Catherine Friend
Catherine Friend

How is Your Election Official Doing?

Here’s an anonymous message received by Colorado’s Secretary of State after a recent election: “Do you feel safe? You shouldn’t.”

And here’s what the top election official in Yavapai County, AZ had to say: “I’m a Republican recorder in a Republican county where the candidate that they wanted to win won by 2-to-1, and I’m still getting grief, and so is my staff.” The recorder, Leslie Hoffman, finally had enough and quit.

She isn’t the only one. One in four election officials report being harassed or threatened. As a result, election officials are quitting or retiring at unheard-of rates. It will take years to replace all the election knowledge that is walking out the door. This harassment by the voters who are determined to prove that elections aren’t run correctly could lead to elections not being run correctly. 

How is your election official doing? Do you know who runs your elections? There are about 10,000 of these people, and one of them is in your city, or your county. An official at the state level might provide support, but elections are run by local officials. Who are those people? Thanks to a recent survey by the Election and Voting Information Center (EVIC), we know that 82% of the election officials are women. 89% are white. 76% are older than 50. Republicans make up 42%, Democrats and Independents the rest. 60% are elected by the public, 40% are appointed.

For years these people have been fairly invisible, quietly working hard to improve voter access and election security. They find polling places, keep the machines running, and hire the 190,000 people needed to work on Election Day. They are proud of the work they do for their communities. They deserve, at the very least, to be allowed to do their jobs without fearing for their safety.


EVIC information from webinar “Buffeted by Many Storms: The Local Election Official Experience from 2018-2022, June 7, 2022.”)


One Response

  1. Glad to see your site back up and running. Yep, poor election officials, especially the volunteers who are being harassed. Not a good time when people try and hinder fair and open elections.

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The Big Pivot

About Me

After twenty-five years on the farm, I’m adjusting to the adventures of city life. Part of that adjustment is figuring out what I want to write about now, since sheep are no longer part of my daily life. I’m challenging myself creatively by painting with pastels and playing the ukelele as I seek my new writing path.


Occasional Newsletter

Catherine Friend is a fiscal year 2021 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.