Markey joins Klobuchar, Durbin and colleagues in introducing comprehensive legislation to address rising threats targeting election workers

The bill is endorsed by a coalition of state secretaries, as well as current and former election officials from both parties

Washington (September 22, 2022) – Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today joined Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), chair of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee charged with overseeing the federal elections, and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, for introducing comprehensive legislation to address increasing threats to election workers. The Election Workers Protection Act Provide states with the resources to recruit and train election workers and keep those workers safe, while instituting federal safeguards to protect election workers from intimidation and threats. The bill includes provisions that were developed with input from election officials, as well as provisions of the Freedom to Vote ActVoting rights legislation led by Senator Klobuchar and supported by all Democratic senators.

The Election Workers Protection Act received support from a bipartisan group of current and former election officials, including former Republican Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt, who testified before the rules committee last year about threats he and his family received.

“As Philadelphia City Commissioner in the 2020 election, my family and I have received death threats simply for fulfilling my duty to certify legitimate election results,” said Schmidt. “I know that election workers across the country face the same daily harassment and intimidation from bad faith actors who seek to delegitimize our elections. That is why it is essential that Congress pass this common-sense legislation to protect election officials and safeguard our democratic processes.

A group of 15 Secretaries of State, led by Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, joined in a letter supporting the Election Workers Protection Act and calling on Congress to take action to protect election workers.

“Additional measures are needed at the federal level to ensure that all election workers have the support and protection necessary to do their job. The Election Workers Protection Act clarifies that these attacks on election workers will not be tolerated,wrote the secretaries. “We know what tools are needed to protect election workers, and we look forward to working with Congress to move this legislation forward.

The Election Workers Protection Act would have:

  • Establish grants to states and some local governments for election worker recruitment, training, and retention, as well as grants for election worker security;
  • Direct the Department of Justice to provide training resources regarding the identification and investigation of threats against election workers;
  • Provide grants to states to support programs protecting the personally identifiable information of election workers;
  • Establish threatening, intimidating, or coercing election workers as a federal crime;
  • Extend the prohibition on voter intimidation in the current law to apply to ballot counting, canvassing and certification of elections;
  • Expand federal ban on doxxing to include election workers; and
  • Protect the authority of election officials to remove poll watchers who interfere with or attempt to disrupt the administration of an election.

Joining Senator Markey in co-sponsoring the Election Workers Protection Act are Senators Michael Bennett (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Angus King ( I-Maine), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ben Ray Luján (DN.M.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) , Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeanne Shaheen (DN.H.), Tina Smith (DM.N.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.). The legislation is endorsed by Protect Democracy, End Citizens United/Let America Vote Action Fund, Democracy21, Issue One, Voices for Progress, Transparency International US, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice and 20/20 Vision DC.


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