Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of American democracy. Individuals who oversee and participate in the administration of elections to include poll workers, volunteers, and election officers, help safeguard the integrity of the democratic process. The FBI continues to prioritize identifying, mitigating, and investigating threats targeting election workers and provides the following information to assist the public in reporting threats of violence against election workers.
Threats to Election Workers
Threats to election workers not only threaten the safety of the individuals concerned, but also jeopardize the stability of the US electoral process. The FBI defines “election workers” broadly as individuals who have responsibility over one or more aspects of election administration in the U.S., including elected officials, appointed officials, staff, volunteers, contractors, vendors and liaisons. Specific examples of election workers include, but are not limited to:
- A Secretary of State or someone in their staff
- An employee of a state or county’s board of elections
- An individual volunteering at polling stations
- Clerks handling and counting casted ballots
There are various means in which threats can be communicated to election workers, such as telephone communications, social media posts, e-mail communications, as well as in-person. Regardless of the manner in which the threat or harassment is conveyed, the FBI takes all threats of violence targeting election workers seriously.
What the FBI is doing
In June 2021, the Department of Justice, in close partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, established the Threats to Election Workers Task Force (Task Force) to identify, mitigate, and investigate reports of threats targeting election workers. The Task Force receives and assesses reports of threats targeting election workers to determine next steps, in consultation with the Department of Justice.
Victim Reporting and Additional Information
The FBI encourages the public to report information concerning suspicious or criminal activity to their local FBI field office. For additional election-related assistance and resources, please visit the following FBI webpages:
Consistent with past practice, the FBI is providing this information to ensure that all qualified voters have the opportunity to cast their ballots and have their votes counted free of discrimination, intimidation and suppression in the upcoming Nov. 8, 2022, general election.