(PatriotWise.com) — Election officials in several states have warned that a current wave of resignations by election officials in key states could cause additional stress to the country’s election system before the 2024 presidential election, CNN reported.
Election workers have faced a rise in interference, harassment, and threats following the claims of election fraud in the 2020 election.
Throughout 11 Western states, over 160 top election officials have either retired or resigned since November 2020, according to a study by the nonprofit group Issue One.
Issue One also found that the counties with newly hired election officials have reduced the level of experience from about 8 years down to one year.
In Arizona alone, 12 of the state’s 15 county election heads have left since the 2020 election, including one election chief whose dogs were poisoned in a suspected act of retaliation.
In the battleground state of Pennsylvania, nearly 70 county election directors or assistant directors in 40 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties have left since January 2020, according to Republican Al Schmidt, the state’s elections chief.
Issue One CEO Nick Penniman told CNN that the current wave of retirements and resignations is a “national emergency.” He said any private business that experienced a similar loss would “probably go bankrupt.”
Since 2020, 11 states have enacted laws creating new protections for both election officials and poll workers, including making it illegal to threaten an election worker and shielding the home addresses of election officials. Election watchdogs and voting rights groups have urged for further action, including increasing federal funding for elections and expanding a federal law that criminalizes the release of restricted information about federal workers to include election officials.
With some states experiencing a current shortage of not only election officials but poll workers, some counties are stepping up efforts to recruit poll workers.
For information on volunteering as a poll worker, the US Election Assistance Commission encourages volunteers to contact their local board of elections or visit the website Help America Vote.
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