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Adams County clerk wears bulletproof vest due to increase in threats

Posted at 4:19 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-10 20:59:37-04

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — Following the 2020 presidential election, Adams County's top elections official says he's had to adopt additional security measures because of threats from conspiracy theorists.

"When I left the Marine Corps, I thought that was the last time that I was going to be wearing body armor," said Adams County Clerk and Recorder Josh Zygielbaum. "And here I am again, almost 15 years later and not as nearly as good a shape as I was then, but, you know, still wearing body armor."

As first reported by ABC News, Zygielbaum says the decision to wear a bulletproof vest was made because of increasing threats, both direct and indirect, from election deniers, which concerns him and his staff.

"I think the worst one that we've received was somebody telling us that they would see us on a battlefield and they would walk away from it," Zygielbaum said.

Some of the security improvements he's implementing include a remodel to his elections office, which will better protect his employees from the public once complete.

"I think January 6 was a good reminder that it can very easily go beyond just words," Zygielbaum said. "You repeat a lie [and] enough people start to believe it, and I think that there is probably a coordinated effort at the very top, and others just eventually felt that it was truth and began to follow."

To combat this, a bill that's currently being discussed in the state legislature would prohibit election officials from spreading misinformation or accessing a room of voting equipment without an escort by an authorized individual.

While this is a policy Zygielbaum has already adopted, he believes the legislation is necessary.

"I do know a number of clerks out there who don't necessarily have the best interests of the community in mind," he said.

Zygielbaum is up for re-election this November, and despite the conspiracy theories and threats, he's not backing down.

"There isn't actually another job that I could imagine doing," he said. "[I] absolutely love what I do."