WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, July 27, Senate Democrats reintroduced the Preventing Election Subversion Act, a bill that would institute comprehensive safeguards to protect elections in the United States. The legislation is being led by Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), who also introduced the original bill in 2021.
In order to protect election administration from partisan interference, the bill would limit unfounded removals of local election officials by allowing them to transfer their legal proceedings from state board of elections, which can be partisan, to federal court. Relatedly, the bill would also allow for the removal of election officials only in instances of inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office.
Election workers have come under increasing Republican harassment since the 2020 presidential election, so much so that 45% of election workers nationwide say they fear for their colleagues’ safety and over 10%say they’re very or somewhat likely to leave before the 2024 elections. The problem most recently has been made clear in Nevada, where Republicans are challenging a law that protects election officials from harassment.
The Preventing Election Subversion Act would also protect voters by requiring that challenges to their voting eligibility be supported by personal knowledge if the challenger is not an election official. Challenges to voter eligibility have also been on the rise, especially in Georgia, which saw 89,000 challenges to voter eligibility from just six right-wing activists.
In announcing the bill, Warnock said the legislation “will protect local election administration from partisan interference by bad-faith actors and combat the baseless mass challenges that our already over-worked election officials have had to address in recent years.”