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“Defending America’s democracy is without crime; The new law could make election officials a legitimate target ”

Must read Larry Norden:

For the past 12 months, US election officials have foretold their courage and commitment to carry out the most logically challenging election of modern times – with the number of voters to vote. green, no less. They were also attacked as antagonists by those who believed the Big Lie, that the election was somehow stolen from President Donald Trump at the time. Election officials – who by 2020 have been largely ignored by Twittersphere and conspiracy theorists – have been the target of thousands of false accusations, their workplace protests, and even trouble and threats.

Such abuse is taking place in a new and possibly even more cruel form. Laws in some states propose to strip electoral officials of the power to act on behalf of voters and criminalize various actions they may take in the course of duty. These bills increase the risk of arrest and prosecution for already challenging working conditions. They should be hit back by all those who are committed to preserving American democracy.

The recently passed law in Georgia is just one example. The law has been criticized for its repressive provisions, such as one that makes it a crime for volunteers to provide water directly to voters, even when they have been in queue for hours. . Less noticeable are the clauses that strip electoral officials of key power. SB 202 removed Georgia’s secretary of state – who backed Trump’s effort to reverse the 2020 state result – from his position as chairman of the state electoral board and transferred control of the council to the state legislature. state. That newly formed council was again empowered to interfere with the functioning of local electoral councils, including by removing and replacing local council members. Reasonable people may disagree on the best structure of the state electoral board, but should all oppose retaliation against an office because its owner refuses to suffer inappropriate political pressure. and extreme.

Other bills targeting electoral officials and workers have been introduced in at least seven states. In many cases, the new bills threaten these workers to be criminally prosecuted for the actions carried out while performing their jobs. In March, for example, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed one bill creating a series of new crimes related to the work of election officials, including charges of “not performing duties”. The law was enacted just days after threats to local election officials in her state had escalated beyond naming and abuse online: in early March, a live tube bombs was found in a polling room open to a local election.



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