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New Data Reveals that Election Worker Turnover Has Reached Record Levels Ahead of the 2024 Vote

US 2024 Election (Credits: U.S. Embassy Prague)

Election officials nationwide are experiencing record turnover rates. At least 36% of local election offices have seen new leadership since 2020, marking the highest turnover in decades.

This turnover trend, also observed before the 2022 midterms, reflects experts’ concerns about the complexity of election roles and the challenges faced by new officials.

The heightened scrutiny and threats following the 2020 presidential election, fueled by false claims of voter fraud from Donald Trump, have contributed to the stressful environment for election workers.

Vote Counts (Credits: The DePaulia)

The turnover rate has gradually increased over the years, indicating persistent challenges in election administration. From 2000 to 2004, about 28% of local election officials changed jobs, and this figure rose to 31% four years later.

The recent spike in turnover underscores the urgent need for better funding and support for election workers to ensure smooth and reliable future elections.

Rachel Orey, a senior associate director at the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Elections Project, emphasized the importance of comprehensive strategies to address these challenges. These strategies should focus on improving funding for election administration and reducing the burdens placed on election administrators.

Voters (Credits: National Geographic Society)

UCLA researchers Daniel M. Thompson and Joshua Ferrer’s research, conducted in collaboration with the Bipartisan Policy Center, provides valuable insights into the dynamics driving election worker turnover.

The findings highlight the need for a coordinated effort to support election officials facing harassment, threats, and heavy workloads. This support is crucial for maintaining the integrity and efficiency of the electoral process, especially in upcoming high-stakes elections like the 2024 presidential contest.

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