Hearing Tuesday on Bill to Protect Election Workers
Monday, April 25, 2022
Since 2020, a growing number of election workers have been threatened, harassed, and even spat on - so tomorrow the State Senate Judiciary Committee will hear a bill that would allow them to hide their address from public view.
Senate Bill 1131 would allow election workers to join the Safe at Home program, which was created 20 years ago to make it harder for perpetrators of domestic violence to track down their victims. Kim Alexander is president and co-founder of the California Voter Foundation, a co-sponsor of the bill.
"There are still a number of people who make false claims about the election being stolen," said Alexander. "And the election officials and their staff are on the receiving end of the big lie."
SB 1131 also would change an old state law that required poll workers' names to be posted at polling sites.
The bill already passed the Senate Elections Committee. Next, it is expected to head to the Senate appropriations committee.
Alexander said 15% of the county registrars of voters in the Golden State left their jobs after the last presidential contest.
"Election officials are overworked, understaffed, underpaid, and now find themselves under attack," said Alexander.
The Brennan Center for Justice, the other co-sponsor of the bill, recently conducted a nationwide survey of nearly 600 election officials. Alexander noted that one in six reported having been threatened because of his or her job.
"Over half reported they're concerned about the safety of their colleagues," said Alexander. "More than one in four are concerned about being assaulted on the job and 20% plan to leave their jobs before the 2024 election."
Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
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