Paul Blumenthal for HuffPost:
Democrats plan to introduce legislation in the House and Senate on Tuesday to combat new laws in Republican-run states that could lead to the subversion of fair elections by partisan officials.
The new bills come in response to measures passed by Republican-majority state legislatures and signed into law by Republican governors that make it easier for partisan legislatures to purge state election boards and local election supervisors and replace them without cause with partisan officials. These state laws follow former President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign against state and local election officials to overturn his 2020 reelection loss based on false claims of widespread voter fraud.ADVERTISEMENT
The anti-election bills will institute a new federal safeguard for local election supervisors or superintendents by forbidding their removal by partisan state election boards or legislatures for any reason other than “for cause.” Recent election subversion laws enacted at the state level by Republicans have allowed removal for no reason at all. The new measures introduced by Democrats will also provide a “for cause” standard.
Local and county election officials subject to removal by a state election board or other entity will also be allowed under the Democratic bill to move that process to a federal court.
The bills will also make it a federal crime to intimidate, threaten, coerce or harass election workers, or to attempt to do so. They will also require poll observers to maintain a minimum distance from any voter or ballot during early voting and on an election day.