A Director of Dominion Voting Systems, whose technology has helped facilitate voting in 28 states, says he is hiding from death threats due to the constant attacks on the company by President Donald Trump and his allies.
Federal and state officials say the election was safe, but Trump has said without evidence that the Dominion’s electronic voting system cost him millions of votes. Trump’s allegations range from votes that were cancelled and switched to President-elect Joe Biden, to describing the company as a “leftist” firm in debt to his opponents.
The Dominion’s director of products and security, Eric Coomer, told the Associated Press (AP) that he began being harassed when Trump’s campaign lawyers first claimed that his company rigged the election.
He was given personal security and warned not to return home. His photo and details of his family and address were posted in far-right chat rooms, and then “the first death threats followed almost immediately.
What began as harassment on Twitter escalated into phone calls, text messages and even a letter to his father, who called his son a traitor. Although Coomer has moved to a secret location, he still receives messages from people telling him that they will track him down.
“This is an everyday thing, and no, I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since all this happened,” he told the AP.
“It’s terrifying. I have worked in international elections in all kinds of post-conflict countries where the violence in elections is real and where people end up getting killed because of it. And I have a feeling that we are on the verge of it.”
There is concern about the harassment of election workers as Trump and his allies intensify accusations of election fraud. Among the other threats was Christopher Krebs, who Trump fired as director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) after finding that the election was the most secure in history.
In a commentary that he later called a joke, Trump’s campaign attorney Joseph diGenova said on a radio program that Krebs should be “drawn and quartered” and “taken out and shot at dawn.
GOP foreign minister Brad Raffensperger, who defended the integrity of the election in Georgia that Biden turned over, had been dealing with intruders on his property. Meanwhile, a Dominion contractor also faced death threats.
The climate of intimidation prompted Gabriel Sterling, a Republican election official in Georgia, to make a passionate plea for Trump to denounce the threats: “It’s too much, it’s not right”.
Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said on Wednesday, regarding the intimidation of officials, “they must be reminded that their oath to the Constitution sometimes requires criticism. Sometimes it even requires being threatened”.
Coomer fears that the intimidation is likely to continue after the inauguration of the president. “I don’t think it will disappear on January 20,” he told AP, “I think it will continue for a long time. Washington Newsday has asked the Trump campaign for a comment.
This chart provided by Statista shows the amount of money spent in the last six U.S. elections.