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Democrats’ Election Worker ‘Threat’ Narrative Is A Bald-Faced Scare Tactic We’ve Seen Before

As a tactic to intimidate and silence their political opposition, Democrats and media have for years smeared conservatives as ‘threats.’


As a tactic to intimidate and silence their political opposition, Democrats and corporate media have for years smeared conservatives as “threats,” whether it be for refusing to buy into Covid fearmongering or for showing up at school board meetings to protest extended school closures. Despite the obvious gambit, some elected Republicans are still allowing Democrats to use their “threat” narrative to suppress election integrity activists’ speech about and participation in the electoral process.

In a “Meet The Press” segment on Sunday, NBC’s Kristen Welker invited several secretaries of state to join her in spreading Democrats’ dishonest “threats against election workers” narrative. And instead of pushing back against the question’s obvious agenda, Welker’s two Republican guests either bought the lie or offered a lame dodge.

“I know that some people just went on to do other things instead of coming back for 2024. But by and large, in Georgia, we’re actually in pretty good shape,” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger responded. The secretary then touted poll worker recruitment and training efforts in the Peach State, saying these volunteers “understand all the checks, balances, and fail-safes that are in place so you do have a fair, secure, accurate election.”

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Nominal Republican and Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt gave an even worse answer, touting the state’s collusion with federal agencies — including the censorship-prone Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency — to target election speech it deems a “threat.” Schmidt told Welker the Keystone State has mechanisms in place to respond to threats “expeditiously so law enforcement can do its job, so our election officials can do the job that only they can do, which is counting votes in our representative democracy.”

‘Threat’ Narrative Used as a Cudgel

The narrative about “threats” to election workers is a two-pronged tactic. First, it makes it harder for poll observers to monitor election administration, either by manufacturing justification for policies that keep them at bay, or merely by intimidating them.

Take, for instance, the case of Janet Angus, a Green Bay election integrity activist. Angus observed Molly Senechal dropping off two ballots on April 5, 2022, one for herself and one for her husband. Senechal told Green Bay City Clerk Celestine Jeffreys that her husband could not appear in person himself — as required by law — because he was “sick.” Jeffreys accepted both ballots anyway, as my colleague M.D. Kittle reported.

Angus confronted Jeffreys about the law, after which Jeffreys played into the threat narrative by claiming Angus “mocked her” and that she was “very concerned” about the effect of Angus’ words on Senechal, who said the exchange made her “anxious.” The city of Green Bay sought and obtained a municipal citation against Angus on a disorderly conduct charge. A judge later tossed out the citation, noting it appeared to be “retaliatory.”

To feed the narrative that poll workers face a dire threat from election integrity activists, Democrats around the country have filed bills like one in Virginia that would have classified threatening an individual who previously served as an election official or currently serves as one as a “hate crime,” as my colleague Shawn Fleetwood reported. Threatening election workers is already “explicitly prohibited” under state and federal law, as Fleetwood noted.

The narrative is also used to deny access to poll watchers. When Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a Republican bill to let poll watchers observe more closely, he cited concerns about the supposed threats posed by public participation in the process, saying the bill could “enable voter intimidation and prevent election workers from effectively and efficiently carrying out their important duties without interference.”

The second purpose of Democrats’ “threat” smear is to make election integrity a third-rail topic. Democrats have crafted a “threat to democracy” narrative about the events of Jan. 6, 2021, that makes many Americans reluctant to voice legitimate concerns about the justice system’s treatment of Jan. 6 protesters. Similarly, treating election integrity concerns as “threats” is an attempt to scare Republicans away from the topic.

Democrats Have A History Of ‘Threat’ Smearing

During the height of the Covid pandemic, Americans who were skeptical of hasty vaccine mandates and other fiats were labeled as “threats” to the public. The National Terrorism Advisory System went further, issuing a bulletin in August of 2021 warning that “anti-government/anti-authority violent extremists” might “seek to exploit the emergence of COVID-19 variants by viewing the potential re-establishment of public health restrictions across the United States as a rationale to conduct attacks.” The bulletin also claimed that the issues were “exacerbated by … grievances over public health safety measures and perceived government restrictions.”

Of course no such attacks occurred, but the purpose of the bulletin was to smear individuals who protested heavy-handed Covid rules like “stay-at-home” orders banning people from traveling to see their loved ones and mandates forcing people to get experimental jabs or risk their jobs.

Democrats also weaponized the “threat” smear against parents who showed up to school board meetings nationwide to voice opposition to lockdown policies that were adversely impacting children’s education and mental health. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) encouraged the White House to use counterterrorism tactics against these parents. Biden’s Department of Justice issued a memorandum in October of 2021 directing the FBI to label these parents with “threat tags.”

The House Judiciary Committee later found Biden’s administration had “no legitimate basis” for using counterterrorism resources against parents.

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