Rutherford County Election Administrator Testifies Before U.S. Senate Committee on Election Threats

Jan 03, 2024 at 10:22 pm by WGNS News

Hear Alan Farley's testimony by clicking the PLAY button below.


RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TENN - Rutherford County Administrator of Elections Alan Farley testified concerning ongoing threats to election administration during a November hearing before the U.S. Senate Rules & Administration Committee in Washington, D.C.


Rules Committee Chair Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) called the hearing to discuss the ongoing threats to election administration in the United States. Farley presented the viewpoint from the local level as an expert witness along with secretaries of state from Pennsylvania and Arizona who testified.

The objective of the hearing was to address issues that arose from the 2020 and 2022 elections including threats to election workers. It was stated many election officials are leaving the profession due to threats and violence after those elections.

Farley highlighted a recent event hosted by his office for more than 250 local election workers who previously participated in past elections, indicating fear did not appear to be a prevalent concern in Rutherford County... He further suggested the biggest hurdle for those who work the polls in places like Murfreesboro or Smyrna - - boils down to time... Even during the COVID Pandemic, threats were not an issue for local election officials...

Farley testified elections are the states’ rights and should only be addressed at the state and local level, not the federal level. One solution does not fit every state as evidenced by the panel that relayed a myriad of issues experienced during their elections. There were some common elements that occurred during the elections yet unique challenges were also present.

The best way to assist election administrations in communities like Rutherford County, is to focus on better funding for IT departments, according to Farley... He told committee members on Wednesday that multiple counties in Tennessee lack their own IT department.

Farley best summed up the protection of election workers and the election process by stating local election administrators know their communities best and how to resolve any challenges that may be before them. Adding that federal bureaucracy to elections hurts instead of helps.


Despite no historical threats to election officials or poll workers in Rutherford County, Farley says they still have plans in place to protect everyone involved in the election process at the local level. That planning involves area law enforcement agencies.


The expert testimony will be used to draft and propose legislation. See the full video HEREOr, Click Here to learn more about the Rutherford County Election Commission and future elections. Read the testimony given by Farley HERE (PDF).







Across the Nation - Outside of Tennessee, Elizabeth Howard, Deputy Director of the Elections & Government Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, located at the NYU School of Law, has focused on election security efforts in recent years. Howard, recognized for spearheading various election security projects and co-authoring policies aimed at fortifying election infrastructure, is sounding the alarm on the escalating threats faced by election officials.

In a recent statement, Howard underscored the challenges confronting election officials and workers, particularly the surge in threats, intimidation, and harassment following the 2020 and 2022 elections. She previously reported that many seasoned officials, with years or even decades of experience, are expressing deep concern over a large quantity and severity of threats and attacks compared to previous election cycles.

Over the past three years, election officials have reported alarming incidents, ranging from threatening phone calls and online messages to being followed or intimidated while on the job. Shockingly, some officials have even faced extreme forms of harassment, including having their pets poisoned, necessitating instances where they felt compelled to flee their homes out of fear for their safety.

Howard emphasized the toll these threats and misinformation campaigns are taking on election officials, contributing to a concerning trend of professionals leaving the profession. The urgency to address this issue is paramount, as these attacks not only jeopardize the safety of those who oversee our elections but also undermine the democratic process itself.

As Howard continues her advocacy for bolstering election security, the broader conversation around protecting the individuals dedicated to maintaining the integrity of our electoral system gains prominence, seeking solutions to ensure the safety and resilience of election officials nationwide. Click HERE to read more. 








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