release the advisory, but it can come sooner than later. The opinion forbids election workers and voters to carry and limits judges to carrying at government building polls. It also blocks them from carrying at colleges or universities that restrict weapons on campus.

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