Congressman DeSaulnier Successfully Passes Measures to Improve Election Security as Part of For the People Act

March 3, 2021
Press Release

Creates a Taskforce for Evaluating Bots & Requires States be Notified of Foreign Interference  

Washington, DC – Today, two provisions to improve election security authored by Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) were included in the final version of the For the People Act (H.R. 1), which passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 220-to-210.

“The For the People Act, will get dark money out of politics, crackdown on corruption, protect voting rights, and ensure elections are accurate,” said Congressman DeSaulnier. “The provisions I authored address two of the biggest threats to our republic and our elections – bad actors abroad and the weaponization of social media to spread disinformation. After four years of ex-President Trump systematically undermining Americans’ confidence in our elections, these reforms will help strengthen our election security and restore confidence in our democracy.”

Congressman DeSaulnier’s amendment, which he originally authored in the 115th Congress as the Bots Research Act, establishes a task force of experts at the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to determine the impact of automated social media accounts, commonly known as “bots,” on elections and public discourse. The task force would include experts from government, academia, nonprofit organizations, social media, and the election sector.

Also included in the For the People Act is a measure authored by Congressman DeSaulnier that would require state election agencies to be notified about foreign efforts to interfere in an election. The provision would require the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to inform states within 30 days of receiving information that a targeted disinformation campaign has occurred in their jurisdiction. The measure previously passed the U.S. House as part of the SHIELD Act in 2019, but was not considered in the Senate.  

The For the People Act is a transformational voting rights, anti-corruption, ethics, and clean elections reform package designed to provide comprehensive democracy reform. The bill protects and expands the right to vote, preserves the integrity of American elections, and works to address the influence of special interest money in the electoral process.  

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