Georgia poll workers threatened; Local Elections Supervisor concerned about future poll worker recruitment

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County Elections Supervisor Mark Andersen is weighing in on the situation in Georgia, as elections officials have said they, their families and their poll workers have experienced threats of violence throughout the recount process.

“Let’s just hope that none of that ever creeps into Bay County,” Andersen said. “Violence is not tolerated. No one should ever be threatened for something like this in this area because that’s [not] part of our democracy. We don’t do that here.”

He said not only is intimidation unacceptable, it’s dangerously distracting to workers.

“Now you’re intimidating people that are going to be performing the elections through the process,” he said. “Are you angering them to the point where they don’t think clearly?”

He said it’s already difficult to recruit poll workers locally, who go through extensive training before Election Day. Now, he’s worried some may not do it again.

“In the past I’ve actually experienced where the voters have been so rude and so obnoxious that it affected poll workers where they never wanted to come back and work,” he explained. 

He said thankfully that didn’t happen in Bay County this year, but other areas can’t say the same.

“I’d have great concern for what’s going on in Georgia,” Andersen said. “Are they going to be very anxious to come back and actually do the job given the scrutiny that everything is under?”

Multiple Georgia government leaders have denounced the threats publicly.

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