In the wake of Elko County, Nevada, Clerk Kristine Jakeman’s resignation today, Issue One issued the following statement:
“Local election officials are the backbone of our democracy,” said Issue One Founder and CEO Nick Penniman. “Whenever a local election official resigns before the end of their term, it is a sad day for our republic. Since the 2020 presidential election, we’ve seen an exodus of experienced election officials who are tired of putting up with threats, harassment, and conspiracy theories about the integrity of our elections. Local election officials across the country need our support so they can keep running safe and secure elections as efficiently and transparently as possible.”
Last month, Issue One published a groundbreaking study that found 10 of Nevada’s 17 counties have new chief local election officials since November 2020, corresponding to 96% of Nevadans seeing the 2024 elections administered by someone different than in 2020. These portions ranked Nevada’s election worker turnover second highest among western states — only behind Arizona.
Elko County Clerk Kristine Jakeman’s resignation today means 11 of Nevada’s 17 counties have new chief local election officials since November 2020 and that 98% of Nevadans will see the 2024 elections administered by someone different than in 2020. Located in northeastern Nevada, Elko County is home to roughly 55,000 people. President Donald Trump carried Elko County during the 2020 election by about 54%, a margin of victory of about 12,000 votes.
Jakeman, a Republican who was first elected in November 2018 and reelected in November 2022, announced her early resignation in August, saying she had “decided to retire and spend more time with my grandkids.” Last year, she expressed her frustration with election denialism to the Associated Press, saying, “It’s kind of disheartening when you work so hard and our staff works so hard and people just don’t want to believe what we’re doing is right.”
There is still time before the 2024 elections for Congress to invest in our nation’s critical elections infrastructure. As Nevada Secretary of State Francisco V. Aguilar told Issue One last month: “Elections don’t work without people and resources, and consistent federal funding for elections infrastructure would greatly strengthen our democracy.”
Issue: Election Administration