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Some of the proposals in PODA respond directly to vulnerabilities in presidential power exploited by the Trump administration, according to Dayton and Lindgrensavage.

Now's the time for a cross-partisan push to stop future abuse of presidential power

Dayton is a policy advocate and Lindgrensavage is a counsel at Protect Democracy, a nonprofit group advocating for policies that "prevent our democracy from declining into a more authoritarian form of government." Dayton once worked for a GOP House member and Lindgrensavage for a Democratic senator.

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Good-government groups protest military force against protesters.

Laws limit military role in quelling election unrest

As a momentous election draws closer, government leaders and law enforcement agencies are preparing for a contested election and ensuing civil unrest. The FBI and Department of Justice are getting ready for election-related violence. And National Guard leaders have assembled rapid-response forces in two states to deal with potential disruptions.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley has been unequivocal that the military should play "no role" in a U.S. election. "Zero," he said. In fact, it is a federal crime to deploy troops to polling places. But what if there are protests, including when voters have already cast their ballots but the final results remain uncertain?

To be clear, if there is any election unrest, the federal government should not be the one handling it. Elections are run at the local and state levels, so those law enforcement agencies should respond. Yet there's concern the president and his allies may try to interfere with election outcomes by deploying — or threatening to deploy — military forces and turn American streets into "battle spaces."

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Balance of Power
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Congress is losing ground on the budget; it's time it claws that power back

Hedtler-Gaudette is a policy analyst at the Project On Government Oversight, a nonpartisan group that investigates misconduct and conflicts of interest by federal officials. Dayton is a policy advocate at Protect Democracy, a nonprofit working "to prevent our democracy from declining into a more authoritarian form of government."

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