It isn't easy to get a job in a local office. When the going gets tough for the candidate. The plot to overturn the election was remembered by the clerk and recorder.

Gonzalez says that when something isn't going the way he thought it would, it's a huge part of his daily thought. A group of people are trying to undermine or destroy our democracy.

Gonzalez has spent most of her career focused on state voting rights policy. The work involved crafting reforms that would be implemented by local election clerks. The Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder decided not to run again and Gonzalez decided to run for the post herself. She says it's bad actors if it's not her.

In positions that oversee elections at the state and local levels, Gonzalez is referring to the grassroots right-wing campaign to install election deniers. Far-right activists have flooded local precinct, signed up en masse to be poll workers, and orchestrated harassment of existing officials, inspired by Steve Bannon's "precinct strategy."

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Republicans are nominating election deniers for key election-related roles in swing states. 13 election-deniers are running for Attorney General in 11 states, 19 are running for Secretary of State in 15 states, and 25 are running for Governor in 15 states according to data compiled by States United Action. More than half of the candidates for Secretary of State have embraced some form of the Big Lie.

Democrats are concerned that the national party has failed to come up with an effective counter- campaign. RFS, a Democratic-aligned group that recruits and trains young people to run for state and local offices, has stepped into the breech. RFS was formed after Trump's election to encourage young people to run for state and local office. More than 300 people have been recruited to run for local offices that oversee elections, with 200 of them in swing states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado and Nevada.

The co-founder of Run for Something says that a lot of the right is trying to get their people into these offices. The biggest threat is if these people get on the ballot and aren't challenged.

The big lie has been proven false. The Republicans can't shake it.

Run for Something's Clerk Work is a program that focuses on fighting election denial on the local level. Many of these local offices have arcane or complicated rules that make it hard for national groups to target them. In the wake of the 2020 election, county clerks and other local officials are at risk of being harassed by the Big Lie.

The recruitment efforts are important because of the mass exodus caused by harassment. According to a March survey by the Brennan Center for Justice, one in five local election officials say they are unlikely to serve through 2024, and nearly one in three know another election worker who has left the field because of fears for their safety. More than half of new colleagues are worried that there was voter fraud in the election. According to Tammy Patrick, senior advisor to the elections program at the Democracy Fund, we are on a precipice.

There is a secret history of the shadow campaign that saved the election.

Run for Something has made it easier to find new people for these important jobs. Rocketto says donors have been nice. The program has been slow in raising funds despite the seriousness of the situation. He says they could have done more.

Many voters don't understand the importance of their local election officials despite Gonzalez's belief that most people understand the importance of voting rights broadly. She says it's difficult to convince them that their time, talent and treasure should be focused on the clerk race. We need to fight for our democracy now. It can't be just a few people. Everyone has to realize how important this is.

Write to Charlotte Alter.