Today’s hearing by the January 6th Committee revealed new and disturbing details about the massive pressure campaign that former President Trump and his allies waged against election officials and poll workers across the country as part of the coordinated effort to engineer the outcome of the 2020 election.
As testimony from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, Georgia Secretary of State Chief Operating Officer Gabriel Sterling, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, and former Georgia election worker Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss revealed, the pressure these individuals faced from the former president upended their lives. Despite the intimidation they faced, these election officials and workers faithfully upheld their duty and followed the rule of law.
“The lies that were spread by the former president and amplified by those closest to him following the 2020 election placed thousands of officials and poll workers directly in harm’s way,” said Dokhi Fassihian, deputy chief of strategy and program at Issue One. “These election officials are the very people who keep our democracy functioning. They deserve our gratitude, not death threats. No election official should be subjected to intimidation or face pressure to disregard the will of the voters.”
Earlier today, Issue One launched Faces of Democracy, a new campaign that’s elevating the voices of election officials and workers and calling for expanded federal protections against threats, significant investment in our election infrastructure, and a bipartisan update to the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to ensure the will of the people is upheld.
“Our election system is stronger and more secure than it has ever been, but threats against our election officials threaten the very stability of our democratic process,” said Amber McReynolds, the former director of elections for Denver, CO who is currently serving as a member of Issue One’s National Council on Election Integrity and as a governor for the United States Postal Service. “Congress has a unique responsibility to do what is necessary to protect and strengthen our elections, and it’s time for our leaders on both sides of the aisle to work together so that our election officials don’t have to fear for their lives simply for doing their jobs.”
Al Schmidt, the former Philadelphia City Commissioner who previously testified before the January 6th Select Committee, spoke with Weston Wamp, the host of Issue One’s Swamp Stories podcast, about the challenges facing election officials and the troubling trends we’re seeing today as many experience mounting political pressure. Here’s an excerpt from his commentary:
“When you talk to election administrators across the country, there’s no difference between the Republicans and Democrats. They are following the law. It’s largely a ministerial responsibility. They all want their voters’ votes to be counted. If you don’t want your voters’ votes to be counted, you really shouldn’t be in that business to begin with. All of them do it with the utmost value of the integrity of that process, and never want that to be violated in any way. It’s a real problem, to state the obvious, that our party is embracing and indulging in this paranoid fantasy that the 2020 election was stolen, because it deceives a lot of people. A lot of people… have just had their minds poisoned by all of the lies that they’ve been consuming.”