The ‘Trump’ effect ?
It’s difficult to quantify exactly how many election officials across the country have left their posts and why, since the departures are not generally tallied. Retirements also are common after presidential elections.
But in places that do track such information, along with anecdotal accounts from county officials, it is clear that many have recently left because of the newfound partisan rancor around the jobs and the threats many local election workers faced leading up to the November election and afterward as former President Donald Trump and his allies challenged the results.
About a third of Pennsylvania’s county election officials have left in the last year and a half, according to a spokesman for the state’s county commissioners association, who cited heavy workloads and rampant misinformation related to voting among the reasons.
“It was particularly challenging last year with all the misinformation and angst out there,” said Lisa Schaefer, executive director of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania. “And none of it was caused by county election officials.”
The executive director of a clerks association in Wisconsin said more than two-dozen clerks have retired since the presidential election and another 30 clerks or their deputies quit by the end of 2020. Thirteen have left since the beginning of this year. In Michigan, Byrum said she didn’t know a precise number of newly vacant positions but was able to rattle off several seasoned election officials who have recently left.
The local election jobs are being vacated as Trump’s false claims of fraud persist within the GOP and provide a platform for his loyalists to launch campaigns to become top election officials in several swing states….