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A new report released last week warned that five states are at high risk of election-related armed violence from militia groups.

The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) and MilitiaWatch identified Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Oregon to be at high risk for militia violence around November 3.

In the joint report, ACLED and MilitiaWatch warned that the militias may be active in state capitals, peripheral towns, medium-sized cities, and suburban areas, USA Today reported.

“Militia groups and other armed non-state actors pose a serious threat to the safety and security of American voters,” the report says. “Throughout the summer and leading up to the general election, these groups have become more assertive, with activities ranging from intervening in protests to organizing kidnapping plots targeting elected officials.”

The report, titled “Standing By: Right-Wing Militia Groups and the US Election,” echoes President Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacy in a presidential debate. Instead, Trump told the Proud Boys, a violent, far-right group, to “stand back and stand by,” which has emboldened white nationalists across the country.

ACLED and MilitaWatch identified nine, large multistate right-wing groups that could cause election-related armed violence, including Three Percenters, Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Light Foot Militia, Civilian Defense Force, American Contingency, Patriot Prayer, Boogaloo Bois, and People’s Rights.

“[These armed groups] train for urban and rural combat while also mixing public relations, propaganda works, and ‘security operations’ via both online and physical social platforms to engage those outside of the militia sphere,” the report states, “There is an increasing narrative and trend that groups are organizing to ‘supplement’ the work of law enforcement or to place themselves in a narrowly defined ‘public protection’ role in parallel with police departments of a given locale.”

Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Oregon all permit open carry of handguns and long guns, with few restrictions. However, states including Michigan have banned open carry at polling places. Violence could still spill out across cities and towns leading up to or after election day.

“Still, these risks do not mean that violence is inevitable,” Sam Jones, an ACLED spokesman, said to USA Today. “Voters should not be intimidated. Rather, we hope people are able to use the data to evaluate their own threat environment and organize locally to stay safe, reduce polarization in their communities and, ultimately, mitigate the risk of violence.”

The report also said North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, California, and New Mexico are at a moderate risk of experiencing election-related violence from militia groups.

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