WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, May 9, Senate Democrats reintroduced S. 1487, the Protecting Election Administration from Interference Act. The bill is led by U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and a handful of other Senate Democrats and the U.S. House companion bill is led by Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas). A parallel bill was introduced in 2021, but did not advance.
S. 1487 would expand the pre-existing criminal penalties for interfering with the voting process to explicitly cover the counting and canvassing of ballots and the certification of election results. S.1487 would also add protections for election records, including cast ballots, and allow judicial review of election records to ensure compliance.
“Election workers and volunteers are important players in our Democratic process, ensuring every voter can cast their ballot and make their voice heard. With rising instances of intimidation and politically-motivated attacks it has never been more important to protect election administrators,” Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), one of the bill sponsors, said in a press release.
Within the past two weeks alone, Klobuchar has also introduced a bill that would provide states with more resources to recruit, train and ensure the safety of election workers and a bill that would improve delivery of election mail. In light of the Senate filibuster, which requires 60 votes to pass, and a Republican-controlled House, these bills face an uphill battle to enactment.