Election workers in Maricopa County, Arizona, reportedly got 140 threats between July 11 and August 22. According to Reuters, threats included emails, social media posts, and video recordings of election workers. One of the messages claimed, “You will all be executed.” Another said, “Wire around their limbs and tied & dragged by a car.”
Scott Jarrett, the elections director for Maricopa County, informed the public in an email that the perpetrators of these threats vowed to continue through the midterm elections. Jarrett’s email stated, “If our permanent and temporary staff do not feel safe, we will not be able [to] recruit and retain staff for upcoming elections.”
Maricopa County has more than 4 million residents, including Phoenix. It was the scene of numerous allegations of election fraud in the 2020 election cycle, which prompted the state Senate to conduct a contentious audit.
The FBI established a task force to address the harassment of election workers in the summer of 2021 after 100 cases of threatening communications and online posts were reported. The task force has recorded approximately 1,000 threats to employees by social media, phone, email, and in person since it was established. The Associated Press reported that 11% of the threats were federal crimes and the FBI said four arrests have been made.