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Election Officials Persevere Despite Recent Attacks

December 2023

Election Officials Complete Vote Count Despite Fentanyl-Laced Letter Attack

The Election Official Legal Defense Network (EOLDN), a project of The Center for Election Innovation & Research (CEIR), watched the coverage of the fentanyl attacks with alarm and a renewed dedication to our work. Our team is inspired by the determination of election officials across the country who, in the face of harassment and intimidation, remain committed to transparent and fair election administration.

In an interview with Stateline, Pierce County, WA Auditor Linda Farmer said that after receiving a letter with white powder in the mail and being forced to evacuate the building, the election officials “marched right [back] into that building and said, ‘oh heck no, you are not disrupting the democratic process.’” Election officials across the country have demonstrated resiliency like this time and again. As new challenges emerge, we thank new and seasoned election officials alike who continue to ensure safe and secure elections in all 50 states.

Click the video below to see David Becker, who leads EOLDN as the executive director of CEIR, comment on these threats.

EO Groups Combat Disinformation, Urge Renewed Trust in Elections

This month, at least two election official groups published statements encouraging the restoration of widespread trust in elections.

The Colorado County Clerks Association Executive Board called on Colorado elected officials to “regain trust taken from our elections by bullies and bad actors through a concerted national and statewide effort to deceive, not through any problems with our actual voting systems.”

A group of four GOP Secretaries of State and one GOP Lieutenant Governor wrote in the National Review that both parties bear the responsibility of rebuilding election confidence. The group asked conservatives to “join us in implementing proven strategies that have rebuilt trust in our elections;” those strategies are election security, more public education, and continuous improvement via policy updates.

EOLDN Supports EOs When Others Can't

When election officials are threatened, can’t municipal counsel give them all the legal support they need?

This is one of the questions that we hear most often at EOLDN. EOLDN does not perform the role of municipal counsel, and election officials generally receive support from municipal counsel when faced with legal challenges. But, if a municipal attorney has a conflict of interest, or is powerless to help, EOLDN can be a resource for an election worker.

In EOLDN’s Protecting California Election Officials webinar, Natalie Adona, Clerk-Recorder of Nevada County, CA, attested to her experience seeking supplementary support from EOLDN after a barrage of harassment: “It just got really bad, and county counsel could not help me with every single thing.” She shared that “it was really helpful to be able to get a perspective that was outside of the county,” and her EOLDN-provided attorney helped her navigate her issue, and “even offered to follow up after [their] initial call…to see how [she] was doing.”

EOLDN stands ready to connect election workers with pro bono attorneys in their communities.

Missed Our Michigan Webinar?

View the recording of last month’s EOLDN webinar with Michigan election officials, Aghogho Edevbie and Justin Roebuck.

EOLDN On the Road

Council on Governmental Ethics Law Conference — Kansas City, MO

EOLDN leadership addressed election threats at this December COGEL event.

Future Appearances

EOLDN will be speaking in Savannah, GA and Louisville, KY in early 2024. 

Interested in having EOLDN at your event? Contact us at outreach@eoldn.org.

What is EOLDN?

The Election Official Legal Defense Network is the brainchild of former Presidential Commission on Election Administration co-chairs Bob Bauer and Ben Ginsberg. David Becker, Executive Director of CEIR and an elections expert, leads EOLDN. 

EOLDN offers two services in support of election officials:

Pro Bono Legal Assistance: This service matches experienced pro bono attorneys with election officials who have been harassed and intimidated for simply doing their jobs of running fair elections.

Free Communications Assistance: This service matches election offices with free communications assistance to combat mis-, dis-, and mal-information about elections in their communities, educate voters, and provide general strategy support.

Share Resources with EOs 

Please forward this message to your contacts and take a look at our digital toolkit that makes it easy to share information about our free, safe, and nonpartisan legal and communications services.

Election Officials, Request Help

Click here to request legal or communications assistance on our website, eoldn.org or contact us via email at help@eoldn.org or phone at 1-877-313-5210 anytime.

Click here for EOLDN Terms and Conditions. If you believe you’re eligible to receive help from EOLDN and are interested in requesting assistance from a pro bono attorney or communications professional, we encourage you to get in touch.

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Attorneys, Join Our Network of Lawyers

Please forward this message to attorney contacts, so EOLDN is prepared for 2024 and beyond. We need all types of attorneys, as election officials can experience a wide variety of legal issues stemming from their duties, and many simply need general guidance. Learn about joining the network as a pro bono attorney, or as a law firm, here

Interested in helping us recruit other attorneys or firms into the network? We have information to help you present EOLDN to other lawyers. Please email outreach@eoldn.org for more information.