WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Friday, April 28, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) reintroduced S. 1318, the Election Worker Protection Act, a bill that would provide states with more resources to recruit, train and ensure the safety of election workers. Already, 23 other senators in the Democratic caucus have signed onto the bill. If S. 1318 passes the Senate, it will likely struggle to advance through the Republican-controlled House. Klobuchar last introduced the bill in September 2022.
According to a press release, S. 1318 would create grants for state and local governments to help recruit and retain poll workers and protect election workers’ personal information. The bill would also expand federal penalties for threatening, intimidating, or doxxing election workers.
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon (D) led a letter from 15 secretaries of state supporting the new legislation. “As Secretaries of State and Chief Election Officials, we are aware of the ongoing and unprecedented threats directed at election workers across the country, and have seen their terrible impact on our colleagues,” the letter reads. “These threats are often violent and have been aimed at us, and at individuals simply going about their jobs. As a result of this rise in threats and other challenges, we have seen shortages of election workers in our states and across the country.”