End Harassment of Local Election Workers Act
Election officials, administrators, and the poll workers who give their time to administer our elections are essential to protecting our democracy. But while administering elections shouldn’t be dangerous, 1 in 3 election officials say they feel unsafe because of their job, and nearly 1 in 5 listed threats to their lives as a job-related concern. As many as 850 threats have been officially documented since 2020 and that number is only expected to increase. This policy makes it unlawful to interfere with elections by threatening election workers — ensuring that our democracy, our elections, and those who administer them, are protected.
Voting rights advocates
Good government advocates
Interest groups that benefit from low voter participation
Interest groups that benefit from reducing election integrity
This act shall be known as the This act shall be known as the STATE Election Workers Protection Act
This act makes it unlawful to interfere with elections by force, violence, or intimidation against an election official or worker in the discharge of their duties. It also establishes a state-level system for tracking and reporting threats to election workers.
1. INTERFERENCE WITH ELECTION OFFICIALS:
a) At any election provided by law, it is unlawful for any person to interfere in any manner with any election official in the discharge of the election official’s duty or to induce any election official to violate or refuse to comply with the election official’s duty or any law regulating the same.
b) It is unlawful for any person, whether verbally, in writing, or in person, to by force, violence, threat, coercion, or intimidation of an election official intentionally to:
i) Impede or interfere with the official while the official is engaged in the performance of the official’s duties; or
ii) Retaliate against the official on account of the official’s performance of the official duties.
c) A violation of this subsection is a [classification of crime based on state criminal code for harassment crimes].
2. THREAT REPORTING
a) Within [X DAYS] of passage of this bill, the [Attorney General], in coordination with the [Secretary of State] shall appoint a Bipartisan Local Election Worker Harassment Task Force to coordinate identifying, investigating and, where appropriate, prosecuting or referring for prosecution violations of Section 1 above.
i) The Bipartisan Local Election Worker Harassment Task Force shall include representatives from State criminal, civil rights, and security divisions, alongside other stakeholders, including law enforcement, and election workers. To the extent the Task Force includes representatives of partisan elected officials, such representation shall include representation from the recognized political parties in STATE.
b) The [Secretary of State] shall accept and maintain a record of reports of threats to or harassment of election officials related to the conduct of federal, state or municipal elections in the State. Within [X MONTHS] of passage of this legislation, the [Secretary of State] shall adopt routine technical rules regarding the process for submitting reports of threats to or harassment of election officials pursuant to this subsection.
a) “Election official” means a county clerk and recorder, a municipal clerk, an election judge, a member of a canvassing board, a member of a board of county commissioners, a member or secretary of a board of directors authorized to conduct public elections, a representative of a governing body, or any other person engaged in the performance of election duties. “Election official” includes any person who is an election worker.
b) “Election worker” means a county clerk and recorder, a person currently employed by a county to perform election duties, a municipal clerk, a person currently employed by a municipal government to perform election duties, and a person currently employed by the state to perform election duties.
4. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS:
a) Beginning [DATE] and annually thereafter, the [Secretary of State] shall report the number and type of reports of threats to or harassment of election officials or workers received by the [Secretary of State] during the previous calendar year to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over election matters.