Toulouse Oliver says threats against election officials have increased
Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver told the Committee on Homeland Security on July 20 she believed threats against election officials have amplified since 2020. The Secretary said last month three threatening phone calls against her were referred to the FBI.
She said that the recent threats came after her office's efforts to directly combat election misinformation through a new website and after a situation in Otero County where commissioners initially refused to certify the primary election results. They cited a baseless concern about voting machines often repeated by people who falsely say Donald Trump won the 2020 election.
Toulouse Oliver said she worried in an increasingly difficult environment that election workers might resign.
"I fear that threats coupled with the general vitriol online and in the media directed at all aspects of our elections will cause them so much stress and uncertainty that they will simply not want to do the work anymore," she said.
In answer to questions, she said election officials in New Mexico now work more closely with police and military to try to combat threats, including cyberthreats.
This reporting was made possible by the WK Kellogg Foundation and KUNM listeners