Armed men in masks and tactical gear have shown up at secure ballot drop boxes. Candidates of both parties have been physically attackedelection workers intimidated. And threats against members of Congress are up tenfold.
For many voters, a vicious spiral of violence and fear is creating angst, paranoia and an overwhelming sense of dread that the nation is on the eve of destruction, according to a growing body of public opinion research.
Democrats worry that the GOP is bent on seizing power regardless of the outcome of elections — a concern rooted in former President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 race he lost. Polls show a large portion of Republicans fear democracy is in peril because they believe that elections are rigged against them.
“The corollary to denying the 2020 election is that the deniers don’t believe that exercising their vote is a way to fix [problems] on Nov. 8,” said former Rep. David Jolly, a political independent who served in Congress as a Republican from Florida.
Trump’s false claims about the election have convinced some of his most ardent supporters of a dangerous theory, Jolly said: “You can’t reclaim democracy by going to the ballot box on Nov. 8 — you actually have to use force or intimidation.”
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The 2014 congressional elections continue to shape the judiciary in ways that impact decisions to this day.