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Voting Remains Safe, Tense Confrontations Possible Tuesday

On the eve of midterm elections – as Jan. 6 insurrectionists remain on trial, as candidates nationwide deny the results from 2020, as the president warns of a “path to chaos" – experts on voting and extremism want to make two things clear, USA Today reports. First, voting in the United States remains extraordinarily safe.  Second, as millions still seethe over the 2020 election and cast doubt on the fairness of the electoral process, spurred by lies and disinformation, the possibility remains of tense confrontations or even violence at polling places Tuesday. Election workers are stepping down in droves after being harassed and threatened, misinformation has ramped up, and volunteer groups are stepping in with de-escalation training to be used at polling places.

Organizations pushing spurious claims of voter fraud call for volunteers to patrol polling stations and election infrastructure in some states. That raises the likelihood of tense interactions between election critics and election officials and voters. Meanwhile, observers worry increased tensions could also come in the days and weeks post-election, especially in places where election deniers are on the ballot or where election results are especially close or delayed. It’s a new normal for everyone – election officials, law enforcement officers and individual voters – who should be on alert, but not panicked, as they cast their votes, said Jared Holt ofthe think tank the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, an expert on domestic extremism.


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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