The Global Electoral Exchange Act would establish an international information sharing program on election administration and security at the State Department
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Senate Rules Committee with oversight of federal elections, and Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) reintroduced bipartisan legislation to share information on election practices with our international allies. The Global Electoral Exchange Act would establish an international information sharing program on election administration and security at the State Department. The program would allow for the U.S. and our international allies to exchange best practices on issues like auditing election results, countering disinformation campaigns, protecting voter databases, and other critical election administration practices. The bill also authorizes the State Department to provide grants to U.S. nonprofit organizations that specialize in election security and administration for the purpose of exchanging information with similar organizations in partner countries.
Corresponding legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Ann Wagner (R-MO), Dina Titus (D-NV), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).
“Our democracy — and those of our allies — continues to be targeted by foreign adversaries. Safeguarding our democratic institutions must be a priority for us all,” Klobuchar said. “This bipartisan legislation will allow the State Department to work with our allies abroad to share information, discuss best practices, and combat the growing threat of election interference around the world.”
“Safe and secure elections are a foundation of the democratic process and any threats to voting systems must be taken seriously,” Sullivan said. “Senator Klobuchar and I believe that this bipartisan legislation will allow for greater collaboration between the United States and our allies to ensure our elections — and elections around the globe — remain free, transparent, and absent of any foreign interference.”
“With democracy under threat both at home and around the world, it’s vital that we work with our international partners to promote free and fair elections,” Castro said. “The Global Electoral Exchange Act will help facilitate best election practices and cultivate strong democratic institutions worldwide, and I’m proud this timely and important legislation has bicameral and bipartisan support.”
“The Global Electoral Exchange Act will help democratic nations safeguard critical institutions and promote free, fair, transparent, and secure elections. Authoritarian governments are working to erode faith in democracy by spreading disinformation and interfering in our elections,” Wagner said. “This legislation will strengthen elections at home and abroad, prevent future election interference, and ensure our partners have the tools to cultivate and defend their democratic institutions.”
The Global Electoral Exchange Act will improve international election security by:
- Authorizing the State Department, in consultation with the United States Agency for International Development, to provide $5 million in grants each year to U.S. nonprofit organizations that specialize in election security and election administration for the purpose of exchanging information with similar organizations in partner countries.
- Sending foreign individuals who participate in election administration – from government officials, poll workers, members of the judiciary, and more – to the United States to study election procedure for educational purposes, and sending U.S. election administrators, experts, and officials to other countries to study how our allies are working to protect their democracies in light of threats from countries like Russia and Iran.
- Establishing a “Global Electoral Exchange Program Alumni” network at the State Department to promote further exchanges of information.
- Requiring the State Department to submit reports on the status of the program every two years to the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations and Rules and Administration, and the House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Administration.