Six Principles for Federal Legislation to Combat Election Subversion

Across the country, state legislators have proposed and passed bills that would give partisan state legislators greater control over elections while hamstringing experienced state and local election administrators who have traditionally run our voting systems.

Many of the bills would make elections more difficult to administer; make it more difficult to finalize election results; allow for election interference and manipulation by partisan actors; and, in the worst cases, potentially allow state legislatures to overturn the will of the voters and precipitate a democracy crisis.

Congress can respond to this growing risk of election subversion with a variety of common-sense reforms that protect against partisan interference, decrease the chances of future post-election turmoil, and strengthen the bedrock of American elections, regardless of which party controls any given political office or stands to win a given election. These measures include:

1. Paper ballot requirements

2. Chain of custody protections for ballots, other election records, and election equipment

3. Judicial review of the vote-counting process

4. Preventing partisan takeovers of election administration

5. Protections for election workers

6. Heightened penalties for election manipulation of subversion

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