But others, Cano said, have what she calls “less clear motives” and tend to dismiss the answers election officials give them. She said these people don’t trust the process, the people running the elections or even the technology being used to count the ballots.
“So this isn’t really about elections (or) concerns about whether or not the process is secure,” Cano said. “It’s about undermining the possibility of having an election at all.”
But the majority of Texans still trust the process. According to a Marist Poll released earlier this month, 73% of Texas adults are “either confident or very confident in their state or local government to run a fair and accurate election this November.”
And yet disinformation continues to spread, putting election officials in danger.
Most recently, all of the employees of the elections office in Gillespie County abruptly resigned in August after citing threats against the staff and “dangerous misinformation” in the community.
David Becker, the executive director of the Center for Election Innovation and Research and author of the book The Big Truth, said the reports are alarming.
“The professionals who ran elections throughout the states, in Texas and elsewhere, ran such a successful election in terms of process, and yet have been subjected to threats and abuse and harassment over the course of the last two years,” Becker said. “That’s created a very volatile situation, and, unfortunately, it’s going to take us a long time to get out of it.”
Becker said voters casting a ballot in the midterms should expect the process to run similarly to previous elections.
He is worried about this year’s ballot-counting and certification process if “candidates who perceive that they might be losing seek to undermine confidence in the election process, seek to delegitimize the election process,” and even incite supporters to become violent.
Becker said there are ways to fight back. He encouraged voters to sign up to be poll workers. People can also consume a variety of trusted new sources that challenge them.
“Our democracy is secure, and it’s as resilient and transparent as it’s ever been. That’s just a fact,” Becker said. “The only people trying to weaken your confidence in that democracy are people who are losing.”