Florida election officials want to shield poll workers from harassment, make them exempt from public records requests

In a little more than five months, voters will be heading to the polls for the presidential primary in Florida.

The controversy surrounding the past presidential election has many on edge about what will happen this election season. Now, there are measures underway statewide to protect poll workers and keep their personal information out of public view so they don’t come under attack from angry voters.

Across the country, during the 2020 presidential election, election workers came under fire and were even threatened by upset voters questioning the voting process after former President Donald Trump promoted false claims questioning the results.

Violet Hall has been working in the Duval County Supervisor of Elections office for 30 years. She’s not had a problem with the public harassing her. Hall said she likes the idea because it will put the employees at ease.

Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said the statewide organization of supervisors is trying again to get the legislature to protect those records of employees by making information like home addresses exempt from a public record request. There has not been a problem here, but those types of requests have been made in Tallahassee. Plus nationwide there is a trend of election workers and supervisors leaving positions.

“You know, that’s always been a challenge is getting poll workers. So we don’t want to have any barriers with their concerns for their safety,” Holland said. “You know, we’re concerned about it both on election day, but also after the election, post-election, that people may blame them for the outcome of the election.”

Since the problems during the last presidential election, extra training of poll workers has taken place and security steps have been taken. Some said you just can’t be too careful with private information.

News4JAX reached out to both state and local Democratic and Republican parties for comment but they did not immediately respond.

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