Many election workers say they are done with the job

Twenty percent of local election officials are ‘very’ or ‘fairly unlikely’ to continue in those positions in the 2024 presidential election, according to a new investigation indicating a sense of unease among officials running US elections.

The survey, released by the Brennan Center, puts data on anecdotal reports that politicians’ attacks on the electoral system have spurred an increase in election worker turnover.

According to the survey by Benenson Strategy Group, one in six local election officials said they had experienced threats, and more than half of those cases were not reported to law enforcement.

Nearly one in three respondents said they knew at least one election worker who had left their job at least in part due to fears for their safety, threats or increased intimidation, and the vast majority of election officials surveyed, three out of four said they felt threats against them had increased in recent years.

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The investigation comes more than a year after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, itself fueled by months of lies by then-President Donald Trump about election officials plotting to steal an election.

And these threats continued.

“I think if you are involved in electoral fraud, then you deserve to be hanged,” Shawn Smithan influential conspiracy theorist in the “Big Lie” scene, said last month after claiming evidence of criminal conduct by Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D).

Notably, more than half of respondents to the Brennan Center survey said they were concerned new election officials would buy into the “widespread fraud” narrative applied by Donald Trump and others to the 2020 election results.

They have reason to believe it: Tina Peters, Colorado county clerk who has lined up along with Smith, was indicted on Wednesday for a scheme that allegedly involved criminal impersonation and deceptive state officials updating her county’s election machinery. The alleged scheme “triggered the possible distribution of confidential information to unauthorized persons,” a Colorado grand jury has heard.

The survey found that most election officials love their job and respondents mostly agreed that they became election officials in the first place because “it’s an opportunity to serve my community.” and “I want to make sure that the electoral process is going as it should”. .”

Of the 20% of respondents who said they were unlikely to run in future elections, the most common reasons given were that “too many political leaders are attacking a system they know is fair and honest. “, at 33%, “my work as a local election official adds a lot of unnecessary stress”, at 30%, and “I am reaching retirement age”, at 29%.

The survey was based on 596 interviews with local election officials, conducted online between January 31 and February 14. The margin of error was 3.95%.

About Jessica J. Bass

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