Election officials across the country are preparing for disruptions as voters cast ballots today in the first national election since 2020, when former President Donald Trump refused to accept the results and an angry mob later stormed the U.S. Capitol to prevent their certification.
President Joe Biden says democracy is on the ballot. So is his record and the fate of his agenda for the rest of his presidential term.
Biden’s approval rating has been hovering in the low 40s in recent months, and it’s expected to be a drag on Democratic candidates down the ballot.
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Experts warn voters to be ‘vigilant, but not paranoid’
As America braces for its first national election since 2020 – as Jan. 6 insurrectionists remain on trial, as candidates nationwide deny the results from presidential election, as the president warns of a “path to chaos” – experts on voting and extremism want to make two things clear.
First, voting in the United States remains extraordinarily safe.
Second, as millions of Americans still seethe over the 2020 election and cast doubt on the fairness of the electoral process, spurred on by lies and disinformation, the possibility remains of tense confrontations or even violence at polling places.
It’s a new normal for everyone – election officials, law enforcement officers and individual voters – who should be on alert, but not panicked, as they cast their votes, said Jared Holt, a senior researcher at the think tank the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and an expert on domestic extremism.
“When it comes to risks at the polls, I keep telling people to be vigilant, but not paranoid,” Holt said. ”Vigilance means being aware of some of the different things that you might see at polling locations and how to respond to those, whereas paranoia looks like believing armed goons are waiting outside your polling station now and maybe you just don’t want to go vote at all, because you’re worried about it.”
— Will Carless, Bill Keveney, and Trevor Hughes
Story Credit: usatoday.com