Philadelphia Elections Officials Still Receiving Death Threats Following 2020 Presidential Election – CBS Philly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Those who run Philadelphia’s elections say they are still receiving serious threats from the public, one year since ballots were cast in a contentious presidential election.
Philadelphia’s three city commissioners have all received death threats since last election. This November, the office has seen fewer threats, but they are still happening and officials are still taking them seriously, especially ahead of the election Tuesday.
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A call to “get out the vote” at the 52nd Street Station in West Philadelphia Monday.
— Matt Petrillo (@MattPetrillo) November 1, 2021
“The election process is safe, it’s simple, it’s secure. It’s always been,” Philadelphia City Commissioner Omar Sabir said.
Sabir also says his office still receives threats over last year’s presidential election. That’s taken a toll on him.
“I feel anxiety every time I walk outside of the house,” Sabir said.
Anxiety, he says, from emails like this one sent just a few months ago. It reads in part, “contact President Trump and come clean. Treason carries a stiff penalty.”
“It’s a damn shame that we have to come to work and we have to deal with those sort of things. And we’re just doing our jobs,” Sabir said.
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During last year’s presidential election, the City Commissioner’s Office received so many calls, it began being forwarding them to be answered by Philly 311.
“Is this the building that the mayor works out of?” one caller asked.
The caller connects their false belief about a stolen election to the Philadelphia mayor in an expletive-laced rant that’s never before been publicly heard.
“He’s a [expletive] crook, you and your whole [expletive] city. We’re coming after you, [expletive],” the caller said.
“It has changed my life. It has legitimately changed my life, it has changed my behavior and patterns,” Sabir said about the threats.
Last year’s threats prompted city police to station officers outside the commissioners’ homes. Officials didn’t want to reveal security plans for this year.
About 30 county elections directors or deputy directors have left their jobs since January 2020, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.
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Philadelphia’s lone Republican elections commissioner, Al Schmidt, won’t seek re-election. He gave the U.S. Senate testimony about those threats just last week.
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