ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona’s Katie Hobbs, other election officials describe threats following 2020 election

Oct 26, 2021, 7:00 PM
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (AP file Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool)...

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (AP file Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool)

(AP file Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool)

PHOENIX (AP) — Election officials told a congressional committee Tuesday they’ve received graphic threats to their safety since the 2020 election and warned that pressure on election workers is a threat to democracy.

Experienced election administrators are increasingly leaving the field as they face unsupported accusations of manipulating election results, a bipartisan group of state election officials told the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.

“It’s not worth it any more for these not-very-high-paying jobs, combined with the level of threat they’re experiencing at the moment,” Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who is running for governor, said.

Hobbs has at times had round-the-clock security due to threats from supporters of former President Donald Trump who falsely claim that his loss in Arizona was marred by fraud. She described threatening phone calls to her office and said critics tried to get her husband fired from his job.

“Let’s be clear, this is domestic terrorism,” said Al Schmidt, a Republican city commissioner in Philadelphia and a member of the Board of Elections. “The whole point is to terrorize, to intimidate and to coerce.”

Threatening phone calls died down after President Joe Biden was sworn in but have since ratcheted back up since Trump supporters have pushed for the Legislature to review the 2020 vote count, he said.

Cybersecurity and election administration experts in the Trump administration said the 2020 election was secure, and no evidence have widespread fraud has been found. But Trump and an army of his supporters have aggressively promoted the false narrative that the election was stolen from him and have pushed for audits led by people who share their views.

Most prominently, a post-election review led by the Arizona Senate Republicans confirmed Biden’s victory in Maricopa County but spread falsehoods about malfeasance that ignored basic facts about how elections are run.

Michael Adams, the Republican Secretary of State of Kentucky said said he’s faced verbal abuse form Democrats accusing him of promoting vote suppression.

An exodus of experienced election workers would have ripple effects that undermine the ability to efficiently run trustworthy elections, experts said.

“That could mean longer wait times, closure of polling places, a rise of voter intimidation and harassment at the polls and widespread loss of confidence in elections,” said Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Maricopa County flag...
Kevin Stone

7 finalists revealed for vacated Maricopa County Board of Supervisors seat

Seven finalists have been selected for the interview stage in the process to replace Steve Chucri on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.
1 day ago
(Facebook photo/Wendy Rogers), (Wikimedia Commons photo/Gage Skidmore)...
Associated Press

Former President Trump endorses 2 Arizona audit supporters for state Senate

Former President Donald Trump has given his influential endorsement to two Arizona legislative candidates who gained national notoriety for promoting the state Senate's partisan review of the 2020 election.
1 day ago
(Phoenix Police Department sketches)...
KTAR.com

Reward increased for information on suspects of Phoenix cold case from 2013

Monday marked eight years since a man was murdered at a Phoenix apartment complex and authorities are increasing the reward to help solve the cold case.
1 day ago
(Facebook photo/Cesar Chavez High School)...
KTAR.com

1 injured, suspect outstanding in shooting at Cesar Chavez High School in Phoenix

A teen boy was injured and a suspect was outstanding following a shooting at Cesar Chavez High School in Phoenix on Monday, authorities said.
1 day ago
(Flickr Photo/Grand Canyon National Park)...
Kevin Stone

Grand Canyon National Park transitions to winter operations this week

Grand Canyon National Park is modifying shuttle routes, Mather Campground reservations and North Rim access as part of its annual winter transition.
1 day ago
Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness (Bureau of Land Management Photo/Bob Wick)...
Associated Press

Arizona ranches, ghost town find new life as conservation areas

A pair of ranches and a ghost town in southern Arizona will be conserved for wildlife and recreation under separate deals brokered recently by nonprofit land trusts.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
DISC DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
...
Sweet James

Best fall road trips to take on a motorcycle

Autumn in Arizona brings the beauty of color-changing leaves and a relief from summer heat. It’s one of the most pleasant times to explore the outdoors, especially on a motorcycle.
...
PNC Bank

How one organization supports early childhood literacy for the most vulnerable

Nearly two out of every three children in low-income communities don’t own a single children’s book, a fact that ultimately could have profound impacts even before entering kindergarten, according to Arizona nonprofit Southwest Human Development.
Arizona’s Katie Hobbs, other election officials describe threats following 2020 election