Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) joined Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to introduce the Support our Election Workers Act last week, legislation to bolster the recruitment and retention of election workers. The bill expands on the work of the Election Workers Protection Act, introduced by Senator Klobuchar, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Welch earlier this year. Together, the Support Election Workers Act and the Election Workers Protection Act respond to growing threats of violence and intimidation that have driven many election workers from their post and created staffing shortages for roles that are essential for the functioning of our democracy.
“Election workers play an essential role in our democracy and help make sure voters’ voices are heard at the ballot box,” said Sen. Welch. “Sadly, many election workers—in the face of dangerous rhetoric and election denialism — have been driven from their posts. I’m proud to join Sen. Klobuchar to introduce these important bills, which will provide additional support for the folks working to protect and maintain our democracy.”
“Election workers have faced serious threats, intimidation, and even physical harm. We need to respond to make sure that they are able to do their jobs safely,” said Klobuchar. “This legislation would provide state officials and law enforcement with the resources and tools they need to protect those on the frontlines defending our democracy while also helping to ensure we have enough election workers for future elections.”
The Support our Election Workers Act requires the Election Assistance Commission to distribute grants to states to provide increased pay for election workers, including people serving as poll workers and election officials. The Election Workers Protection Act establishes grants to states and local governments for poll worker recruitment, training, and retention, as well as grants to improve election worker safety. The bill also makes threatening, intimidating, or coercing election workers a federal crime and expands the prohibition on voter intimidation in current law.
For more on the Support our Election Workers Act, please click here.
For more on the Election Workers Protection Act, please click here.