False claims of a stolen election in 2020 shook U.S. democracy to its foundation, seeding ideas and establishing behavior that will reverberate in elections for years to come. The unprecedented number of false claims alleging election fraud in 2020 ignited a barrage of threats against election workers in what had traditionally been a very low threat environment.
The right to vote cannot be protected unless election officials are permitted to do their jobs free from improper partisan influence, harassment, and abuse. If perpetrators of threats face no consequences for their actions, many of the workers who safeguarded the most secure U.S. election ever, according to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), may choose not to work in future elections, risking election integrity.
To help protect election workers from threats—and the foreseeable consequences of such threats on the integrity of future U.S. elections—the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) established an Election Threats Task Force last year that included members from the Criminal Division, the Civil Rights Division, the National Security Division, and the FBI. The Task Force has been notified of hundreds of threats, but progress on investigations and prosecutions has been too slow.
Threats against election officials and the January 6th insurrection embody dire threats to our democracy, and both deserve the full attention of the DOJ.
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