In the months and weeks leading up to the midterm, officials charged with administering the elections have boosted security for their staff, polling places and voters, as baseless conspiracy theories about fraud continue to swirl around the 2020 election and the one now underway.
In Madison, Wisconsin, where a top election official faced death threats in the aftermath of the 2020 election, officials have redesigned the city clerk’s office, adding cameras, locking doors and covering the windows with white paper, said city attorney Michael Haas. In addition, a new city ordinance establishes a fine of up to $1,000 for disorderly conduct directed at election officials.
In Colorado, meanwhile, a new state law – the Vote Without Fear Act – prohibits carrying firearms at polling places or within 100 feet of a ballot drop box. And in Tallahassee, Florida, officials have added Kevlar and bullet-resistant acrylic shields to the Leon County elections office, said Mark Earley, who runs elections in the county.
As CNN reported in September, the concerns about threats and harassment are so great that federal officials are now offering de-escalation training to local and state officials to help avert violence at the polls.
Tina Barton, a former election official in Michigan who sits on the Committee for Safe and Secure Elections, said election officials are deploying a bevy of tactics to secure the elections – from installing cameras and lighting at drop boxes to adding GPS and other tracking devices to ballot bags to monitor their movement on Election Day.
“We certainly are in territory that we have not navigated in the past,” Barton said.
Barton said election officials are deploying a bevy of tactics to secure the elections – from installing cameras and lighting at drop boxes to adding GPS and other tracking devices to ballot bags to monitor their movement on Election Day.
Election officials in North Carolina issued what they described as their “most comprehensive” guidance to local elections officials for maintaining order at polling places this fall. It reinforces that it’s a crime to interfere with voter or election workers. The North Carolina State Board of Elections has also developed a guide for local law enforcement to help officers identify and respond to voter intimidation.
In Leon County, Florida, Earley said his staff has received active-shooter training as part of their preparations in recent election cycles. But he said it has taken on “more significance since January 6,” referring to the 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
Keep reading here.