Threats and harassment directed at election workers imperils democracy, too | Editorial
In the not-so-distant past, election workers filled largely anonymous roles. Thanks to the Big Lie they are now forced to endure threats to themselves and their families, just for counting votes.
One year after former President Donald Trump’s decisive loss in his bid for re-election, it’s come to this — being an election official is now considered a high-risk job in some quarters.
Following 12 months of threats and harassment, The Inquirer reports that election officials around the state are bracing themselves for what may come on Tuesday. “I shouldn’t need police protection,” said Lisa Deeley, the city’s top election official.
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It wasn’t always this way, of course. In the not-so-distant past, being an election administrator was a quiet and largely anonymous role. Officials dutifully labored behind the scenes to keep the machinery of democracy rolling smoothly — registering voters, counting ballots, and trying to impose some semblance of order on the chaotic dance that can be Election Day. Whether full-time employees or volunteers, these officials helped make the American Experiment work, without much in the way of either credit or condemnation, for decades.
While election administrators still play that vital role, they no longer do so in obscurity. Thanks to the Big Lie, election workers now are forced to endure threats to themselves and their families, just for counting votes.
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These threats don’t just undermine our political system, they are actively driving some committed public servants out of their jobs, straining the system at a time when it’s coming under a virtually unprecedented level of scrutiny.
As always, The Inquirer encourages you to vote this Election Day. Our endorsement guide, featuring our chosen candidates in key races, is available here. And after these past 365 divisive days of recounts, audits and “forensic investigations,” we appeal to our fellow Philadelphians and voters everywhere to embrace once again the potential of the American Experiment — and to support the efforts of those who work tirelessly to preserve it.