During a December 5 rally in Georgia last year Donald Trump turned his focus to a local official, showing supporters a video of Richard Barron, the Fulton County elections director.
"So, if you just take the crime of what those Democratic workers were doing," Trump told attendees, "that's ten times more than I need to win the state."
VICE reports it was then that Barron started getting attacked in a deluge of voicemails, many of which "were graphic and specifically called for his death."
"Hey, Rick," one racist and homophobic voicemail said. "Two hundred and thirty four years ago, the founding caucasian fathers of America gave us the Second Amendment. Time's running out, Richard. We're coming after you and every motherfucker that stole this election with our Second Amendment, subpoenas be damned, you're going to be served lead, you fucking enemy enemy communist cocksucker. You will be served lead."
"Hey, Rick," another said. "Watching this video of you on YouTube. I can't believe you can't count votes in Fulton County. It's absolutely incredible. How deceivious? How deceitful you are? You need to get your act together or people like me really may go after people like you."
"If you have a hand in this," another caller said, "you deserve to go to prison, you actually deserve to hang by your goddamn skinny-ass soyboy neck."
The threats weren't just shielded behind anonymous voicemails.
"We also began to see people just across the street from the warehouse where we are now," Barron told VICE. "They started to do surveillance on my staff, taking pictures of all of the individuals that would come in and go in and out of the warehouse, they would take pictures of their license plates."
Reporting on what it says is a "mass exodus" of elections officials – some, like Barron who have decades of irreplaceable experience and expertise – VICE says it spoke with over a dozen who were the targets of death threats and other attacks.
"Officials across the United States experienced physical stalking, explicitly violent phone calls, racial slurs, home surveillance, bomb scares, and threats of mass shootings. For some officials in Georgia and Pennsylvania, the threats have continued for nearly a year. And now, many of these officials want to quit," VICE adds.
One local Pennsylvania city commissioner, Al Schmidt, who had been targeted by named by Trump had to leave home and live under police protection after the death threats – sent to him and his wife – started.
"The first email that my wife received with the subject line, 'Albert RINO Schmidt, committed treason,' Schmidt said. It continued: "'Your husband should tell the truth, or your three kids … will be fatally shot." The email went on to mention their children's ages and their address, and said that the cops couldn't help them. The email was also signed "Q," in likely reference to QAnon. Then, the email included a link to a picture of their home.