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Tipsheet

Here's What Caused an Entire Election Staff to Resign

AP Photo/Alex Sanz

The 2020 election drama led an entire election staff to quit in a rural Virginia county. The GOP took over the election board and started hounding the incumbent officials, the registrar, and two part-time staffers, over the last presidential election. You have the right to voice your frustrations. Still, the media is trying to cast this staff exodus as a canary in the coal mine situation: if more Republicans angry about the 2020 election force election staffers to quit, it could impinge our functioning democracy. The action occurred in Buckingham County, Virginia, which sits outside Richmond. The core of the piece by NBC News centers on the hyper-partisan atmosphere that entrenched itself soon after 2020. Still, there is an actual issue regarding the overhaul at the county election office, but it has nothing to do with the past election (via NBC News):

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Lindsey Taylor loved running elections here.

The previous registrar had spent nearly three decades in the job, and Taylor, 37, hoped to do the same when she was hired in 2019. She loved her staff and the volunteer poll workers, and she took pride in the detail-oriented work. She implemented dozens of new laws in 2020, ran elections through the pandemic and impressed many in the rural, conservative, tight-knit community of Buckingham County. 

But then the voter fraud claims started. 

In January, the GOP assumed control of the Buckingham County Electoral Board that oversees her office, and local Republicans began advancing baseless voter fraud claims that baffled her. The electoral board made it clear it wanted her out of the job. 

“There were people saying that they had heard all these rumors — that the attorney general was going to indict me,” Taylor said, days after leaving the office for the last time. “Mentally, I just — I couldn’t take it anymore.” 

Three weeks ago, frustrated and heartbroken, Taylor, along with two part-time staffers, quit. Their resignations followed a deputy registrar who left in February, citing the same conflict. 

[…] 

Larry Davis, a Democrat who served on the board through the end of last year when Youngkin’s election forced him out, said he declined a recent request from his party to fill Braxton’s seat on the electoral board. Still, he’s worried about how the election in November will go. 

“The next [registrar] will have zero experience. The board won’t have any experience. I would say at least half of the officers of elections are going to quit,” he said, referring to poll workers. “Who’s going to work the election?” 

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Taylor was reportedly nonpartisan, having voted for candidates from both parties. Was she a victim of the times or not? I don’t know or care, but the last part of the story is a real issue though I understand NBC News couldn’t weaponize it against the GOP or produce a lengthy piece about it. It also makes it a local news story, which means this county reshuffle doesn’t see the light of day. The injection of the 2020 election antics nationalizes it, so you see the thread here, but the lack of a seasoned staff at the election office could produce administrative issues that might lead to a disastrous Election Day. That’s the story, but it’s hardly one to get liberals in a tizzy. And no, one local Virginia county having a staff change in the election office isn’t a harbinger of things to come regarding the next election. It’s not some plot to muck up the results for future races.

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