Columbus, Ohio: This week’s gripping testimony to Congress about threats to local election officials after the 2020 presidential election had a rapt audience far beyond Washington — secretaries of state and election clerks across the U.S who said the stories could easily have been their own.
Death threats, harassment, and unfounded accusations have driven local election officials from their jobs, unprecedented attacks that many say threaten not just themselves but American democracy itself.
A day after the local election office in Medford, Oregon, certified the results from the 2020 election, workers found a message spray-painted on their parking lot: “Vote Don’t Work. Next Time Bullets.”
“We spent the rest of the day pretty much in shock that this had happened here,” Jackson County Clerk Chris Walker testified during a hearing earlier this year on state legislation to protect election workers. “The noise happening around the country had hit home.”
At Tuesday’s hearing of the House committee, a mother and daughter who were election workers in Georgia brought the sense of danger into stark relief. They testified they feared even saying their names in public after Trump wrongly accused them of voter fraud.