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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Turnover in MA election officials as presidential election nears

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Thursday, April 18, 2024   

Heightened scrutiny and harassment are helping fuel an increasing turnover rate of election officials in Massachusetts and beyond, according to a new report.

More than a third of all Massachusetts municipalities have had a change in their chief election official or town clerk since 2020.

Rachel Orey, senior associate director of the elections project at the Bipartisan Policy Institute, said the job has grown more complex.

"Today," said Orey, "election officials must manage everything from cybersecurity risks posed by foreign adversaries, to public communications of people who are doubting the outcome of elections, to information technology, to legal disputes."

While Massachusetts has experienced lower turnover rates than other states, Orey said rates are highest in larger, urban jurisdictions, which have been the focus of unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.

The Justice Department says it has opened more than a hundred investigations involving threats to election workers, since the creation of a special task force in 2021.

Many threats stem from the belief that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

Orey said the stresses of the job are impacting long-time workers dedicated to free and fair elections.

"That's where state and federal legislators can really step in," said Orey, "to provide adequate resources, competitive compensation levels, and safety protections for election officials."

Still, Orey said despite increasing turnover rates, the people filling these roles bring an average of eight years experience to the job.

They noted the resilience and dedication of election officials who stick with the job, despite the increasing pressures they face.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.






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