‘Madness caught’ ahead of US midterm elections: local election officials fear safety

In the office of the Shasta County Clerk and Voter Registration Office, which runs elections for around 111,000 voters in this remote northern California area, Cathy Darling Allen sees anything that can improve security if the budget is there. Downstairs counter for Covid but can’t stop people. It’s literally fixed at the checkout counter,” said the county clerk and registrar. She estimated that for around $50,000, she could secure the front of her office, restricting access to her upstairs office. Another county installed bulletproof glass in the lobby years ago, where officials once considered removing it but no longer, Allen said. Now they can’t afford it. After Donald Trump refused to admit his defeat in the 2020 presidential election, Allen says her once-non-partisan provincial election official’s inconspicuous job changed in the same county as her. A culture of misinformation has cast doubt on the American electoral system and exposed officials from Nevada to Michigan to harassment and intimidation. The FBI has received more than 1,000 reports of threats to election staff in the past year alone. Map of Shasta County, California. In California, officials in small, resource-poor, rural counties like Shasta say they face hostility and aggressive harassment from residents who believe there is widespread voting fraud. Residents of Shasta County acted as observers, intimidating election staff, crowding around Allen in June’s tense election night showdown, and visiting voters’ homes claiming to be part of the “Official Task Force,” she said in Nevada, northeastern California. The county said the Registrar-elect had to issue a restraining order against residents who harassed him, pushed him into his office and assaulted staff. She is president of the independent California Voter Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to improve the election process. “Her colleague recently called it a kind of madness.” ‘This is our Tiananmen Square’. On Tuesday, September, the speaker denounced “election fraud” in front of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors. Without evidence – it’s happening. Residents, dressed in red, white and blue, described their efforts as a David and Goliath battle. “Citizen appreciation and we are going out and gathering evidence of fraud in our process. “This is our Tiananmen Square,” said one speaker. “We will stand in front of the tank and not talk to the machine anymore.” They submitted dozens of public records requests to Allen’s office, showed up in bulk to observe the election, and even visited certain voters’ homes wearing gear labeled “Official Voter Task Force.” A Nevada County voter sits next to his son to fill out a ballot at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, California, Photo: Elias Funez/AP Their objection is this northern countryside It took place amid widespread political upheaval in the county, out of anger from some residents over Trump’s loss, epidemic restrictions and vaccine orders imposed by California’s progressive government. With no external funding and support from local militia, he summoned a longtime County Supervisor in February. Actions witnessed during the election led Allen’s office to make security changes, including tracking anyone entering the facility. And it looked like someone was installing tracking cameras outside the office to monitor the election staff. The sheriff deployed a deputy outside the office. After four of the candidates backed by the dissident group were completely defeated (Allen overtook the opponent) 5) candidates requested a recount as part of a false conspiracy theory that the company was playing a role, shaking up Biden’s 2020 presidential election, raising particular concern among residents who believe in widespread election fraud. Some have attempted to share content with Allen, such as the 2000 Mules, an exposed documentary that promoted false claims about the election, and the grandeur of those who make money by spreading untrue facts about the election is particularly disappointing to Allen. If there is a problem, she will rely on real experts who have been in the field for decades and share the information for free, she said: “I guarantee you, a school in Reading, California. I’m not going to charge you $20 to talk to people at a meeting. It’s making you money, not trying to make it better.” Allen’s office has witnessed aggressive behavior and bullying, but is not yet a threat, she said. She thinks it’s only a matter of time, given the threats facing election officials across the country. “People once told me I should have private security,” she said. That’s not right. But that’s the world we live in right now.” ‘Another form of bullying’ About 150 miles from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in eastern California, Natalie Adona said her own office is also experiencing the same problem. Shasta, there’s a chance it could happen here too. The loudest election saboteur is sharing information between our counties.” Nevada County, California. Political tensions in Nevada County, with about 100,000 people living in historic towns and settlements at the heart of California’s gold rush, have increased since the 2020 elections, said county clerk assistant recorder Adona. Earlier this year, a group of residents attempted an aggressive and ultimately unsuccessful campaign to summon full supervisors, accusing them of promoting “crimes against humanity” in support of Covid. safety measures. While running for her own post this spring, Adona said she and her office had been subjected to months of public harassing campaigns and posted racist comments in her election mailings containing dark photos of her and efforts to disqualify her. You said you used the language. She falsely claimed that she did not pay the filing fee. After Adona’s nearly 70% victory, her opponents called for a recount: “I saw it as another form of bullying, and one of the other purposes seemed to be to get another document that was not common. [obtainable] “In the course of regular observation,” she said. At the same time, her office has received a number of requests for public records that appear to have been copied and pasted in recent months, either adding a twist to the election process or actually reflecting how much the requestor knows about the election. It’s kind of a rush of requests.” Adona also said she received one threat but could not take action from law enforcement: Voters wait as polling station workers check voter registration in Wisconsin Photo: Sue Dorfman/Zuma Press Wire/Rex/Shutterstock “It’s definitely not on the level of Georgia or Wisconsin. I’m happy, but at the same time, a lot of it is unsettling,” she said. The Nevada County office is increasing its headquarters’ security budget and working more closely with law enforcement agencies around the world. Serving people and serving the public, but managing elections over the past few years has become difficult,” she said. “How to keep our face-to-face election staff safe, keeping our staff safe and the same level of transparency in the elections the public deserves. It’s raised a lot of questions about our team about how to deliver.” According to a survey conducted by the Brennan Center for for, ‘we’ have found that climate across the United States has become so strained that out of five election workers One said he was unlikely to hold his position until the next election: Legitimacy.California Voter Foundation’s Alexander said that about one in six was personally threatened. is an organization that takes the safety of the United States increasingly seriously. Together with the Brennan Center, they signed a bill recently signed by the Governor of California, allowing workers’ home addresses to remain confidential. It will include the physical security of the people conducting the elections,” said Alexander. Her organization is trying to support election officials by providing reduced training and other resources to their offices. They need more help and have been doing it for a long time. came.” “The chronic lack of funding for election administration in the United States is one of the conditions that has made our election workers vulnerable. If our offices weren’t understaffed and resourced, security would have been intensified from the start,” she said. Taylor Wilson votes at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, Calif. Photo: Elias Funez/APCalifornia The Electoral Office has already contested elections for years in a row, including the 2021 summons for governor. Later, Shasta County held a community convening, said Allen, who is also a director of the California Voter Foundation, “we haven’t had a break in about five years.” “None of my employees was able to disconnect for a really long time. I can’t even get to the top of Mount Lassen where I know no one can hold me.” In the past, guided tours of the office and guided tours of the process have helped people understand the election process, fears Allen said, she has consistently shared good information through social media and webinars in her office this year, giving them misinformation and misinformation. The county has recently hired someone to educate and outreach to voters, but a growing number of people don’t believe any messages from the office as misinformation spreads. I don’t know. It comes from the belief that it was swallowed up wholesale as if it were religion.” “We will still try.” There are piles of thank-you cards from the villagers expressing their appreciation. She was re-elected by a huge margin.” “Everyone who believes in the misinformation that elections were rigged and the elections stolen in June all ran for the June election, but no one won. It’s not one of them,” she said. “For me, it’s a story,” Allen said. “The voters in Shasta County saw it through.” As far as the national challenge for election staff is concerned, “this too will pass,” Allen said. It will get better, but it will get better,” she said.
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