Election officials scramble to tamp down sabotage from pro-Trump poll workers: report
'A Man's Hand Putting His Vote In The Ballot Box' [Shutterstock]

On Tuesday, POLITICO reported that election officials are facing new challenges as poll workers who believe former President Donald Trump's election lies resort to sabotage or illegal breaches to try to prove votes are being stolen — or else, to implement their own ideas of "security".

"The frontline election workers do everything from checking people in at voting locations to helping process mail ballots — in other words, they are the face of American elections for most voters," reported Zach Montellaro. "And now, some prominent incidents involving poll workers have worried election officials that a bigger wave of trouble could be on the horizon."

In Michigan alone, multiple recent incidents have put officials on edge. Last month, Michigan GOP staffers were caught urging poll workers to break election rules, including prohibitions on carrying cell phones or outside writing equipment into polling places. And last week in Kent County, a Republican poll worker was arrested and charged with tampering after he was caught inserting a USB drive into an electronic poll book containing confidential voter registration data.

"The dangers to the election system posed by a bad actor serving as a poll worker — or even a small group of them — are likely much smaller than one who becomes a secretary of state or even a local county clerk, where there is a much greater ability to affect campaigns by changing voting policies or through disrupting the election certification process," noted the report. "But some local election officials are still concerned that poll workers could present a security risk to voting equipment itself, like in Kent County, or that they could frustrate the processes at polling locations and centralized ballot tabulation centers."

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"Poll workers are typically employees of the government who interact with voters and handle ballots," the report continued. "And while some states require a partisan split of workers, they are generally expected to avoid any sort of activity that can be construed as political. Current and former officials expressed concerns about there being an organized effort by partisan groups to recruit and push people into those positions, because their responsibility should be to report to professional election staff."

All of this comes as states struggle to recruit poll workers amid the suspicion and anger, and as counties have seen resignations of election officials after threats. It also comes amid the high-profile case of pro-Trump Mesa County Recorder Tina Peters, who faces charges for tampering with voting equipment as part of her quest to prove the 2020 election was stolen.