Local election officials are on the front lines of our nation’s democracy, seeking to serve the public good and our communities. While their roles and responsibilities vary between jurisdictions, they are public servants and share a broad responsibility to serve candidates, parties, and voters, all of whom demand timely and trustworthy election results.

In recent years, what was once a seemingly apolitical role has unfortunately been subjected to pressure by those that would seek to undermine the democratic process. This overt politicization has been detrimental not only to democracy, but to the people who are seeking to support our institutions, our history, and the sacred right to vote.  

This unprecedented shift in the way local election officials are viewed and the emergence of threats and harassment towards them remains under recognized, though several studies have been published on the subject. This brief synthesizes the findings and recommendations of those reports, focusing on the information most relevant to local election officials and local elected leaders. In addition, we have identified a set of recommendations for local election officials and created a list of external resources relevant to these actions.