'Beyond ridiculous': The 2020 presidential election is still a nightmare for many election officials

'Beyond ridiculous': The 2020 presidential election is still a nightmare for many election officials
An elderly African American man holds his “I voted” sticker after he cast his ballot in Washington, DC.

The chaos of 2020 presidential election is still very much on the minds of election officials, according to a new report by NPR. From bizarre conspiracy theories to death threats toward election officials, 2020 remains a contributing factor to the many political divides across the country.

A number of Democratic and Republican lawmakers explained how the aftermath of the 2020 election is, as Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) put it, "the very unfortunate new normal."

"There has been no real accountability for [Trump] or anyone else who used positions of authority to spread misinformation," Benson said. "Without that accountability, without any consequences for anyone who has used their positions as lawyers or otherwise to spread misinformation. We must expect to see it continue."

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D) expressed concern about how opposition towards election officials has continued long after former President Donald Trump lost the presidency.

"Usually once the election is done and in the can, so to speak, the rhetoric starts to die down and we all start to accept whatever the new reality is and move forward," Oliver said. "We've never seen anything like what's happened... I cannot believe it. It's beyond ridiculous at this point."

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) told NPR he believes there are a number of ways to combat the spread of misinformation campaigns for better outcomes in the future.

"Somebody's going to come up to the Board of Elections booth, and they're going to say, 'Hey, is that the machine with the secret algorithm from China?'" LaRose said. "And instead of dismissing that, because we know that that's clearly a false idea, engage with that person, show them the security protocols that we have in Ohio, teach them about logic and accuracy testing before each election... I mean, this is demonstrable."

Election officials are still engaged in detailed discussions on how to restore voter confidence in elections and address false information that has become so easy to spread due to social media.

Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman (R), who adamantly pushed back against Trump's claims of voter fraud and his disapproval of mail-in voting, also admitted that the 2020 election is still a problem.

"We haven't decompressed from 2020, we're still every day living it," said Wyman. "It takes a toll. It's exhausting... Emotionally, physically, mentally exhausting."

She added, "It doesn't matter what I present to critics or challengers. It doesn't matter what the answer is. It will always be something new. It's never-ending. And that's what worries me about 2020: How do we move on from here?"

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