ICYMI: IRG’s Sarah Gonski: Protecting Arizona election officials crucial ahead of upcoming elections
For Immediate Release:
August 24, 2023
PHOENIX — Last night, the Arizona Capitol Times published an opinion piece by Sarah Gonski, an Arizona-based election law attorney and senior policy advisor at the Institute for Responsive Government. Reflecting on the fact that six county recorders resigned over a span of two short years, Gonski writes about the harassment that election officials continue to face due to the hyper-politicization of democracy in the state.
In the op-ed, Gonski writes, “[T]he gravity of anti-democratic sentiment nationwide and partisan refusal to fortify voting rights at the federal level threatens the future of voter access. Election denialism further has the potential to erode trust in our democracy and demean the legitimacy of our government – this is what makes it dangerous.” To ensure fair, efficient, and secure elections for voters, she advocates for robust federal election infrastructure funding and to trust election officials to do their job, free from harassment and threats.
- “Ever since the 2020 presidential election elections, Maricopa County has been the epicenter of election denialism – three years later, we’re still seeing the impact of the hyper-politicization of democracy on our elections workers in our state.”
- “Baseless claims about the validity and security of elections stemming from the 2020 election continue today. And like so many states across the nation, Arizona has faced an uptick in hostility towards election officials, perpetuated by election deniers.”
- “The gravity of anti-democratic sentiment nationwide and partisan refusal to fortify voting rights at the federal level threatens the future of voter access. Election denialism further has the potential to erode trust in our democracy and demean the legitimacy of our government – this is what makes it dangerous. It’s more important than ever that we take a stand against election denialism, which will take critical work to ensure fair, efficient, and secure elections.”
- “Above all, federal election infrastructure funding would allow for increased staff wages, critical updates to voting equipment, the patching of security vulnerabilities, and other urgently-needed modernizations. Most importantly, maintaining well-funded and fully-staffed election offices will ensure all eligible voters can exercise their fundamental rights.”
- “Instead of politicizing our election offices, we need to work together to ensure Arizona’s election officials have the proper resources to execute efficient, secure and streamlined elections. Ahead of critical state elections and the 2024 presidential elections, we need trust in our officials to do their job – free from harassment and threat. Our democracy depends on it.”
The Institute for Responsive Government is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to ensuring state and federal governments work effectively for the very people they serve. IRG provides data, research and expertise to elected officials in order to find practical policy solutions that make government systems more efficient, accessible, and responsive.