New network to provide free legal assistance to electoral administrators under attack and at risk – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Washington DC (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) – Two prominent election lawyers have joined forces to launch a network that provides free legal assistance to election authorities facing threats during and after the 2020 elections.

Democrat Bob Bauer, former White House adviser to the Obama administration, and Ben Ginsberg, a prominent Republican electoral lawyer who has represented President George W. Bush’s campaign, announced on September 8 that the official defense network elections had announced the creation of.

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The group runs elections on issues ranging from protecting themselves and their families, intimidation to subpoenas from parties and numerous new state laws that impose criminal and civil penalties on election managers non-compliant. To support.

The network is managed by an existing nonprofit group, the Independent Election Innovation Research Center.

“We are still targeting killings and other threats against professional state and local election authorities and their families, but almost a year has passed since the election,” said David Becker. The director of the center told reporters on Wednesday.

Ginsburg said the new network will send a message to election officials. 1, you are not alone, and 2, we support you. “

Republican Brian Corey, who elects in Pasco County, Fla., Told a virtual press conference last year that he and his staff asked residents to consider voting by mail during a pandemic of coronavirus. He said he had been threatened several times.

“My staff have been called a racial insult, not just once or twice… we’re talking about 30, 40, 50 [times]“He said, ‘I have been called the enemy of the nation. “

Corey said the problem was exacerbated after speaking publicly about the threat last December. An angry protester appeared in the original house where his ex-wife and child still lived. He said he ended up asking local law enforcement and the FBI for help.

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Election observers have been wary of threats authorities face and the potential for massive spills from the scene for months. Nearly one in three local election officials included in a recent poll by the Liberal Brennan Center for Justice said he did not feel safe about his job. The problem is so serious that the US Department of Justice announced a task force earlier this year to address the growing threat to election officials.

Richard Baron, the returning officer for Fulton County, Georgia, said there was a constant threat to his staff and he sparked talks with the FBI.

“A lot of the phones were about motorcycle gangsters coming to our office to shoot us in our office and our seats. Some of my staff have their doors. At night, people visited the house at night, ”he said. “Another woman visited her grandmother because she thought she was there. They wanted to arrest the citizens and tried to push her into her grandmother’s house.

Officials also say they are concerned about new electoral law sanctions passed this year in Republican-controlled states. The Texas law, signed this week by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, provides for criminal and civil penalties for elected workers who violate this provision. In addition, a new Florida law imposes a fine of up to $ 25,000 on election administrators who leave the ballot boxes unattended.

For example, Texas law criminalizes partisan pollsters for granting new access and authority and deliberately obstructing pollsters’ visibility.

“We just passed another law at the polling station that makes it more controversial,” Harris County, Texas, returning officer Michael Win said of the new polling station arrangements.

Win and Corey are on the new network’s bipartisan advisory board, including Georgian Secretary of State Brad Lafence Purger. Republicans rejected former President Donald Trump’s call to “find” the votes necessary to reverse the 2020 defeat in Peach County.

The group has just started recruiting lawyers to provide free assistance to election officials, Becker said.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. CNN Wire ™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., Time Warner Company contributed to this report.)

New network to provide free legal assistance to electoral administrators under attack and at risk – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

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