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U.S. Senators introduce legislation aiming to protect election workers

Tags: Elections
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    U.S. Senators introduce legislation aiming to protect election workers

    On September 22, a group of 17 Democratic Senators led by Chairwoman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced the Election Worker Protection Act (S. 4920), which aims to enhance protections for election workers through providing grants to states and certain local governments.

    If enacted, the bill would:

    • Authorize the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to make grant funds available to states (and counties should their respective state opt not to apply for funding) for:
      • the recruitment and training of poll workers and election volunteers
      • physical security services and social media threat monitoring for election workers
    • Authorize grants for state and local governments to establish or expand programs designed to protect the personally identifiable information (PII) of election workers
    • Make the harassment and doxxing of election workers’ efforts a federal offense, as well as the intimidation of tabulation, canvas and certification
    • Ensure that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) offers training and resources to assist federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies in understanding, detecting, deterring and investigating threats to election workers
    • Allow state or local election officials to remove poll observers from a polling location or location where votes are processed, scanned, tabulated or canvassed for a federal election if the observer has engaged in intimidation, deceptive practices or disrupted the vote counting process

    The National Association of Counties (NACo) calls upon Congress to enact legislation that will impose appropriate penalties for offenses including but not limited to the following: harassing or intimidating election officials in the performance of their duty, threatening or causing harm to election officials or their families, attempting to pressure election officials or their family members to violate state law or the Constitution, and disseminating by any means the personal information of election officials or their family members.

    In the United States, the nation’s 3,069 counties traditionally administer and fund elections at the local level, including overseeing polling places and coordinating poll workers for federal, state and local elections. County election officials work diligently with federal, state and other local election officials to ensure the safety and security of our voting systems and strive to administer elections in a way that is accurate, safe, secure and accessible for all voters. Counties will continue to work with our federal partners as they work to craft meaningful election reform.

    A detailed legislative analysis of the Election Worker Protection Act and its impact on counties is forthcoming.

    On September 22, a group of 17 Democratic Senators led by Chairwoman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced the Election Worker Protection Act, which aims to enhance protections for election workers through providing grants to states and certain local governments.
    2022-09-30
    Blog
    2022-09-30