Brunswick Beacon, 12.01.22
The nonpartisan U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence just named Brunswick County a Center for Election Excellence, honoring its commitment to “safe, secure and inclusive elections that put voters first.” Congratulations!
The Beacon’s Nov. 24 editorial cartoon unfairly demonizes our outstanding election workers. It shows ballot boxes being stuffed while voters ask: “What’s going on?” Poll workers reply: “Nothing to see here. Have some Kool-Aid.” An editor’s note says it “does not reflect the opinion of the Brunswick Beacon.” That won’t make our honest, helpful and dedicated election workers feel any more appreciated.
After Donald Trump baselessly claimed that the 2020 election was rigged, election workers and their families received over 1,000 threats, including threats to “hang,” “lynch,” and “exterminate” them. “I know where you sleep,” one screamed.
Karen Bell, executive director of NC’s Board of Elections, says they got calls threatening “someone would be murdered.” Forty-five NC county election directors quit or retired. The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency says one-third of election workers quit for fear of their lives. We all lose when fear causes good people to abandon public service.
Juliette Kayyem was assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security. She says Trump’s election denialism creates “stochastic terrorism.” Publicly demonizing people or groups weaponizes disgust, inciting seemingly random acts of violence by supporters enflamed with hatred. Trump called Nancy Pelosi “Crazy Nancy,” “unhinged” and “an animal.” The Republican National Committee ran ads with her head in a gun sight as shots fired and blood ran down her face. Marjorie Taylor Greene accused Pelosi of treason; “a crime,” Greene noted, “punishable by death.” Pelosi’s husband was nearly murdered after years of such demonization.
Over 300 election workers staff Brunswick County’s award-winning election team. The Beacon’s editorial cartoon insults their hard work and impugns their integrity by spreading baseless fears of rigged elections. Our outstanding election workers deserve accolades, not accusations.