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After threats against election workers, DOJ starts making arrests

Hundreds of election workers faced threats and menacing messages. The Justice Department is now starting to file criminal charges.

Among the many serious consequences of the 2020 presidential election was the rise in threats against election workers. Reuters reported last year on the "sustained campaign of intimidation" and "torrent of terroristic threats" — practically all of which were inspired by Donald Trump's lies — targeting those who administer American elections.

The article added, "The intimidation has affected all levels of election administrators, from rank-and-file poll workers to secretaries of state."

Reuters' important work on this front has, however, come with a disturbing caveat: Those who've made the threats have gone largely unpunished. From a report in November: "After Reuters reported the widespread intimidation in June, the U.S. Department of Justice launched a task force to investigate threats against election staff and said it would aggressively pursue such cases. But law enforcement agencies have made almost no arrests and won no convictions. In many cases, they didn't investigate."

That's starting to change. Reuters reported this morning:

U.S. federal agents arrested a Nevada man for threatening a state election worker last year and telling her that she was "going to f------ die" for stealing the 2020 presidential election from Donald Trump, the Justice Department said on Thursday, the second arrest in a week by its election threats task force.

In the new case, a Las Vegas man named Gjergi Luke Juncaj was taken into custody this week and appeared in a federal court yesterday. He faces four counts of making threatening phone calls and the possibility of two years in prison on each count.

This comes on the heels of separate charges, which were announced last week, against a Texas man named Chad Christopher Stark, who's been accused of making violent threats against Georgia election and government officials.

To be sure, Reuters documented more than 850 threats and menacing messages directed at election workers, and two arrests may not seem like much.

But they're a start, and as this morning's report added, "Justice Department officials say they are now investigating dozens of similar cases."

Watch this space.