US One in three U.S. election officials feels unsafe - survey
Arizona GOP’s Focus on Election Fraud Pushing Away Independent Voters, Pollster Says
Harping on election fraud may spell electoral defeat for Arizona Republicans.The research indicates that while the issue of election fraud is important to the Arizona Republican base — the kind of voters who turn out in primaries — the party could struggle to build the broad coalition necessary to win general elections if they continue to emphasize the issue.
(Reuters) - One in three U.S. election officials feels unsafe on the job and one in six reported being threatened because of their work, according to a survey published Wednesday by New York University’s nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice.
The results reflect a reckoning in the wake of election in which the loser, former Republican President Donald Trump, spent months falsely alleging the contest was "rigged" against him. Those claims sparked threats and actual violence, such as the deadly U.S. Capitol riots on Jan. 6.
Polls show little evidence of difficulty voting in 2020 elections
Polling shows voting was easy and wait times weren't long — surprisingly uniform results across racial and ethnic groups. Those of us who study public opinion don't rely on a single survey to form our inferences. The results of the VSG survey confirm those of earlier surveys from the Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic in 2018, NPR/Marist Poll in 2018, and NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll in 2020.What does the research show?None of eight possible impediments in the VSG survey was experienced by more than 3 percent of Americans nationally.
A Reuters investigation published on Friday https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-trump-georgia-threats found that election workers and their families continue to face threats and intimidation months after Trump's loss in November to Democrat Joe Biden. The intimidation has been particularly severe in Georgia, where Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and other Republican election officials refuted Trump's stolen-election claims.
Election officials' fears for their safety portend major staffing problems in future votes, the Brennan Center said.
“Large numbers of election officials have resigned in the past year, raising alarm bells. But the wave of departures could soon turn into a tsunami,” said a report produced jointly by the Brennan Center and the Bipartisan Policy Center, a centrist Washington think tank.
Voting rights fight has distracted Congress from a more pressing threat to democracy, activists say
Congressional Democrats are pushing a bill that would expand voting rights, but they’ve done nothing to deal with the rising threat of state legislatures making it easier to change election results after voters have cast their ballots. A new report released on Thursday offered the latest warning about a serious threat to election integrity and democracy itself, activists argue — one that has gone largely overlooked as Democrats have focused their attention on making it easier to vote. “These are the ingredients for a democracy crisis,” said the report from Protect Democracy, a left-leaning legal advocacy group.
The Brennan Center surveyed 233 local election officials across the country between April 1 and 7. The survey had a 6.4% margin of error, the center said.
Many election workers who were surveyed blamed social media for spreading falsehoods. About 54% of election officials said social media made their work more dangerous and 78% said it made it more difficult. Those findings reflect a dangerous rise in disinformation, the report from the two research organizations said.
Trump's false claims that voter fraud cost him the election spread quickly among supporters over social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter and other online forums.
"This disinformation has indelibly changed the lives and careers of election officials," the report said, calling on technology and media companies to help slow the spread of disinformation.
The two research centers urged the Department of Justice to create "an election threats task force" to work with federal, state, and local law enforcement to investigate threats against officials and poll workers. The report urged states to protect election employees' personal information and pay for security measures such as home intrusion detection systems.
Customer experience now the top technology priority, but organizations aren't quite ready
A focus on CX implementations helps companies see greater rewards. Focus is the key word here. 'A lag in consensus building negatively impacts time to market.'The challenge was surfaced in a survey of 1,420 IT decision-makers released by RackSpace Technology, which found that focusing on CX implementations helps companies see greater rewards. Organizations that adopt a CX-led focus enjoy 1.6x higher brand awareness, 1.5x more employee satisfaction and nearly double their rates of customer retention, repeat purchases, average order values and customer lifetime value.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland acknowledged the rising threat to election workers in a speech on Friday. Garland, a Biden appointee, said his Justice Department will aggressively protect voting rights at a time when many Republican-led states are tightening election laws.
"We have not been blind to the dramatic increase in menacing and violent threats against all manner of state and local election workers, ranging from the highest administrators to volunteer poll workers," he said. "Such threats undermine our electoral process and violate a myriad of federal laws."
U.S. elections are run by two kinds of workers - permanent staffers employed by officials such as secretaries of state, and large numbers of temporary workers brought in to manage polling places on election days. Those temporary workers are vital to the process - guiding voters, answering questions, verifying IDs - and they work long hours for low pay.
Even before November's contested election, counties and local governments struggled to fill these roles. The federal U.S. Election Assistance Commission found that in the 2016 presidential vote, 65% of jurisdictions nationwide reported that it was “very difficult” or “somewhat difficult” to recruit enough poll workers.
The Brennan Center report said that as of last year, almost 35% of local election officials were eligible to retire by the 2024 presidential election.
“It is not clear who will replace them, nor whether those willing to take the job in the future will share the commitment to free and fair elections that was so critical in 2020,” the report said.
(Reporting by Jason Szep. Editing by Brian Thevenot)
Reports detail tense moments with Georgia election monitors .
ATLANTA (AP) — As a pair of election workers sat at a table counting ballots during an audit of Georgia's presidential election in November, no fewer than eight Republican monitors swarmed around them, hurling accusations of voter fraud and taking photos in violation of the rules. This was one of several tense situations involving party monitors that independent election monitor Carter Jones documented in reports produced during the several months he spent observing election operations in Fulton County to ensure that officials in the state's most populous county were complying with a consent agreement.