Allred Leads House Introduction of Bill to Protect Against Partisan Attacks on U.S. Elections
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Colin Allred (TX-32) today introduced the Protecting Election Administration from Interference Act in the House. This bill would improve our democracy by establishing greater safeguards against potential election subversion efforts to ensure elections and vote counting are performed fairly, transparently and without partisan influence. The bill expands existing protections against election interference to include the vote counting and certification process and creates stronger standards for preserving election records.
Allred was joined in introducing the measure in the House by Reps. John Sarbanes (MD-03), Marc Veasey (TX-33), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), and Elissa Slotkin (MI-08). U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) led the introduction of the Senate version earlier this month.
“There is no more serious threat to our free and fair elections than the potential for subversion and interference by people looking to overturn an election,” said Congressman Allred. “Election administration should not be partisan and politicians should not decide who wins elections. Instead, faith in our democracy should rest on the knowledge that vote counting is done fairly and without partisan influence. As Texas and other states across the country continue to attack the right to vote, undermine elections and promote the Big Lie, we must act to safeguard our democracy. I’m proud to lead this important legislation that will expand protections to prevent interference.”
“Across the country, we are seeing election administrators and officials face a barrage of threats and abusive behaviors by those seeking to overturn election results,” said Senator Klobuchar. “We need to respond to these threats head on to protect those who are on the frontlines defending our democracy. This legislation is key to fighting back against attempts to undermine our elections and ensuring our democracy works for every American.”
Also this week, Allred co-sponsored H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, a bill to restore the Voting Rights Act and reinstate tools to fight attacks on access to the ballot.
While protections exist for voters, additional protections are needed for workers and volunteers responsible for processing, counting, and certifying ballots. Additionally, ensuring the preservation and integrity of our election records is paramount to instilling trust in election results. This is especially true as partisan pressure mounts against local election workers from those that seek to overturn election results. SB 1, the restrictive voting bill being considered in the Texas legislature, further empowers partisan poll watchers.
This comes after Allred helped lead the introduction of the Preventing Election Subversion Act, a bill that would institute new federal safeguards to insulate state election administration from partisan pressure.
The Protecting Election Administration from Interference Act of 2021 would:
- Expand protections for election administrators by extending existing prohibitions on intimidating or threatening voters to include election officials engaged in the counting of ballots, canvassing, and certifying election results. It is currently a federal crime to interfere with the voting process, and this would make clear that the criminal penalty extends to the counting and certifying process as well.
- Strengthen protections for Federal election records and election infrastructure to stop election officials or others from endangering the preservation and security of cast ballots.
- Provide judicial review for election records by allowing the Justice Department and candidates to bring lawsuits to ensure compliance with election record requirements.