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Following Klobuchar and Blunt Calls, Election Assistance Commission to Expand Uses of Federal Funding to Combat Threats Against Election Workers

Klobuchar and Blunt have urged the Election Assistance Commission to allow state and local election officials to use federal funding to protect election workers from increases in threats and harassment

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over federal elections, released the following statements after the Democratic and Republican members of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) voted unanimously to expand the use of Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funding to protect election workers and officials against threats. 

“Election administrators and workers are facing a barrage of threats from those seeking to undermine our elections,” said Klobuchar. “We need to respond to these threats head on and make sure that election workers are able to do their jobs free from intimidation or improper influence. It’s an important step that the Election Assistance Commission is acting on our call to help ensure those who are on the frontlines defending our democracy are protected.”

"State and local election officials and administrators work tirelessly to ensure elections are secure and accessible. The last thing they should have to worry about is their personal safety,” said Blunt. “Chairwoman Klobuchar and I are continuing to work together to address the totally unacceptable threats to election officials. Congress has worked in a bipartisan way to provide significant funding to states through the Help America Vote Act, with the flexibility to use funds to address the unique needs of each election jurisdiction. I appreciate the Election Assistance Commission responding to our request and providing the guidance necessary for states to use the resources they have available to further strengthen election security.”

In March, Klobuchar and Blunt urged the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to prioritize and expedite a legal opinion the EAC had requested on how HAVA funding could be used to ensure the security of election officials. Following the release of GAO’s legal opinion, Klobuchar and Blunt called on the EAC to issue guidance on approved spending of HAVA funds to improve the security of state and local elections through personal security services and social media threat monitoring.

Last November, Klobuchar and Blunt called on the EAC to provide information to state and local election officials on the resources available to them through HAVA funding to improve safety for election officials, administrators, workers, and facilities, and to provide guidance on how resources could be used to identify and respond to threats.

As Chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee, Klobuchar has long championed protecting the safety of election workers. In April, Klobuchar and Blunt requested an update on the EAC’s efforts to support state and local election officials with administering the 2022 midterm elections, including protecting election workers against threats. 

The same month, Klobuchar and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) also led their colleagues in urging the Department of Justice to take additional action to protect election workers from threats to their safety. 

Last October, Klobuchar held a Rules Committee hearing on increasing threats directed at election officials and the ability of states and local governments to retain election officials and recruit workers to administer future elections.

Last August, Klobuchar and Senators Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jon Ossoff (D-GA), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced legislation to prevent election subversion and protect election administrators.

Last June, Klobuchar and Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) led bicameral legislation to prevent local election officials from being removed without cause while protecting the safety and security of election workers and volunteers. U.S. Representatives John Sarbanes (D-MD), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Nikema Williams (D-GA), and Colin Allred (D-TX) introduced companion legislation in the House.