Threatening election officials is ‘domestic terrorism,’ says Arizona Sec’y of State

Threatening election officials is ‘domestic terrorism,’ says Arizona Sec’y of State

Adrian Fontes (D-AZ) declares victory in his campaign against Republican candidate Mark Finchem for Arizona Secretary of State in the U.S. midterm elections in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, November 14, 2022.

Jim Urquhart | Reuters

Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes is calling threats against that country’s election officials “domestic terrorism.”

“One of the ways I looked at this and addressed this was to tell the really hard truth, which is this: Threats against election officials in the United States of America is domestic terrorism,” Fontes said in a Sunday interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press. ” He defined terrorism as “a threat or violence to a political outcome.” “This is it,” Fontes said.

His comments come as local election officials have raised concerns about security as the battle for the White House heats up in November.

According to a report released earlier this month by the Brennan Center for Justice, 38% of local election officials in the U.S. have experienced “threats, harassment or mistreatment” simply for doing their jobs, and more than half are worried about it safety of their colleagues.

Department of Elections employees transport a box of ballots at the San Francisco City Hall voting center during the Super Tuesday primary in San Francisco, California, U.S., March 5, 2024.

Loren Elliott | Reuters

The report also revealed that local election officials have been trying to make elections safe since the last election. More than 90% of local election officials said they have taken steps to increase election security, such as participating in security training and updating polling place emergency plans and voting technology.

Fontes also noted that he believes the U.S. Department of Justice is “stepping up” its efforts to combat such threats by “beginning with law enforcement.”

In March, the Justice Department announced that it was investigating dozens of threats against election workers and has so far charged 20 people – 13 of whom have already been convicted.

“We’re working with law enforcement agencies across the country to really address these things,” he said. “It’s not too little or too late, but we have to approach it for what it is.”

Source link

2024-05-26 14:43:09