Poll of Election Officials Finds Concerns About Safety, Political Interference

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The Brennan Center for Justice recently re-surveyed local U.S. election officials to assess their concerns for their safety, security, and potential political interference in the 2024 election cycle. The survey results showed that 38 percent of local election officials have experienced threats, harassment, or abuse for doing their jobs, 54 percent are concerned about the safety of their colleagues and staff, and 28 percent are concerned about their families’ safety. 62 percent of these officials said they are concerned about political leaders interfering with how they or their colleagues do their jobs, compared to 56 percent last year. These numbers are staggering and devastating. Election officials are the guardians of our democracy, making sure day in and day out that all of us can exercise our right to vote, and we should be celebrating them and paying them far more for their dedication and professionalism!

The survey also showed a significant increase in the steps that election officials have taken in recent years to increase security for voters and election infrastructure. More than 90 percent of these officials reported having taken steps to increase election security over the past four years, including security trainings and drills, strengthening contingency plans, and updating technology. This is very good news, but more is needed. Strengthening protections is critical to protecting our election workers, voters, and infrastructure, and illustrates again the need for adequate funding of our elections. 83 percent of these officials reported that their annual budget needs to grow in the next 5 years to meet election administration and security needs. Election security is a race without a finish line, and we need to provide sufficient resources for election officials to strengthen protections faster than those trying to tear them down.  

The survey also reinforced the need for all of us who can to get involved and volunteer to be poll workers! 43 percent of election officials are worried about their ability to find enough poll workers for the November election. Athena Strategies encourages you to play a direct role in ensuring everyone can exercise their vote – sign up to be a pollworker by selecting your state from the drop down menu here!

The security of our elections and election officials is crucial to upholding our democracy, and supporting and participating in our democratic process keeps our elections free and fair. Read more about the Brennan Center’s survey and analysis here.