The Justice Department has created a new task force to combat threats made against election workers, administration, officials, and anyone else connected to the electoral process, the department announced on Thursday.
The task force will focus on threats of violence against election workers to ensure that they are able to perform their jobs without fear of threats or intimidation. The group will receive support from the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and FBI field offices across the country, and will be led by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.
''To protect the electoral process for all voters, we must identify threats against those responsible for administering elections, whether federal, state, or local,'' said Monaco. ''A threat to any election official, worker, or volunteer is a threat to democracy.
"We will promptly and vigorously prosecute offenders to protect the rights of American voters, to punish those who engage in this criminal behavior, and to send the unmistakable message that such conduct will not be tolerated.''
''The FBI will not tolerate threats against any federal, state or local election worker participating in the common goals of safeguarding our electoral process and the rights of voters,'' said FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate. ''From election administrators to volunteers to vendors and contractors, threats against any one individual is a threat against us all.
"The FBI’s mission is to protect the American people and uphold our Constitution, and protecting our democratic process is paramount. We take this responsibility seriously and will investigate any and all federal violations to the fullest.''
The Brennan Center for Justice found in a survey of local election workers last April that almost 1 in 6 had received threats of violence, with 1 in 3 saying that their job made them feel unsafe.
''Our democracy is at stake, that’s no exaggeration,'' Larry Norden, director of the Brennan Center’s Election Reform Program, told The Hill. ''You cannot have free and fair elections without election workers who are able to ensure nonpartisan administration, and can do so without fear.''
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.