DENVER, CO – The House State, Civic, Military & Veterans Affairs Committee today passed a bill to provide additional protections for election officials throughout Colorado. Protections For Elections Officials, sponsored by Representatives Monica Duran and Emily Sirota, will ramp up penalties for threatening or doxing an election worker.
“The dramatic increase in threats and intimidation against our election officials cannot continue,” said Rep. Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge. “Colorado’s election workers uphold our democracy and they deserve to feel safe on the job. This bill makes it clear that it is criminal to intimidate, threaten or coerce election workers or to attempt to do so. These civil servants secure fair and free elections in Colorado and we’re prioritizing their safety and well-being.”
“More and more election officials are leaving the job because of ongoing threats against their safety and the safety of their families,” said Rep. Emily Sirota D-Denver. “We’re strengthening Colorado’s gold standard election system by protecting those who secure the right to vote. This bill increases the criminal penalties for threatening or doxing election workers so they can feel safe on the job and continue to uphold our democracy.”
Protections For Elections Officials, HB22-1273, would establish clear penalties for threatening or doxing an election worker. While Colorado law already prohibits individuals from interfering with an election official, this bill clarifies that intimidating, threatening or coercing an election official while they are performing official duties or retaliating against them performing their official duties is criminal. Protections For Elections Officials also prohibits attempts to intimidate, threaten or coerce an election official. HB22-1273 passed committee by a vote of 8 to 2.
According to research conducted by The Brennan Center, one-third of U.S. election officials feel unsafe on the job and one in six reported being threatened because of their work.