Poll workers are our heroes

They are facing public harassment, intimidation and even death threats



November 7, 2022 - 2:56 PM

Voters head to the polls on Nov. 8 for midterm elections.

One of many ways this country has managed more than two centuries of democratic elections and transitions is through transparency, with poll workers and watchers from the political parties participating in and observing the inner gears of vote-gathering and vote-counting.

In many cases, these people may have strong personal political leanings, but they’ve set them aside with the understanding that their role is to be overseers of a free and fair electoral process that, while imperfect and often evolving, has served as a global example of how to register the people’s will. That’s why it was a former American president, Jimmy Carter, who had the credibility to send observers to monitor elections around the world.

There’s good reason to fear that the long run of American electoral integrity is at risk in 2022, as waves of poll workers leave their posts in the midst of sustained public harassment, intimidation and even death threats, and are sometimes replaced by hard-right election deniers who see their role less as protecting polling places and more as ensuring that their candidate wins.

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