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Hirono, Colleagues Introduce Comprehensive Legislation to Address the Rise in Threats Targeting Election Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined 18 of her Senate colleagues in introducing 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.

“Election workers play a key role in conducting free and fair elections,” said Senator Hirono. “But MAGA Republicans and their baseless conspiracies are putting election workers, and our democracy, at risk. By making it a crime to harass or threaten election workers, and strengthening other vital protections, the Election Worker Protection Act will help to combat attacks on our elections and the individuals who oversee them. I’ll continue working to protect our democracy and ensure every American can make their voice heard in our elections.”

The bill, led by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), includes provisions that were developed with input from election officials, as well as provisions from the Freedom to Vote Act, voting rights legislation supported by all Democratic Senators. The Election Worker Protection Act would: 

  1. Establish grants to states and certain local government for poll worker recruitment, training, and retention, as well as grants for election worker safety;
  2. Direct the Department of Justice to provide training resources regarding the identification and investigation of threats to election workers;
  3. Provide grants to states to support programs protecting election workers’ personally identifiable information;
  4. Establish threatening, intimidating, or coercing election workers as a federal crime; 
  5. Expand the prohibition on voter intimidation in current law to apply to the counting of ballots, canvassing, and certification of elections;
  6. Extend the federal prohibition on doxxing to include election workers; and 
  7. Protect the authority of election officials to remove poll observers who are interfering with or attempting to disrupt the administration of an election.

In addition to Senators Hirono, Klobuchar, and Durbin, the Election Worker Protection Act is cosponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Angus King (I-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), 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 U.S., NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, and 20/20 Vision DC.

Senator Hirono has been a long-time champion of voting rights legislation and protections. Last year, she cosponsored the Freedom to Vote Act, landmark legislation to strengthen our democracy, which included resources to recruit and train election workers as well as provisions to prevent the intimidation and harassment of election workers. In June, she also joined her colleagues in urging the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to notify state and local law enforcement of rising threats against election workers.