Local election officials in the U.S. are reporting increasing worry regarding threats and a heated political environment surrounding election integrity throughout the country.
The political pressure that has come after the last election season, filled with baseless allegations of voter fraud in the last presidential race, has at least one in five local U.S. election officials reporting that they feel somewhat, or very unlikely to keep working in those jobs into the 2024 election season, according to a national survey on Thursday, Reuters reported.
According to Voice of America, the poll surveyed nearly 600 election officials with more than 75% reporting that threats against those in their jobs have increased in recent years.
Reuters has documented, in their reporting, various incidents of intimidation and harassment of election workers after the 2020 presidential race. More than 900 hostile or threatening messages to election staff and workers have been documented in 17 states, in that time.
Al Schmidt, a former Republican Philadelphia City Commissioner, said he has received death threats.
Schmidt said, "The consequence of this threat environment is that you have more people leaving and they're replaced by less experienced election administrators or people who want to undermine confidence in our system of government."