Jun 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Election workers departing in droves after "partisan rancor" in 2020

Election workers in Georgia

People are given instructions during a hand-count audit of 2020 presidential election ballots at the Gwinnett County Voter Registration office in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Large numbers of election workers have left their jobs in the aftermath of the 2020 election, when many faced persistent threats of violence and harassment while performing their jobs, the Associated Press reports.

Driving the news: Officials in states across the country have quit or retired early due to the "partisan rancor" that now surrounds their jobs and as conspiracy theories about the election continue to thrive within the Republican party, per AP.

  • A number of republican voter reform measures in states such as Texas, Iowa, Georgia, and Florida also seek to instill new punishments on election officials for minor mistakes, reports AP.

The big picture: A spokesman for Pennsylvania’s county commissioners association told AP that about a third of the state's election officials have recently left their posts, citing large workloads and "rampant misinformation related to voting."

  • In Wisconsin, more than 24 officials have retired since the 2020 election and another 30 had quit by the end of 2020, with an additional 13 leaving in 2021, per AP.
  • A number of experienced election officials in Michigan have also departed their posts, noted AP.

What they're saying: "These conspiracy theorists are in it for the long haul," said said Barb Byrum, clerk of Ingham County, Michigan. "They’re in it to completely crumble our republic, and they’re looking at these election administrator positions."

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