Oct 9, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Active shooter training among measures to protect election workers

 Hired security personnel wait for voters outside the Leon County Supervisor of Elections office on November 3, 2020

Security personnel stand outside of the Leon County Supervisor of Elections office in Tallahassee, Fla., in November 2020. Photo: Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

Some election offices across the country are bolstering their security efforts in anticipation of the midterm elections.

Why it matters: From security guards to bulletproof glass at election offices, the enhanced measures come in response to the increase in threats to election workers during and in the aftermath of the 2020 election.

Zoom in: In Flagstaff, Arizona, for instance, an election office will be barricaded by bulletproof glass, and anyone wishing to enter will have to ring a buzzer, Reuters reports.

  • At an election office in Tallahassee, Florida, the walls have been fortified with kevlar, which is the same synthetic material used in bulletproof vests and military helmets.
  • The Florida election office also conducted active shooter trainings for its workers and has installed bullet- and bomb-resistant glass, Reuters notes.
  • In Jefferson County, Colorado, four security guards will be positioned outside some of the busiest polling centers in the weeks surrounding the election.

The big picture: Nearly 1 in 5 local election officials said they were likely to leave their jobs before the 2024 presidential election, according to a report from the liberal-leaning Brennan Center for Justice released in March.

  • The officials said politicians' attacks on the election system, stress and retirement were the primary reasons they were likely to leave, per the report.
  • In an attempt to respond to the torrent of threats, states have enacted laws to bolster protections for election officials, including California, Colorado, Maine, Oregon and Vermont, CNN reports.
  • The Department of Justice in June 2021 launched the Election Threats Task Force in response to rising threats of violence against election workers.

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