Sarah Ellison, Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Patrick Marley at WP:

On Wednesday, bomb threats forced evacuations, closures or stepped-up security measures at more than a dozen state capitols,in ConnecticutGeorgiaKentuckyMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMontanaWisconsinHawaiiMaineOklahomaIllinoisIdaho, South DakotaAlabamaAlaskaMaryland and Arizona. The FBI said it had no information to indicate that the threats were credible.

Such threats have “an acute effect of stopping people from doing their jobs,” said Lilliana Mason, associate professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University. Longer term, people can be discouraged from running for office or engaging in election work, added Mason, who is the co-author of the book “Radical American Partisanship.

“So it not only intimidates people who are in office, but it changes the makeup in the future of people who will be in office,” Mason said.

Research from Princeton University’s Bridging Divides Initiative, which tracks political violence and threats directed at election officials, has found that women and people of color, who are much more likely to be violently threatened in the first place, are also more likely to step away from the work that is exposing them to threats.