This is a big problem (and not just in CA):
Now, months before a likely recall election followed by the 2022 campaign season where political maps will be redrawn and voters will need help navigating the changes, California finds itself in the midst of an election officer exodus.
‘Worn down and tired’
Foote stepped down Friday as Inyo’s chief elections officer, the eighth registrar across California to resign since last November’s election. At least one more registrar is expected to resign in the coming weeks. Some have been on the job for almost three decades.
“I think, if anything, it’s just a sense of being worn down and tired,” Foote said about her decision to leave. “In 2020, we found ourselves working seven days a week, months on end, under tremendous pressure.”
Conducting a presidential election during the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t easy. State leaders required every registered voter to be sent a ballot in the mail, and for those voters who participated in person, there were detailed public health requirements that necessitated new and extensive training for poll workers.
Foote, who has accepted a job with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, contracted COVID-19 just after the primary last March and had to finish tallying votes while sick at home.
While she said the decision to leave was about more than just the challenges of running elections in California, other registrars and voting advocates said the exodus of so many skilled leaders should serve as a warning.
“We have all lived through the pandemic, of course, but folks administering elections are under even more stress because of the lies that spread like mad before and especially after election day in November,” said Cathy Darling Allen, the registrar of voters in Shasta County who has kept a tally of all of her counterparts who have left. “Sincerely, I was called a liar more times over the two-month period around the election than in my entire life.”