Las Vegas, NV
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May 29, 2024 2:46 am

Local News

Report: NV election officials face unusual level of threats


Alex Gonzalez, Public News Service

new report examined the turnover of election officials from 2000 to 2024 and found it is increasing, albeit slowly.

Rachel Orey, senior associate director of the Elections Project for the Bipartisan Policy Center, is among several researchers who looked into the issue. The Center’s analysis drew on a dataset of more than 18,000 local chief election officials across more than 6000 jurisdictions in all 50 states.

Orey said local election officials around the nation have experienced intense levels of scrutiny and hostility, and Nevada saw a spike in turnover after 2022, when most states experienced a peak.

“Their turnover had been pretty stable around that 38% to 40% level that we see elsewhere,” Orey pointed out. “Then in this year, in our latest collection of data, we saw more than 60% of jurisdictions in Nevada have a new election official.”

The report found the Federal Bureau of Investigation received more than 1,000 tips concerning threats to election workers since June 2021, 11% of which warranted the FBI opening an investigation. The agency deemed Nevada as one of the states with “an unusual level of threats to election workers.”

Orey noted turnover is happening nationwide. While the report states it “discourages” legislators from making statutory changes in an election year, they can still help ensure officials have adequate resources and funding to do their jobs.

Orey argued despite the high turnover rates, there is no cause for concern when it comes to the integrity of elections, including in states like Nevada. Orey added the Center’s research shows 65% of local election officials have experience administering a presidential election.

“Where there are new officials, we find that they have an average of eight years of experience in an election office,” Orey explained. “Typically, that looks something like a deputy clerk position where they’re supporting that chief election official.”

The report recommended investing in training and mentorship, evaluating training programs as well as calling for developing comprehensive systems for capturing institutional knowledge to mitigate the effects of turnover and promote a more resilient election official workforce over time.

This article originally appeared on Public News Service and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.