Election officials in several closely contested states said they are worried about the safety of their workers amid threats and gatherings of angry protesters outside vote tabulation centers, drawn by President Donald Trump's baseless claim of widespread fraud in the race for the White House.
“I can tell you that my wife and my mother are very concerned for me,” said Joe Gloria, the registrar in Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas. He said his staff was bolstering security and tracking vehicles coming and going from the election offices.
But he added that he and others would not be stopped from "doing what our duty is and counting ballots.”
Groups of Trump supporters gathered at vote tabulation sites in Detroit and Philadelphia again Friday, decrying counts that showed Democrat Joe Biden leading in those and other key states.
While the protests have not been violent or very large, local officials were distressed by the gatherings and concerned about the relentless accusations.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel tweeted a plea Thursday to “stop making harassing & threatening calls” to her staff.
“Asking them to shove sharpies in uncomfortable places is never appropriate & is a sad commentary on the state of our nation,” wrote Nessel, a Democrat, referring to a false conspiracy theory that Trump supporters were told to fill out ballots with Sharpie markers instead of regular pens so that their votes wouldn't be counted by the machines.
Dozens of Trump supporters rallied outside Detroit’s convention center Friday morning, where election workers have counted ballots.