WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA), a member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over federal elections, is cosponsoring comprehensive legislation to address the rise in threats targeting election workers. The Election Worker Protection Act would provide states with the resources to recruit and train election workers and ensure these workers’ safety, while also instituting federal safeguards to shield election workers from intimidation and threats.
“Because of their roles on the front lines of our democracy, local election workers have been subjected to increasing harassment and violent threats from those seeking to overturn the results of lawfully conducted elections,” said Sen. Warner. “As Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I’m disturbed that so many Americans, including a former president, have been so enthusiastically willing to aid and abet adversaries like China and Russia in undermining confidence in our elections and faith in our democratic process. As we face this new and unfortunate reality, we should take steps to ensure that election workers have the support and protection they need to do their jobs safely.”
The Election Worker Protection Act would:
- Establish grants to states and certain local governments for poll worker recruitment, training, and retention, as well as grants for election worker safety;
- Direct the Department of Justice to provide training resources regarding the identification and investigation of threats to election workers;
- Provide grants to states to support programs protecting election workers’ personally identifiable information;
- Establish threatening, intimidating, or coercing election workers as a federal crime;
- Expand the prohibition on voter intimidation in current law to apply to the counting of ballots, canvassing, and certification of elections;
- Extend the federal prohibition on doxing to include election workers; and
- Protect the authority of election officials to remove poll observers who are interfering with or attempting to disrupt the administration of an election.
As Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Sen. Warner has been outspoken on the need to protect American democracy from those seeking to undermine confidence in the security of our elections and overturn the results of fairly conducted elections. As a leader of the Intelligence Committee, he released a groundbreaking, bipartisan and comprehensive investigation into Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. More recently, he introduced the Preventing Election Subversion Act, legislation to institute new federal safeguards insulating state election administration from partisan pressure. He also just negotiated and introduced bipartisan legislation to reform and modernize the outdated Electoral Count Act of 1887 to ensure that the electoral votes tallied by Congress accurately reflect each state’s vote for president, which passed out of the Senate Rules Committee earlier this week in a bipartisan 14-1 vote.