FBI warns people not to threaten poll workers ahead of Arizona midterms

As the FBI warns charges could be filed against whoever threatens election workers, Maricopa County says security will be beefed up for the election.
Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 8:31 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The FBI is reminding people not to threaten election workers as early voting gets underway in Arizona. Maricopa County sent 1.9 million early ballots to voters. The county recorder expects a big turnout for the midterm election in November. So security is top of mind 27 days before election day.

Currently, about 80% of poll worker positions are filled in the county. Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer says they are on pace to reach their goal of hiring 3,000 workers. But it has become tougher to find help because of how poll workers have been treated recently.

“This is something we’ve unfortunately been living with the past two years,” Richer said. “It’s an indictment of society. If somebody is harmed this would be a black eye for Arizona’s reputation for a long long time.”

Richer has received death threats over the last couple of years. He says the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and local police departments are bringing more security to polling locations. Hopefully, that will better protect workers and voters. “Immensely concerned but we also think we’ve done everything we possibly can to prepare,” he said.

The FBI sent a memo Wednesday explaining why you should not threaten poll workers. In June 2021, the FBI created a task force to assess the threats against people working on elections. Click/tap here to read more.

In Maricopa County, you can track your vote. Click/tap here to sign up.