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Hickman: A year after 2020 elections, threats, abuse still coming in

By November 2, 2021November 9th, 2021No Comments

By Genesis Sandoval // Cronkite News

WASHINGTON – It’s been a year since the 2020 elections, but Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman said he continues to get threats for his part in certifying the election.

“We’ve been at this for a year, and it’s difficult,” Hickman said Tuesday during a Washington Post Live forum on the aftermath of the Jan. 6 riots.

Hickman said the anger began election night and escalated after Jan. 6, when he arrived home to find police guarding his house. Besides the personal impact, he said the abuse is beginning to take its toll on election workers who are quitting because they “don’t want to take the abuse, and they want to stand down.”

“That’s the problem I’m seeing with public service,” Hickman said. “We are losing competent election workers across the United States because they just can’t take the threats.”

That reaction is not surprising, said Keith Allred, executive director for the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona.

“Most people aren’t going to want to deal with death threats when they’re just doing their job,” Allred said. “When it turns to not only being ugly speech, but threats of violence and actual violence, what reasonable person isn’t going to consider that? It’s going to make it harder for good people to think about public service.”

“You’re going to hurt your own cause and your own message by threatening violence. That never has worked in a republic, it can’t ever work,” Allred said.