List Shows Election Officials Who Died From COVID or Tested Positive While Working at Polls

A political scientist who runs an influential election database listed off the names of officials who have either died or tested positive for COVID-19 "while working to support our democracy."

University of Florida political science professor Michael McDonald composed a list which includes polling place workers and election officials he's thankful for "who died of COVID-19 or were infected" during the election process. The bullet points include a county-by-county compilation showing that hundreds of election officials were directly affected by the mid-pandemic voting process. At least two of the people named, Beverly Walker of Fulton County, Georgia, and Revall Burke of Chicago, died at some point in the 2020 election cycle.

The list not only gives a human face to the more than 262,800 Americans who've died from coronavirus, but also highlights the millions put at risk during the parallel presidential election process, which garnered a record turnout.

In some cases, McDonald commends polling places which allowed their workers more time to complete early voting tasks ahead of the November 3 Election Day.

I am thankful for the sacrifices election officials made who died of COVID-19 or were infected while working to support our democracy (updated list)

— Michael McDonald (@ElectProject) November 26, 2020

"Revall Burke—a Chicago, Illinois poll worker—died of COVID-19 two weeks after the state's primary election. It is unknown if he contracted the disease at the polling place, but local officials notified poll workers and voters of their potential exposure," McDonald wrote.

"In Arizona, one Maricopa County election worker was hospitalized and at least five others tested positive after working at a vote center," McDonald continued. "In Georgia, thirteen employees working in a Fulton County election storage warehouse tested positive prior to the general election."

McDonald runs the United States Elections Project, which tracks voter turnout for U.S. elections, including early voting and final ballot tallies. The website features a vast array of election data, methodology information and the minutiae of precinct data and demographics.

"Some election offices and polling places were closed, and some ballot counting was delayed. We are fortunate election officials were able to cope under very difficult circumstances," McDonald tweeted on the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day.

But not all election officials have been touted for their public safety precautions during the voting process. As The Washington Post reported earlier this month, an election judge supervisor in St. Charles County, Missouri, tested positive on October 30 and was told to self-isolate for two weeks in order to prevent further spread of the virus. But as the St. Charles County Department of Public Health later revealed, she worked Election Day anyway, and then died soon afterward.

Newsweek reached out to the Elections Project for additional remarks Thursday afternoon.

election worker died covid
A Clark County election worker scans mail-in ballots at the Clark County Election Department on November 7, 2020 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Joe Biden won Pennsylvania and Nevada and was declared the winner in the presidential race against Donald Trump. ETHAN MILLER / Staff/Getty Images