Election administration in the United States is mostly left to the states. While there are some federal laws states must follow, states decide who can vote, when people can vote, decide the methods for voting, determine the number of polling places and select where they will be located, and train the workers that will oversee elections. In 2022 state election officials faced new challenges. Due to the rise of election denialism from 2020, state election agencies faced a larger amount of litigation, forcing them to dedicate more resources to litigation. There were increased threats made against election officials, causing many longtime officials to quit their jobs.
States also had to deal with the spread of disinformation and misinformation. State election officials responded to these threats by working with federal agencies to ensure elections were safe and secure and engaging in public information campaigns to help reduce the effect of disinformation and misinformation. One thing state election officials needed to respond to was accusations of widespread voter fraud. Many Republican candidates during the 2022 election claimed widespread voter fraud was a problem in 2020. In reality, voter fraud is extremely rare and states have many procedures in place to catch attempted voter fraud. It is possible these new challenges facing election officials in 2022 will continue in the coming years.
Instructors: click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.
It’s Hard to Run Elections These Days. Just Ask Nevada’s Election Officials
We Are Going to Hang You: DOJ Cracks Down on Threats to Election Workers Right Before High-Stakes Midterm Election
Facing Harassment and Death Threats Some Election Workers Weigh Whether to Stay
The Best Way To Protect Elections From Partisan Manipulation
Violent Threats to Election Workers Are Common. Prosecutions Are Not.
New York Times
Protect Election Workers and Expand Our Democracy
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Debate: What should states do to insure elections are safe and secure?
Why is the loss of many election officials dangerous for democracy?
Poll: Should the national government be more involved in election administration?
Should state election officials be elected or appointed?
Short Answer: What new challenges did election officials face in 2022?