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Today’s election has state and local officials on edge around the nation as they prepare for potential issues at polling locations, complex legal disputes over ballots, and misinformation about the vote itself.
The control of Congress and state legislative chambers will be decided by the results of the congressional, state, and gubernatorial elections, which will be determined by the results of more than 41 million pre-election ballots cast in 47 states. Officials anticipate a high turnout on Election Day as well.
In an election where early voting has been higher than in 2018, the vast majority of the tens of millions of voters who will cast ballots on Tuesday will do it without incident. And the vast majority of voting-related difficulties, like long lines or bad weather, will be unquestionably tiny and small-scale.
Election officials are battling newly discovered pressures from the right-wing conspiracy at the same time. An increasing number of Republican politicians, led by former President Donald Trump, have questioned the validity of the vote and made false accusations that the 2020 election was rigged, setting the stage for similar attacks during these midterm elections.
Voting rights campaigners and state and municipal officials have warned that political attacks, including a sharp increase in threats of violence against poll workers, have caused a mass flight of the local election officials in charge of overseeing the vote.
Election Day potential problems, both significant and minor, have been previewed by early voting. In Pennsylvania, a court battle over technical faults rendering mail-in ballots illegal is ongoing, while in Arizona, armed poll box watchers were charged with planning to intimidate voters.
Election officials are preparing for intense monitoring of the forthcoming midterm election in addition to anticipating potential conflicts with election deniers who have threatened and harassed officials regarding the 2020 election. These disputes go beyond the legal battles.
Since early in-person voting began in North Carolina, the state Board of Elections has received reports of about 15 alleged intimidation instances.
An election worker was once followed from the polling place to the elections office and then to their neighborhood. Other incidents involved people outside a county board of elections filming an election worker’s license plate.
In Arizona, the secretary of state’s office has reported 18 cases of drop-box intimidation to law enforcement, including a threat made to a government employee and reports from many voters that they were filmed at drop-box locations in Maricopa County last week. Following complaints about aggressive patrols of voting machines in the state, a federal judge earlier this month imposed fresh limitations against a right-wing group in the state, prohibiting its members from publicly carrying guns or wearing body armor.
The 2022 midterm elections face a greater threat from domestic violent extremists, according to federal officials.
Election authorities are on the lookout for conspiracy theories, which frequently spread like wildfire but are blatantly false, as the votes start to come in and are processed and counted on Tuesday.
It may take many days for all the votes to be counted in states like Pennsylvania and Michigan because state regulations prohibit the early processing of mail-in ballots in those states. Election Day votes, which are anticipated to contain more Republicans, are likely to be tabulated before mail-in ballots, which are anticipated to be used by more Democrats, creating a “red mirage” in Pennsylvania, where the Senate race could determine which party controls the chamber. Arizona, on the other hand, mail-in ballots may be processed as soon as they are received, which means that those ballots will be the first to be counted after polls close.