Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Dan Sullivan, R-Ark., reintroduced legislation on Tuesday that would “establish an international information sharing program on election administration and security at the State Department.” The Global Electoral Exchange Act, which had been introduced in the last Congress, would enable the United States to work with its international allies to strengthen election security by sharing best practices on audits, disinformation campaigns, and voter database protections–among other pertinent issues.
The legislation also includes a provision allowing the State Department to provide grants to United States-based nonprofits that specialize in election security and administration. The grants would be to enable the nonprofits to share information with similar organizations in partner countries.
“Our election systems–and those of our allies–have become a target for foreign adversaries. Safeguarding our democracies must be a priority for us all,” Klobuchar said. “This bipartisan legislation will allow the State Department to work with our allies abroad to share information, discuss best practices, and combat the growing threat of election interference around the world.”
Sullivan concurred with his colleague across the aisle, saying “We cannot understate the continued, unrelenting threats against our own democratic process, and that of our allies around the world.”
According to Klobuchar and Sullivan, the legislation will improve election security both here and abroad by:
- “Authorizing the Department to provide grants to U.S. nonprofit organizations that specialize in election security and election administration for the purpose of exchanging information with similar organizations in partner countries.
- Bringing foreign individuals who participate in election administration–from government officials, poll workers, members of the judiciary, and more–to the United States to study election procedure for educational purposes. Additionally, U.S. election administrators, experts, and officials will be invited to study how our allies are working to protect their democracies in light of new threats from countries like Russia and Iran.
- Maintaining a network “Global Electoral Exchange Program Alumni” at the State Department that will promote further exchanges of information.
- Require that reports be submitted every two years to the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations and Rules and Administration, and the House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Administration on the status of the program.”
Similar legislation has been reintroduced in the house by Reps. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, and Congressman Mark Meadows, R-N.C.