2020 Election Spurs Resignations and Retirements of Officers

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Ms. Clark, chairwoman of the Michigan white-collar union, said she believed the pace of exits there will be influenced by the fate of Republican-backed legislation that would tighten voting rules and reduce the authority of electoral officials.

And in Iowa, the Republican-controlled legislature voted this spring to cut early voting deadlines, restrict postal voting rules, severely limit ballot boxes – and target the district auditors who run elections. A clause eliminates much of your ability to take steps to facilitate voting. Another made it a crime to disregard the Secretary of State’s electoral guidelines and fined up to $ 10,000 for “technical breaches” of their duties.

In Davenport, Ms. Moritz said, the pandemic and electoral fraud had almost turned the preparations for last year’s election upside down. Tensions rose after she argued with the Republican-led county board about accepting donations to offset rising election costs.

When election workers were hired, she said she checked with officials to make sure there was enough money in her $ 80 million a year budget to cover danger compensation. But the superiors had set her salary at $ 12 an hour, and she didn’t ask her permission to increase it.

Ms. Moritz says she made a mistake. “Nobody benefited from it except the poll workers,” she said. When the prosecutor called two weeks after the election to tell her the pay was being investigated, she said, “I literally puked in my trash can.”

The guards said their investigation was not politically motivated and the state auditor, a Democrat, is investigating the misstep. But in the storm of the public that followed the request of the superiors, Ms. Moritz began to receive threats. And any thought of moving on vanished after lawmakers began considering restricting auditors’ powers and punishing them for mistakes like theirs.

“People are starting to wonder if this is the job they want to be in,” she said. “It’s always been a stressful job, and now it’s even more so. And all these things that come out of the pipe make it worse. “

Susan C. Beachy contributed to the research.