Texas Election Staff Resigns After Threats and Harassment
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As reported in the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post, election workers in Gillespie County, Texas have resigned after threats, stalking and overwhelming pressure. Gillespie County is a central Texas county with a population of around 26,000 where former President Donald Trump won overwhelmingly in 2020. Anissa Herrera, the county’s election administrator, has served in the role since 2019 and worked for the county in election-related roles for the past nine years. “After the 2020 (election), I was threatened, I’ve been stalked, I’ve been called out on social media,” said Herrera, who isn’t the only county worker who has recently resigned from the county’s Elections Department. “We have some people who are pretty fanatical and radical about things,” said Gillespie County Judge Mark Stroeher. “Unfortunately, they have driven out our elections administrator, and not just her, but the staff. Everybody has resigned.”
Herrera also mentions how the Texas Legislature has passed several laws that add new burdens on overworked election administrators. For example, Senate Bill 1113 allows the Texas secretary of state to withhold state funds from registrars if they do not regularly purge voter registrations. House Bill 2283 limits private donations to election administrators, often an important source of funding for under-resourced offices. The well-known omnibus Senate Bill 1 includes a myriad of other provisions that restrict the work of administrators.
This story exemplifies a growing, dangerous trend of threats and harassment thrown towards election officials inspired by Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen. A Brennan Center survey revealed that one in six election officials have experienced threats and one in five indicated that they are likely to leave their jobs before 2024.