For some far-right militant groups, Election Day represents more than just the moment America chooses its next president. It’s become a rallying cry to prepare for a far-flung prophecy of impending civil war.
The chatter that began among these groups over the summer — primarily over the Black Lives Matter protests, the presence of antifa and coronavirus restrictions — has taken a darker turn in recent weeks. Fueled by allegations of mail-in ballot fraud, shouted from the president’s Twitter feed and conservative media outlets, a new spate of racial justice protests in places like Philadelphia and paranoia over further coronavirus restrictions, some militias have begun doomsday prepping for Election Day.
So far, the rhetoric has largely been inflammatory posturing, threats and showmanship, according to several researchers who monitor online extremism. And despite scattered reports of militia members showing up with guns to polling stations during early voting, there is no sign of the groups presenting a coordinated threat on Election Day.