2020 provided Americans with an extraordinary lesson on the importance of election officials to our democracy. Amid a pandemic and a flood of disinformation about the election process, these state and local officials managed to run “the most secure election in American history.” It is no accident that now — in the face of the Big Lie that Donald Trump actually won — these officials are a prime target in the attempt to interfere with our elections.
Election officials are facing personal threats and harassment, and state legislatures are creating criminal penalties for normal activities like proactively sending out mail ballot applications. Further, campaigns for election official positions are making this “election denial” a central issue, whether by embracing or attacking it, and many of these normally low-profile races are seeing unprecedented levels of fundraising.
Most troubling, state legislatures have taken steps to strip election officials of the power to run and certify elections, consolidating power in their own hands over processes intended to be free of partisan or political interference. Everyone who believes in democracy must push back against these attempts to subvert fair elections