Scanlon Introduces Series of Bills to Expand Voting Rights & Safeguard Our Democracy

WASHINGTON, DC — This month, Representative Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05) announced the reintroduction of several bills to safeguard our democracy and expand voting rights.

Rep. Scanlon is proud to introduce the following legislation:

The Protecting Our Election Workers Act of 2020 would create a federal statute criminalizing threats, and or, acts of intimidation against election workers and requires the Department of Justice to prosecute these crimes.

“In the wake of the 2020 Presidential election, election officials across the country have become the target of threats and intimidation by individuals seeking to undermine our democratic process,” Congresswoman Scanlon said. “This important legislation will provide additional tools to the Department of Justice to protect our elections and election officials.”

A copy of this bill can be found here: https://scanlon.house.gov/uploadedfiles/protecting_our_election_workers_act.pdf

The Dropbox Access Act would improve voters access to dropbox locations in future elections. The Dropbox Access Act would prevent states from unfairly limiting voters’ access to dropboxes by requiring that counties provide, at a minimum, one dropbox per 20,000 voting age residents. Based on recommendations made by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s Elections Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council, this requirement would ensure adequate access to the ballot box for all individuals voting-by-mail.

“We have an obligation to do everything in our power to remove barriers to the ballot box so that all eligible voters can make their voices heard,” Congresswoman Scanlon said. “Dropboxes provide a safe and secure option to return mail-in ballots and efforts to undermine this process are just the latest example of voter suppression. The Dropbox Access Act will prevent these tactics from occurring in the future, while expanding access to the ballot box, safely and securely, to every eligible voter.”

This legislation was championed by, and crafted in conjunction with, the Native American Rights Fund, National Disability Rights Network, and the Brennan Center.

A copy of this bill can be found here: https://scanlon.house.gov/uploadedfiles/dropbox_access_act.pdf

The Accessible Voting Act would expand voting rights for older Americans and Americans with disabilities. Despite federal laws requiring fully accessible voting places, barriers for people with disabilities and older adults still exist, suppressing their right to vote.

“When it comes to voting rights, older Americans and Americans with disabilities are often overlooked, as are the barriers preventing them from making their voices heard at the ballot box,” said Congresswoman Scanlon. “Every day, but particularly during this pandemic, we must ensure that every eligible voter has access to the ballot and can vote safely. The Accessible Voting Act will make it easier for older Americans and Americans with disabilities to get voting information, request their mail-in ballots, access voter registration and absentee ballot applications, and will support states to make that happen.”

A copy of this bill can be found here: https://scanlon.house.gov/uploadedfiles/disability_voting_rights_act.pdf

Mary Gay Scanlon currently serves a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District.

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