Allred Helps Introduce Legislation to Ensure Integrity of Elections, Protect Election Officials
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32), a former voting rights attorney, co-led the introduction of The Preventing Election Subversion Act of 2021. The legislation will ensure the integrity of local elections while also protecting the safety and security of election workers and volunteers, following the spate of state-level voter suppression attacks sweeping the nation that would make it harder for eligible voters to cast a ballot and ensure it is counted.
The Preventing Election Subversion Act of 2021 will institute new federal safeguards that will help keep the foundations of our democracy strong by insulating state election administration from partisan pressure.
“There has been an unprecedented attack on our elections in Texas and across the country, and we cannot allow the vital work of election officials to be criminalized or subject to partisan intimidation,” said Allred. “We face a critical moment in our democracy and we must act to protect it, and the right of every eligible citizen to cast their ballot, free from partisan interference.”
Allred joined with Congressman John Sarbanes (MD-03), Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05), and Congressman Mondaire Jones (NY-17) in leading the House bill. The Senate version of the legislation was led by U.S. Senators Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Mark R. Warner (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Jon Ossoff (D-GA).
Since January, state legislators have introduced nearly 389 bills in 48 states, including Senate Bill 7 in Texas, that grant more power to state legislatures to politicize, criminalize, or interfere with elections.
These dangerous efforts place local election officials at risk of partisan subversion, interference or control. Since the November 2020 elections, many of these officials have been pressured to overturn the election results, and have received death threats in response to their work upholding the integrity of our elections.
The Preventing Election Subversion Act of 2021 would:
- Limit arbitrary and unfounded removals of local election officials by requiring a “for cause” standard to be met before suspension and provide a federal cause of action to enforce this standard;
- Allow a local election official who has responsibility for federal elections and who has been subjected to removal proceedings by a state board of elections to remove that proceeding to federal district court for redress;
- Make it a federal crime for any person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, to intimidate, threaten, coerce, harass, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or harass an election worker;
- Establish a minimum buffer zone to limit how close a poll observer may come within a voter or ballot at a polling location during an early vote period or on Election Day; and
- Require challenges to a voter’s eligibility to register to vote or to cast a ballot, other than from an election official, to be supported by personal knowledge with respect to each individual challenged.