1 in 3 local election officials are concerned about facing harassment and feeling unsafe on the job, a new poll shows

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Louisa Boyer, a provisional election judge, reviews paperwork at a voting center in Baltimore, MD
In this April 28, 2020, file photo, Louisa Boyer, a provisional election judge, reviews paperwork at a voting center at Edmondson High School as voters arrive to cast their ballot in the 7th Congressional District special election in Baltimore AP Photo/Julio Cortez, file
  • One in three local election officials say they are concerned about their safety on the job, a new poll shows.

  • Thirty-nine percent expressed concerns about facing pressure to certify the election results.

  • The poll comes after a chaotic election year in which officials faced death threats.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

One in three local election officials say they are concerned about harassment and their safety on the job, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The Brennan Center for Justice, a policy institute at New York University School of Law, reported that 35% of local election officials surveyed across the country said they were worried about being harassed in real life and on social media during the 2020 election cycle. Thirty-nine percent expressed concerns about facing pressure to certify the election results, and 31% said they were anxious about feeling unsafe at work.

The online survey was commissioned by the Brennan Center and conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group in the first week of April with a sample size of 233 local election officials. The margin of error is plus or minus 6.4%.

The new data comes after a chaotic election year in which officials faced harassment and numerous threats of violence in several states. One in six local election officials surveyed said they experienced threats because of their job.

Insider reported in November on a PBS investigation that showed election officials receiving an increasing number of death threats in key states where then-President Donald Trump had been trying to overturn the results.

Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger voiced concerns at the time about death threats directed at him and his wife. A Republican, Raffensperger certified the state's results for President Joe Biden's victory, drawing the ire of Trump.

Similarly, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, said she faced "ongoing and escalating" threats as did her family and staff when the state certified Biden's win.

"Let's burn her house down and kill her family and teach these fraudsters a lesson," said one social media post aimed at Hobbs, according to the Associated Press.

An overwhelming majority of local election officials interviewed said they believe social media is largely to blame for divisiveness in the country.

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