Colorado's Jena Griswold, along with more than a dozen Democratic secretaries of state, penned a letter supporting federal legislation designed to protect election workers.
U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper this month introduced the Election Protection Worker Act, which seeks to provide states with the resources to recruit and train election workers and ensure their safety, while also instituting federal safeguards to shield election workers from intimidation and threats.
Security for election workers is a major talking point for Democrats.
In their letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the state secretaries described election workers as essential for elections administrations, adding their safety and security are "critical to the health of our democracy."
"As Secretaries of State and Chief Election Officials, we are aware of the ongoing and unprecedented threats directed at election workers across the country, and have seen their terrible impact on our colleagues," they said.
These included threats of violence, the election officials said, lamenting how the threats are aimed at "individuals simply going about their jobs."
The threats have also resulted in shortages of election workers, they said. And while some states, including Colorado, have passed legislation to address the threats, federal action is needed "to ensure that all election workers have the necessary support and protection to do their jobs," they said.
The proposed Election Worker Protection Act "makes clear that these attacks on election workers will not be tolerated," the election officials said, adding the measure would make it a federal crime to threaten, interfere with, or dox an election worker.
The legislation proposes additional resources for election workers, such as for recruitment and training, physical security measures, and protection against disclosure of personal information.
"These protections will protect hardworking public servants who in recent years have received death threats and even had their home addresses published online," the secretaries' letter said. "Sadly, threats like this have been experienced by election workers in all of our states and across the country; we cannot allow them to continue unchecked."
In addition to Griswold, secretaries of state from Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut and Arizona signed the measure.
The bill awaits action from the Senate's rules and administration committee.