- US Elections Assistance Commission Chairman Thomas Hicks says election workers are counting the votes “fairly and accurately.”
- Electoral intimidation has disappeared in all polling stations in the country, he said.
- Anyone preventing someone from voting is a crime and “should be prosecuted,” he said.
Despite disturbing images of people in tactical gear following ballot boxes, there were almost no reports of voter intimidation on Election Day, according to the country’s top election director. on Sunday.
Tens of millions of Americans are casting their ballots fairly and accurately, and tens of thousands of election workers across the country are doing their jobs “with the utmost precision and dedication to ensure that the count the votes,” the US Election Assistance Commission. Chairman Thomas Hicks told Insider.
Hicks also warned against anyone seeking to intimidate or harass anyone exercising their right to vote.
“If one has the opportunity to vote, one must be able to do so freely and without undue burden, and those who impose such burdens on harassment or intimidation must be prosecuted ,” Hicks said.
“If someone is looking to suppress votes or intimidate voters to not vote, that’s illegal,” he said. “If people are afraid, they should report it to their local law enforcement, they should report it to their local election official and keep voting and don’t be afraid.”
In West Bend, Wisconsin, that’s exactly what happened, when police arrested a man with a knife who asked poll workers to shut down a polling place.
While voter fraud is a new phenomenon, Hicks says his dual role as a federal clearinghouse for election information, resources and funding, and working with authorities is not. of the region to help them conduct the elections.
“The truth is that there are people who have died for our right to vote, and there are people who have tried to block that right for the last 200 years for whatever reason you want to throw out. there,” Hicks said.
Some good news: Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of young Americans have volunteered to work as poll workers and help out at the polls — a patriotic act, he said.
“I see this as another way to serve our country,” Hicks said.
But voting in America isn’t fair, he said.
Many challenges remain. Vote counting is sometimes slow and “people have to be patient,” he said. Election interference remains a threat. Former President Donald Trump, among others, is spreading lies about past and current elections.
And on a more basic level, perhaps, the quality of voting equipment and systems is uneven across the country, according to a study by the Brennan Center for Law and Elections this year. year.
The “independent financial flow” is necessary so that voters everywhere can trust that future elections will be conducted efficiently and effectively, Hicks said.
“They want to make sure they have the best tools to do their job,” he said of election managers.