The insurrection that occurred in Washington on January 6, 2021, and the culture of mistrust of election management that preceded and follows it, is a concern for all people who care about democracy. According to a survey by the Brennan Center, one in six local election officials have personally experienced threats, and nearly eight in 10 local election officials feel that threats against them and their colleagues are on the rise. This increase in threats made to election officials and poll workers informs us we must provide policies for threats and threatening behavior. Adding these protections to NDCC 16.1-05-09 will be encouraged by Secretary Powell.
The legislature must be a part of preventing, and if prevention is unsuccessful, proscribing penalties in cases of threats or violence at polling locations or against our neighbors who work in our polling places or elections offices.
The same bill provides for elections observers. Few restrictions are codified, and hearings into the need for restrictions and parameters should be held.
Finally, a bill that prohibits out-of-state auditing firms from being hired must be forwarded to the legislature. Several states paid for expensive and fruitless and unwarranted “audits” of ballots and election materials.
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