NYPD urges 'elevated vigilance' ahead of midterm elections

By Brynn Gingras, CNNUpdated: Thu, 27 Oct 2022 15:58:26 GMTSource: CNNThe New York Police Department is advising "elevated vigilance" in the closing days of the midterm election season, according to a

By Brynn Gingras, CNN

Updated: Thu, 27 Oct 2022 15:58:26 GMT

Source: CNN

The New York Police Department is advising "elevated vigilance" in the closing days of the midterm election season, according to an NYPD bulletin obtained by CNN, though there are currently no credible threats to New York City polling sites, candidates or poll workers.

It is standard NYPD procedure to distribute an intelligence bulletin around elections, but the "complex domestic threat environment" warning is notable at a time when election officials across the country have been reporting a surge in threats, particularly in light of former President Donald Trump's ongoing falsehoods about the 2020 results.

The bulletin, written by the department's intelligence bureau, warns that "malicious actors—particularly racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists (REMVEs) and anti-government and anti-authority violent extremists (AGAAVEs)—will continue to prioritize the targeting of political rallies, voting sites, poll workers, and election officials," requiring additional caution as elections loom.

"In the aftermath of the US Capitol Riot on 6 January 2021, REMVEs and AGAAVEs emphasized potentially threatening actions at the local level, encouraging the intimidation of municipal officials, school board representatives, and election staffers. Given the elevated domestic violent extremism threat landscape throughout the US, uniformed members of the service (UMOS) are advised to maintain heightened situational awareness when deployed citywide in support of the upcoming midterm elections," the bulletin reads.

The midterm election period is scheduled to run from Saturday through November 8 in New York City.

Nationwide, election workers have reported over 1,000 interactions with the public that they considered hostile or threatening to a Justice Department task force, but that is likely just a fraction of the threatening behavior that has occurred since 2020.

About 1 in 5 local election workers included in a survey from earlier this year for the liberal-leaning Brennan Center for Justice said they were likely to leave their jobs before the 2024 presidential election. About a third of that group cited false political attacks on the election system as the top reason their departure.