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S. 3142 (117th): Election Worker and Polling Place Protection Act


The text of the bill below is as of Nov 2, 2021 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


II

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 3142

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

November 2, 2021

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To protect election workers and polling places.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Election Worker and Polling Place Protection Act.

2.

Election worker and polling place protection

Section 11 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10307) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(f)
(1)

Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, by force or threat of force, or violence, or threat of harm to any person or property, willfully intimidates or interferes with, or attempts to intimidate or interfere with, the ability of any person or any class of persons to vote or qualify to vote, or to qualify or act as a poll watcher, or any legally authorized election official, in any primary, special, or general election, or any person who is, or is employed by, an agent, contractor, or vendor of a legally authorized election official assisting in the administration of any primary, special, or general election, shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this paragraph or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(2)

Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, willfully physically damages or threatens to physically damage any physical property being used as a polling place or tabulation center or other election infrastructure, with the intent to interfere with the administration of an election or the tabulation or certification of votes, shall be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this paragraph or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(3)

For purposes of this subsection, de minimus damage or threats of de minimus damage to physical property shall not be considered a violation of this subsection.

(4)

For purposes of this subsection, the term election infrastructure means any office of an election official, staff, worker, or volunteer or any physical, mechanical, or electrical device, structure, or tangible item used in the process of creating, distributing, voting, returning, counting, tabulating, auditing, storing, or other handling of voter registration or ballot information.

(g)

No prosecution of any offense described in this subsection may be undertaken by the United States, except under the certification in writing of the Attorney General, or a designee, that—

(1)

the State does not have jurisdiction;

(2)

the State has requested that the Federal Government assume jurisdiction; or

(3)

a prosecution by the United States is in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.

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