Editor’s note: Melissa Price Chrome is the North Carolina Voter Director for Clean Elections.
Be honest. Most of us don’t spend our days thinking about the roads and bridges we drive, the water we drink or the electric grid we turn on the lights. We rely on our government to make sure our bridges are safe, our water is clean and our electric grid is working. But we can’t take it for granted, it’s always there.
The same is true of our election.
When we vote, we rely on our election officials to send and process ballot-by-mail ballots, provide convenient and effective early voting, run our polling stations on Election Day, secure every ballot and count every vote accurately. We rely on our trusted local authorities to do democratic work for all of us. But they cannot do it unless we give them the tools they need to do their work safely and efficiently.
This month Americans are coming together to watch a number of hearings from the Jan. 6 selection committee. We are learning more about how “MAGA” Republicans have planned, promoted and paid for a criminal conspiracy to undo the election they lost.
However, this is only the beginning of the story. These extremists are constantly campaigning to undermine future elections and they are easily canceling lost elections and putting deliberate barriers to voting. They are changing the rules for political gain and threatening election managers who do not go with them.
As we saw during this week’s January 6th committee hearing, Donald Trump and his “MAGA” allies made every effort to force state and local officials to falsify election results. In one example of his stress campaign, he targeted Georgia election workers who faced death threats and racial abuse as they did their jobs. In Michigan, Trump followers Threatened to go to the Secretary of State’s house While she was at home with her baby.
Unfortunately, despite growing threats, federal legislation to prevent electoral sabotage has stalled in Congress.
We can’t wait for action from Washington. North Carolina needs legislation to protect fair elections and we need it now. Here’s the reason:
Election workers are helpful, friendly and honest. They are our friends and neighbors. Simply put, they are ordinary people, doing common things, working together to listen to all our voices and count our votes. They should be able to do their job without fear of violence or harassment. If hard-working and dedicated election workers decide to step aside and no one comes forward to fill their shoes, it is a messy recipe for an election.
We must protect our election workers to protect our election.
The North Carolina Safeguard Fair Elections Act makes it a crime to intimidate, intimidate, or engage in violence against election officials, and to help protect voters before or on Election Day. Ultimately, it makes state officials accountable for making sure they respect the will of the people.
When you turn on the lights, you expect the power to work. When you cast your vote, you expect it to be counted. We need leaders and laws that ensure accountability to ensure the system works the way it should, and the Fair Elections Safety Act caters to it.
Capital Broadcasting’s opinion section seeks extensive comments and letters to the editor. Our comments next to each opinion panel give us an opportunity to engage in a conversation about this article.
Additionally, we invite you to write to the editor about this or any other opinion article. Here are some tips on submissions >> Submit a letter to the editor