After officials in Nye County, Nevada, accept a presentation from a Republican nominee for secretary of state to cease utilizing voting machines and instead move to hand counting for the general election, long-time county clerk Sam Merlino chose to resign her position.
Having her county engulfed by unproven conspiracy theories concerning the 2020 election, the decision was the last straw for Republican Merlino.
Election experts and officials report that since the 2020 election, election officials in states around the country have been slowly leaving their positions due to an unimaginable scale of disinformation, harassment, and threats.
Only three months remain until Election Day, and ABC News has learned of a new wave of departures and early retirements from election office in at least nine states, including Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and New Jersey.
There's a vast amount of institutional knowledge that we're losing across the country, Elizabeth Howard, senior counsel for the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, a neutral think tank that follows election rules, told ABC News.
According to Howard, election management has grown increasingly complicated over the past few decades, and election officials are continuously struggling to balance technology with reliability and accuracy, as well as having a precise and reliable voting registration list and making it as simple as possible for legal voters to cast a vote that is reliably counted.
The entire election office in Gillespie County, Texas, reportedly resigned last week because of threats and misinformation, as reported by the Fredericksburg Standard.
According to Taylor's interview with ABC News, there has been a 30% turnover rate among county officials in Texas over the past two years, with several politicians quitting across the state due to threats of violence.
In a report issued this month by the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee, election managers voiced concerns about staffing ahead of the midterm elections.
The report alleges that election administrators have been inundated with threats, litigation, and misinformation due to erroneous accusations of election rigging in the 2020 election, to the point where they have been distracted to the point that we can't get our real work done.
After Donald Trump lost his reelection bid, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell began spreading untrue conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. He has since fostered and funded nationwide efforts to invalidate and overturn election results. Hundreds of people met this weekend in Springfield, Missouri, for Lindell's "Moment of Truth Summit," where they heard him and other election deniers rage about voting machines and detail their ongoing attempts to dispute the 2020 election by, among many other things, asking poll workers for voting machine data and election data.
Colorado county clerk Tina Peters, a prominent figure in the election denial movement, was among those who showed up virtually at the event. Peters gained prominence in the movement after authorities claimed election software she had used for her county had fallen into the hands of a counselor and screenshots of the software had appeared on right-wing websites. Peters entered a not guilty plea at an early stage in the proceedings.
Peters, who was unsuccessful in her June bid for Colorado secretary of state as a Republican, told summit delegates that she had paid for a recount of the election and encouraged them to be "courageous" in the face of electoral defeat.
According to Crane, election officials in Colorado, like those in many other states, have been resigning or retiring early in anticipation of the November election.
Supervisor of Elections for the State of Florida Mark Early told ABC News that election officials in the state had "felt the hate" from 2020 election skeptics.
At the House January 6 hearings in late June, a former Georgia election worker claimed that she was fired after former President Trump and his lawyers circulated misinformation about her behavior counting Georgia 2020 ballots.
While many politicians leaving office have personal reasons for doing so, others stress how challenging their positions have become in the previous two years due to heightened scrutiny and animosity from critics.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Daily Cable.