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Security For Election Officials Rising As Threats Escalate

Even one of the main social events at a meeting this week of state election bureaucrats— trivia night — was held at an undisclosed location. It was no meeting of spies or undercover law enforcement agents. Instead, these were the security protocols for a gathering in Madison, Wi., of election officials from around the U.S, the Associated Press reports. While the hush-hush measures might seem extreme, they were put in place because of the very real threats against election workers that have been escalating since the 2020 presidential election as former President Trump continues to promote the lie that widespread fraud cost him re-election. Security increased at meetings of government officials after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, “but not like this where the agenda is kept secret,” said Kevin Kennedy, Wisconsin’s top election official for nearly four decades before retiring in 2016. He has attended meetings of the National Association of State Election Directors for more than 30 years and said it was jarring that otherwise anonymous election workers are now being targeted.

State and local election officials have become targets for those upset with Trump’s loss and who believe any number of unfounded conspiracy theories about a rigged election. Many have retired or quit as a result, raising staffing concerns in some offices. Four people have been charged by federal prosecutors, with one of them pleading guilty last month. In that case, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold was the subject of multiple threatening posts on social media. Organizers of the secretaries of state meeting, held twice a year, have been increasing security measures since the 2020 election, said Maria Benson, the group’s communications director. That includes coordinating with law enforcement agencies before and during conferences. At the group’s summer meeting this month in Baton Rouge, local law enforcement officers were visible in the lobby and meeting areas of the hotel where the conference was being held. Members of the media were instructed to keep their credentials visible while in the meeting area.