Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) told MSNBC Thursday that the state is providing “bullet-proof glass” to election workers in preparation for the 2024 election, whom she dubbed “people who protect democracy.”
“I’m heartbroken, I’m furious, I’m angry. That people who put their lives on the line to just make democracy work are facing this type of pressure and threat but I am always also optimistic, we have to protect the people who protect democracy.” @JocelynBensone w/ @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/X5t56U6zMx
— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) November 9, 2023
“I’m heartbroken, I’m furious, I’m angry. That people who put their lives on the line to just make democracy work are facing this type of pressure and threat but I am always also optimistic, we have to protect the people who protect democracy,” told host Nicolle Wallace.
Benson touted bills passing through the Michigan Legislature that strengthen penalties for those who threaten election workers.
“We know what is unfolding today is the beginning, not the end of what we’re gonna face this cycle and I’m angry about it but I know many of us will funnel that anger into determination to ensure these domestic terrorists will not win,” Benson declared.
She said she has conversations “every day” with election workers who want to quit over threats.
Benson said if they want to stay on the job, they can get “enhanced legal protection” and “law enforcement support,” as well as funds to purchase bullet-proof glass and “hire additional security staff.”
The secretary of state said she is “encouraged” by those who remain who want to ensure “this hate will not win.”
PBS reported in August that “more than a dozen people” have been charged nationally with threatening election workers. Only one appears to be related to Michigan.
The U.S. Department of Justice indicted 37-year-old Andrew Nickels — a Carmel, Indiana man — for threatening the Rochester Hills, Michigan clerk on November 10, 2020.
“We’re watching your…mouth talk about how you think that there’s no irregularities…[Y]ou frauded out America of a real election…Guess what, you’re gonna pay for it, you will pay for it…[T]en million plus patriots will surround you when you least expect it, and your little infantile Deep State security agency has no time to protect you because they’ll be bought out and we’ll [expletive] kill you…[Y]ou will [expletive] pay for your [expletive] lying ass remarks…We will [expletive] take you out. [Expletive] your family, [expletive] your life, and you deserve a [expletive] throat to the knife…Watch your [expletive] back…watch your [expletive] back,” Nickels allegedly said, according to the DOJ.
He was charged with one count of making “a threatening interstate communication,” which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.