Getting spit on. Death threats. Threatening phone calls. Those aren’t the expectations election workers have when they show up to work the polls on Election Day, but they have become a regular occurrence amid continued fallout from the 2020 election.
We’ve covered this issue in a previous newsletter, but since then, a handful of Democratic-led states have enacted legislation to protect election workers, while a few more are considering similar bills.
Most of these measures deal with concealing identifying information of election workers and creating new criminal penalties for harassing them.
For example, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee in late March signed a bill into law that makes it a felony to harass election workers online. The new law also allows election workers and their families to hide their address if they are targets of threats.
A similar bill was enacted in Oregon recently, and the Maine legislature passed similar protections last week.
Meanwhile, California, Colorado and Vermont lawmakers are considering bills in the same vein.
Proponents say such laws are necessary as election workers continue to face an uptick of threats and harassment. Read more.