Report finds that many local election officials left their jobs after 2020

September 27, 2023

A new report asserts that more than half of local election officials in some states have decided to leave their positions since 2020. 

That claim was put forward this week by Issue One, a non-profit group founded by former Huffington Post Investigative Fund executive director Nick Penniman.

Turnover highest in swing states

The report found that turnover rates were highest in battleground states, with 80% of local election officials in Arizona having been replaced since the last presidential election.

"These turnover rates signify a crisis in our democracy," Penniman declared. "The health and vibrancy of election administrators are essential to ensuring free and fair elections in our country."

Penniman called on Congress to "deliver regular funding and stronger protections for election workers" and asked that law enforcement "hold accountable those that threaten the dedicated officials who help Americans make their voices heard at the ballot box."

Former deputy clerk complains of conspiracy theories

The left-wing news outlet NPR recently spoke with Republican Josh Daniels, a Marine Corps. veteran who previously worked as a deputy county clerk in Utah.

"It was really rewarding to help improve some really important functions in local government," Daniels recalled in an interview.

"It was just exhausting. It really was like The Twilight Zone of government service. Groundhog Day ... every day you wake up and it's the same thing over and over again," he explained.

"It doesn't matter how much information and data you share, it doesn't matter how many concerns you answer," Daniels continued.

"There will just be a new group of critics to again dish out the new conspiracy of the day," he said, adding, "Local county clerk is not a glamorous job."

Republican official sees dog poisoned

"We're not paying people in local election administrative jobs enough to be the subject of public scrutiny, particularly when that public scrutiny is often misguided and misinformed."

Arizona's Democratic Secretary of State Adrian Fontes has said he may issue a "declaration of election administration emergency" over the intimidation of officials.

"Many of the folks who have been harassed and threatened are Republicans," the secretary of state was quoted as telling NPR.

"One former Republican recorder, county recorder here in Arizona, had her dog poisoned," Fontes said. "This is not a partisan issue. This is a question of the survival of our constitutional order."

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