- U.S. Election Assistant Commission Chairman Thomas Hicks says poll workers are counting votes “fairly and accurately.”
- He said that almost all the polling stations across the country were not threatened to the voters.
- Anyone who prevents someone from voting is committing a crime and “must be prosecuted,” he said.
Despite disturbing images of men in tactical gear stalking ballot boxes, there have been almost no reports of voter intimidation on Election Day, the country’s top election administrator said Tuesday.
Millions of Americans are casting their ballots freely and fairly, and tens of thousands of poll workers across the country are “with the highest integrity and working really hard to ensure a fair and accurate vote count,” the U.S. Election Assistance Commission Chairman Thomas Hicks told Insider.
Hicks also had a warning for anyone who tries to intimidate or harass someone exercising their right to vote.
“If someone is eligible to cast their vote, they should be able to do so freely and without encumbrance, and those who impose these restrictions to harass or intimidate should be prosecuted,” Hicks said. Should.”
“If someone is trying to suppress votes or try to intimidate voters so they don’t cast their votes, it’s still illegal,” he added. “If somebody feels threatened, they should report it to their local law enforcement, they should report it to their local election official and they should still cast their vote and not fall prey to that fear. “
In West Bend, Wisconsin, that’s exactly what happened, when police arrested a knife-wielding man who demanded election workers close a polling station.
While voter intimidation may seem like a new trend, it’s not, noted Hicks, whose bipartisan agency serves as the federal government’s clearinghouse for voting information, resources and funding, and elections. works with local jurisdictions to assist them in managing
“The reality is that there have been people who have died for our right to vote, and there have been people who have tried to limit that right for the last 200 years to any category that you put outside. want to throw up,” Hicks said.
Some good news: Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, legions of young Americans have volunteered to be poll workers and help manage elections — a patriotic act.
“I see it as another way to serve my country,” Hicks said.
But voting in the United States is hardly perfect, he acknowledged.
Numerous challenges remain. He said vote counting was slow at times and people “need to be patient”. Election interference is a constant threat. Former President Donald Trump, among others, continues to spread lies about past and present elections.
And, on a more pedestrian level, perhaps, the quality of voting devices and systems across the country is hardly uniform, as a Brennan Center for Justice and Certified Voting study this year indicated.
Hicks said a “dedicated funding” is necessary to ensure voters everywhere can trust future elections to be good and effective.
“They want to make sure they have the best equipment to do their job,” he said of election organizers.