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With primaries on the way, advocates worry about losing election officials

Mallory Noe-Payne/Radio IQ

The environment of threats and intimidation being experienced right now by election workers is just not sustainable for some. They’ve decided to move on rather than confront yet another election cycle of harassing phone calls and intimidating emails.

Buckingham County Supervisor Jordan Miles says things have gotten so bad at his local registrar's office that it currently has zero employees. "Right now, the office that oversees and administers our local elections is closed," Miles says. "The door is locked. No one is answering the phones."

Veronica Degraffenreid at the Brennan Center says a recent national survey of election workers shows that one in six local election officials say they've experienced threats. "It is also alarming that one in five local officials indicated that they are very unlikely or somewhat unlikely to continue serving in their positions, especially as we prepare for the 2024 election."

The concern is even more pressing in Virginia, where the June 20 primary is only a few weeks away.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.