PHOENIX (AP) — Election officials told a congressional committee Tuesday they’ve received graphic threats to their safety since the 2020 election and warned that pressure on election workers is a threat to democracy.
Experienced election administrators are increasingly leaving the field as they face unsupported accusations of manipulating election results, a bipartisan group of state election officials told the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.
“It’s not worth it any more for these not-very-high-paying jobs, combined with the level of threat they’re experiencing at the moment,” Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who is running for governor, said.
Hobbs has at times had round-the-clock security due to threats from supporters of former President Donald Trump who falsely claim that his loss in Arizona was marred by fraud. She described threatening phone calls to her office and said critics tried to get her husband fired from his job.
Most prominently, a post-election review led by the Arizona Senate Republicans confirmed Biden’s victory in Maricopa County but spread falsehoods about malfeasance that ignored basic facts about how elections are run.
This leading to many threatening phone calls which died down after President Biden was sworn into office, but has recently resurfaced after the push for the 2020 election review.
And now an exodus of experienced election workers believe this will have ripple effects that undermine the ability to efficiently run trustworthy elections.
“That could mean longer wait times, closure of polling places, a rise of voter intimidation and harassment at the polls and widespread loss of confidence in elections,” said Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.