The threats — largely stemming from people who deny the result of the 2020 presidential election — are already causing poll workers and other election officials to resign in droves, according to Tonya Wichman, the director of the Defiance County Board of Elections in Ohio. “People don’t realize the mental health situation,” Wichman said. “We’ve lost a lot of election officials throughout the country. They’re calling it the ‘Great Resignation.’ People are broken and exhausted.”
Credible threats of violence have manifested across the country — and one in five poll workers suggested they’d likely quit before the 2024 presidential election last year — but they appear to be most pronounced in closely contested swing states. Seven battleground states — Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — accounted for nearly 60 percent of all threats of physical violence that election workers reported to a federal task force on election threats. Of the more than 1,000 contacts reported as hostile or harassing by the election officials, approximately 11 percent of those contacts met the threshold for a federal criminal investigation.