Legacy media are once again parroting the debunked lie that there is a growing, widespread problem of Republicans threatening election workers.
On Monday, Time Magazine published a melodramatic article about congressional Democrats’ “desperate push” to include provisions in the next federal spending bill they claim will protect state and local election workers. Of course, Time places the blame for this alleged problem on Donald Trump and his so-called “election denying” supporters, and warns that Congress’s upcoming budget is “likely the last chance” Democrats have to “safeguard” the 2024 election.
“It comes as election officials have faced a titanic upswing in death threats, online intimidation, and abuse,” the article reads.
There’s just one little problem with Time’s fantastical claim: It’s manufactured nonsense.
As I reported in these pages in April, the left’s insistence that there is a widespread conspiracy of Republican voters threatening election officials is simply not true. But don’t take my word for it. Ask Joe Biden’s own Department of Justice (DOJ).
During his August 2022 testimony before the U.S. Senate, Kenneth A. Polite Jr., the assistant attorney general for the criminal division of the DOJ, claimed the agency’s Election Threats Task Force — which was launched in July 2021 to address this alleged “rise in threats” against election workers — had reviewed and assessed roughly 1,000 allegedly “threatening and harassing” communications directed toward election officials. Two days before Polite’s testimony, the DOJ issued a press release disclosing only about 11 percent of those 1,000 communications “met the threshold for a federal criminal investigation” and that the “remaining reported contacts did not provide a predication” for further investigation.
“[T]o recap: In a country of roughly 331 million people, the DOJ — in the span of a year — received roughly 1,000 calls alleging threats toward election workers, in which only about 11 percent of cases warranted a federal investigation,” I wrote at the time.
So how exactly does Time justify its claim that there’s been a “titanic upswing” in threats directed toward election workers since the 2020 contest? The first is by linking to a survey from the Brennan Center for Justice — a highly partisan organization engaged in left-wing activism — claiming to show persistent fear among election workers for “their colleagues’ safety.”
The second is by linking to a November 2022 Washington Post article that includes grandiose statements from Democrat election officials pushing the same sky-is-falling narrative. Among those who commented to the Post was Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, whose office proclaimed it had “identified hundreds more threats against her since 2020.” The Post, of course, didn’t bother to mention whether it vetted her assertion to determine its truthfulness.
What’s equally remarkable about the article is the Post’s willingness to bury the truth from its readers. Not until the article’s 22nd paragraph are readers given the actual data from the DOJ on which I previously reported. Even then, the Post attempts to downplay the truth by regurgitating claims from unnamed election officials who say the DOJ and states’ limited number of prosecutions are “just a fraction of the threats they receive.”
Yes, there are verifiable threats made against election workers, however rare. But it also rarely rains in Death Valley, California. That doesn’t mean we should start building Noah’s Ark 2.0 to prepare for a catastrophic flood there.
What we’re seeing is a media-wide effort to take anecdotal incidents of threats and blow them out of proportion to give the appearance that election workers are under constant siege from so-called “election denying” MAGA Republicans. It’s a Democrat strategy designed to both cast their political opponents as extremists and dissuade conservatives who have legitimate concerns about election integrity from partaking in completely legal forms of electoral oversight (such as poll watching).
Democracy does indeed die in darkness — just not in the way regime-approved media want you to believe.