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There’s only one message this morning: get out and vote.
Here’s the good news: more than half of all Americans who will vote in this midterm election have already cast their ballot. Overwhelmingly, they have done so without incident. It has been calm and safe, just like any other year. There are a handful of exceptions — the armed men stalking some drop boxes in Arizona, blocked by a federal court, was the most visible example. But as that ruling reinforced, it is illegal to harass voters or election workers. Law enforcement this year has finally begun to step up to ensure safety.
But even though voters so far are experiencing a calm and normal election process, we all know it is anything but normal.
This is the first election in American history in which political leaders are pushing conspiracy theories and lies about democracy itself. It’s no coincidence that the harassment occurred in Arizona, where prominent election deniers are running for senator, governor, and secretary of state. Michigan is having similar problems. Election deniers are on the ballot for governor and attorney general, while a group is signing up vigilante volunteers to install hidden cameras at ballot drop boxes and carry weapons in anticipation of trouble. There is a straight line between election denial and voter intimidation.
If you experience any form of voter intimidation, you should alert poll workers, local election officials, and the Election Protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE. If you are a poll worker and you experience threats or intimidation, call law enforcement. Police departments across the country are coordinating with election officials to ensure that the 2022 election is safe.
And while the voting process so far has been secure, we know that after the voting is over, the process of counting and certifying results may be the subject of conspiracy theories, violent threats, and fake news, as it was in 2020. If these election deniers lose fair and square, will they ever accept the results? That would itself be a challenge to the norms of our democracy.
Our elections are secure. They are trustworthy. And our polling places are safe. Millions of people have already cast their ballots. I urge you to join them. If you haven’t already, please vote.