(NewsNation) — The FBI issued a warning Wednesday night, not about foreign actors trying to harm us or conduct cyberattacks. Instead, with the midterms approaching, they warned about threats from fellow Americans against election officials, their staff members, volunteers and contractors.
The FBI said in a statement: “Threats to election workers not only threaten the safety of the individuals concerned, but also jeopardize the stability of the US electoral process.”
The Department of Justice even had to establish a Threat to Election Workers Task Force last year. How can this be happening in this country?
By last August, the department said it had already reviewed more than 1,000 hostile incidents reported by election workers, with 11% of those meeting the threshold for a federal criminal investigation. More than half the threats were in states with lawsuits, recounts or audits after the 2020 election.
The executive director of the Colorado County Clerk’s Association testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee over the summer on the issue.
“It’s our church members, it’s our Elks Lodge members, it’s the PTA. These are the people that are actually conducting the elections,” the executive director said. “We have seen an increase in in threats and intimidation to election workers, too, where we are seeing our counties in Colorado where people are trying to get the information, the names and addresses and telephone numbers of the citizen election workers, so that they can put pressure on them, intimidate them, and it has had a chilling effect on their willingness to participate.”
Trying to get election workers’ addresses and phone numbers to intimidate them? This is nuts.
It’s not just happening in the purple states. Workers are being threatened in Texas, where Donald Trump won easily in 2020. Texas Secretary of State John Scott, also Republican, said misinformation and unfounded claims peddled by Infowars host Alex Jones and others on the far right are leading to death threats against officials and workers.
In an interview, Scott said, “The Infowars guys unleashed hell on our election people. This is insanity. You can’t have people receiving death threats for doing their jobs.”
In all, 30% of the election workforce in Texas has left since 2020. It’s becoming so bad that right now, Dallas County has about half of the 3,000 election workers it needs. Without them, voters could be facing long waits on Election Day. Nonprofits have been trying to recruit more workers, but time’s running out.
Putting aside the absurdity and lack of evidence behind the mass election fraud claims, targeting and threatening election workers is like targeting and threatening Postal Service employees because the price of stamps went up.
They are our neighbors. They’re making sure the booths are set up. They’re handing us our ballots. They get paid very little, if anything at all. They’re fulfilling a civic duty.
Imagine if you heard this three years ago, that the nice people working at the polls are now getting death threats on a regular basis. You wouldn’t believe that. It’s insane that this is our reality, and we cannot let it become normal.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not of NewsNation.