WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — A group of local clerks are demanding more protection and aid from Congress following a wave of violent threats against election officials nationwide.
Barb Byrum said when she became the Ingham County clerk in Michigan, she never imagined how disinformation would dramatically reshape her role.
“Boy have we changed,” Byrum said. “I remember the clerk’s office being quiet and many people not even knowing who their clerk was.”
While she has not received direct threats, she said her colleagues across the country “have been bullied, attacked and harassed” since the 2020 election.
“We just need people to have our back,” she said.
The problem was highlighted last week by Arizona and Georgia officials before the Jan. 6 committee.
“It is the new pattern or a pattern in our lives, to worry what will happen on Saturdays,” said Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a Republican. “Because we have various groups come by.”
“I don’t do nothing anymore, I don’t want to go anywhere. … All because of lies,” said Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, a former Fulton County election worker in Georgia.
Byrum and local clerks from across the country are calling on lawmakers to find ways to protect election officials, combat disinformation and help recruit election workers to replace all those who quit after the 2020 election.
Justin Roebuck, the Ottawa County clerk in Michigan, said new funds are needed before 2024.
“It’s a bipartisan message,” Roebuck said. “We need the resources on the ground now and we need to be proactive about things.”
Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., said lawmakers are listening.
“We are discussing how to provide resources to make sure people have security for themselves and for their families,” Peters said.
Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., said while he has not heard from local officials in his state, “If we can get communications from them, I’ll do my best to get them whatever they need.”