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 October 15, 2023

'High turnover' of election officials could lead to 2024 chaos: report

A new report from The Hill reveals that there is a high turnover rate of local election officials in key states and that this is leading to concern with the 2024 elections approaching. 

Per the outlet:

Experts are sounding alarms just over a year out from November 2024 that the presidential election could suffer from chaos and confusion after high turnover of local election officials and workers in key states.

It appears that The Hill's source, for the fact that there is a high turnover rate for local election officials, is the Brennan Center for Justice.

Back in March and April 2023, the center took a survey of local election officials, and what this survey found is that about 1 in 5 election officials in 2024 will be working their first presidential election.

What this equates to, according to the center, is "one to two local election officials leaving office every day since the 2020 election."

So, the big question is why have these officials left - why the high turnover rate.

The Hill, citing the center's report, writes:

Nearly a third said they’d personally been “abused, harassed, or threatened” because of their jobs, and nearly three-quarters said they felt threats have gone up in recent years. Nearly a quarter said they personally know at least one election official or worker who’s left the job due to threats, harassment, or fear for their safety.

What caused these alleged threats is unclear. It likely has something to do with the fact that 2020 saw a hotly contested presidential election.

The Hill, however, goes on to quote other sources as explaining that the high turnover rate is not exclusively, or even primarily, the result of alleged threats to election workers.

The Hill reports:

Though research hasn’t confirmed that threats are the No. 1 factor driving these workers out of the field, turnover appears driven by burnout from interfacing with voters, responding to public records requests, fielding media inquiries and dealing with the public scrutiny — on top of running the election, said Rachel Orey, senior associate director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Elections Project.

Whatever the case may be, the high turnover rate is a fact, and this has experts worried.

What the experts are worried about is that this new group of inexperienced presidential election workers could cause problems in 2024.

Bryant told The Hill, "There are so many moving parts on Election Day, that if somebody doesn’t have a lot of experience, it’s easy to miss something simple, right?"

It is certainly something to keep in mind as we move closer to the 2024 elections.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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