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Our role in keeping November election cool


The aftermath of Donald Trump’s conviction last week on 34 felony counts of falsifying business during his 2016 presidential campaign has included a dismaying effort by supporters to identify jurors and expose them to harm. It is no exaggeration to call this an attack on jury trials as an institution. Notably, the presumptive Republican nominee for the presidency is not calling for such harassment to stop, and the Republican Party has repudiated a GOP Senate candidate who called on people to respect the legal process. Meanwhile, the party’s leadership has chosen to amplify Trump’s attacks on the entire process of his case, just as they coddled his baseless attacks on the 2020 election. The spirit of Jan. 6 lives on.

Threats to these jurors in New York augur darkly for the days following November 5, when election workers might again be vulnerable to such behavior, as some were in 2020.

Conditions seem outwardly quiet as Doña Ana County completes the 2024 primary election process, where voting wrapped up on Tuesday. Many of the primary contests were uncontested and most of the attention was on the nominations for district attorney. The nominees for federal office were presumptive, postponing suspense until the general election.

New Mexico lawmakers and the governor have extended some protections for election workers, establishing intimidation of them as a fourth-degree felony and enacting some restrictions on firearms at polling places. Additionally, the state has ensured reimbursements for the costs of elections to the state’s election fund, to make sure election workers can count on having the resources needed to run elections properly.

As important as these legal mechanisms are, election workers need societal support. There is a right to appeal convictions to higher courts, and there are processes to review the conduct of elections. The Americans who toil to make these republican institutions function need the vocal support of their country, and attempts to bully or threaten them deserve our scorn.

elections, opinion