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New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Tolouse Oliver talks about threats against election workers.

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Tolouse Oliver talks with PBS NewsHour about threats against election workers.

June 23, 2022

Threats Against Election Workers Persist After 2020 Election

Ask Students: Why do many election workers feel unsafe following the 2020 Election? When did threats against election workers begin?

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Summary

After former President Donald Trump’s false claims about fraudulent 2020 election results, local and state elections officials continue to face unprecedented pressures ahead of this year’s midterms, including wide-scale threats. For a transcript of the story, click here.

Remote video URL

Discussion Questions: Threats Against Election Workers

  1. Who are the officials interviewed in the segment? What are/were their roles?
  2. What role do volunteer or temporary election workers play in running elections?
  3. Why do many election workers feel unsafe following the 2020 Election?
  4. When did threats against election workers begin? (Following what event?)
  5. How does intimidation of election workers threaten American democracy?

Focus Questions

Many of the people who threaten election officials incorrectly believe that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump.

  • Why do you think so many people continue to have these false beliefs more than a year after the election?
  • Can their minds be changed? If so, how?
  • Media Literacy: Judy Woodruff, the host of the segment, makes it clear that one of her guests is a Democrat and one is a Republican. Why do you think she does this? Does it make the story more or less credible to you?

Civic Engagement

Go to this website and enter your county, city, and state. Look at how much election workers in your area get paid and what the age requirement is. In many places, 16-year-olds can be paid to work elections. If you qualify, you can consider signing up. If you are too young, you can perhaps share with older sibling and friends and remember that the opportunity exists in the future. Do you think people will hesitate to become poll workers following stories like the one you heard in the video? What might be some short term and long term effects of not having enough poll workers? 

 

Republished with permission from PBS NewsHour Extra.

PBS NewsHour Classroom helps teachers and students identify the who, what, where and why-it-matters of the major national and international news stories.

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