When regime-approved “journalists” aren’t pretending election illegalities don’t exist, they’re fomenting unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about Republican voters.
In the months leading up to and following the 2022 midterms, legacy media have run story after story decrying the avalanche of alleged “threats” levied against election workers by GOP voters, whom they cast as extremists seeking to disrupt “democracy.” Predictions of such widespread interference in the 2022 contests have (unsurprisingly) never materialized and numbers from President Biden’s own Justice Department have undermined such a narrative. But nevertheless, the scaremongering from the “Democracy Dies in Darkness” crowd persists.
This seemingly coordinated effort has prompted Democrats in state legislatures throughout the country to base legislation on such election falsehoods. In Virginia, for example, a Democrat state senator filed a bill this month that would classify threatening an individual because of his roles as a current or former election official as a “hate crime.” The bill could also “result in a net increase in periods of imprisonment” for Virginians charged with crimes related to threatening election officials.
Despite Democrats’ insistence, evidence does not support the notion that election workers everywhere are facing constant threats from conservatives.
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. But two days before Polite’s testimony, the DOJ issued a press release disclosing that 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. According to an agency press release a year later, the Justice Department’s Election Threats Task Force had “charged 14 cases involving threats against the election community and secured nine convictions” as of Aug. 31, 2023.
Got that? In a country with a population of more than 335 million people, only about 100 individuals were investigated by the DOJ for supposedly threatening election workers, and only 14 of them were officially charged.
The Conspiracy Spreads
Virginia isn’t the only state where Democrats are pushing legislation based upon the media’s phony “election workers are under siege!” narrative. Leftist legislators in Florida, Missouri, and Washington introduced bills in recent weeks seeking to increase penalties for those convicted of threatening election officials.
Even worse, some elected Republicans have lent credence to this baseless talking point by prioritizing Democrat proposals. GOP legislators in New Jersey and Nebraska joined their respective Democrat colleagues in cosponsoring legislation cracking down on threats towards election workers this year. In South Dakota, Secretary of State Monae Johnson, a Republican, is spearheading a bill that would deem “Any person who, directly or indirectly, utters or addresses any threat or intimidation to an election official or election worker with the intent to improperly influence an election … guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.”
The measure unanimously passed the Senate State Affairs Committee (8-0) on Wednesday, even after Deputy Secretary of State Tom Deadrick told senators that South Dakota “hasn’t yet experienced threats against poll workers.”
Meanwhile, GOP governors such as Joe Lombardo of Nevada and Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma signed respective bills last year into law that similarly increased penalties for threatening election officials. The Oklahoma bill was sponsored by three Republicans.
Republicans Must Fight Democrat Lies
Much like Democrats’ war against basic election security measures like voter ID, their lying about widespread threats against election officials is a strategy aimed at bringing less — not more — integrity to U.S. elections.
Their strategy of using anecdotal incidents to cast a broader narrative about Republicans isn’t just crafted to scare away independents and moderate voters from the GOP. It’s also designed to dissuade conservatives from partaking in legitimate forms of election oversight, such as poll watching.
Ahead of the 2022 midterms, for example, the Republican National Committee recruited more than 70,000 new poll watchers and workers ahead of Election Day to “help deliver the election transparency that voters deserve.” And of course, Democrats went berserk, parroting the same “threat to democracy” talking point.
Federal law already prohibits individuals from threatening and harassing election workers. Performative proposals to enhance state charges against such crimes are less about protecting people and more about furthering Democrats’ unsubstantiated talking points and scaring away conservatives engaged in the elections process.