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EOLDN's Support of an Arizona Election Official

January 2024

Cochise County, AZ Director of Elections Lisa Marra shares her story after being matched with EOLDN-provided attorney Michael Goldberg.

Marra: EOLDN's Support was 'Huge Relief'

Lisa Marra was serving as the Cochise County, AZ Director of Elections after the 2020 general election when the harassment started. Partisan extremists in her county drowned her in angry emails, filled her voicemail with accusations of criminal conduct, and tried to interfere with poll worker staffing. Marra felt attacked and alone, but she refused to let these individuals compromise the integrity of Cochise County’s elections. When she needed legal support, she turned to the Election Official Legal Defense Network (EOLDN).

Michael Goldberg of Goldberg Law Group, an EOLDN volunteer attorney, stepped forward to help her. He and his staff gave her guidance about her options, filed cease and desist letters against perpetrators, and managed responses. His support allowed her to focus on her job: running elections for Cochise County.

Goldberg said, “It was an honor to represent a real-life hero like Lisa. To fight for free and fair elections — in a part of the country where there are people (often those in power) trying to undermine the right to vote — takes true courage. These are the types of cases that make me proud to be a lawyer.”

In the midst of the harassment, Marra also clashed with the Cochise County Board of Supervisors. She refused the Board’s demand that she release all ballots for a hand count, an action that would have violated Arizona law.

Marra ultimately resigned, citing the work environment and harassment she endured in her role as the primary reason for her departure. She received a financial settlement from Cochise County. Despite her terrible situation, she chose to stay in the field of election administration and is now the Deputy Director of Elections for the Arizona Secretary of State.

Marra told EOLDN staff: “What a huge relief it was having support…Maybe my story will inspire other attorneys to step up, and for those that do, to carry through with the work. Thank you for all that you do for election officials. I cannot say enough how wonderful this program is.”

Looking forward, Marra said, “Sadly, the 2024 election cycle hasn’t yet begun and I don’t think the need [for EOLDN’s services] goes away any time soon.”

January 6th, 3 Years Later

David Becker, Executive Director of the Center for Election Innovation & Research (CEIR), reflects on the anniversary of January 6th, Americans’ attitudes towards political violence, and the resiliency of election officials as they, despite all of the scrutiny and attacks, “keep pulling through and are going to pull through in 2024”:

"What's In & Out" for Election Administration in 2024

We know our election official updates can be grim, but the annual What’s In & Out list from electionline Weekly put a smile on our faces and we had to share it. Here are some of our favorites:

Out: The Big Lie
In: 148 million reasons for not lying

Out: Hundreds of elections officials with years of experience
In: Hundreds of new elections officials, eager to learn and face the challenges of 2024 and beyond

Out: Politicians making laws without understanding the impact on election officials
In: Election Officials advising what issues laws would create before they are implemented

Out: Vilifying election administrators over results
In: Candidates accepting victory/defeat with grace

Out: Pessimism about 2024
In: Faith in the election system and the people who run it

Out: Mis- and disinformation
In: Bad actors being held accountable

Out: Election deniers
In: Election enthusiasts

EOLDN On the Road

Future Appearances

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

EOLDN is arranging appearances and virtual events for 2024. If you’d like to schedule a presentation for election official colleagues or an attorney group of any size, please contact 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.