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U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Helps Introduce Legislation to Stop Foreign Interference in our Elections

The House of Representatives passed companion legislation yesterday to end harmful interference in American elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin help introduced the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act of 2019, new legislation to stop foreign interference in our elections. The House of Representatives passed this election security legislation yesterday and it now awaits action in the Senate.

“This legislation to secure our elections is a commonsense solution that will strengthen election security and help protect our democracy from foreign interference. Mitch McConnell needs to bring this reform up for a vote now so we can protect the integrity of the vote,” said Senator Baldwin.

The SHIELD Act would require political campaigns, parties and political committees to report attempts by foreign governments, political parties and their agents to influence elections to authorities at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The bill would also help prevent foreign interference in future elections by ensuring that political ads sold online are covered by the same rules as ads sold on TV, radio and satellite.

The legislation would close loopholes that allow foreign nationals and foreign governments to spend in U.S. elections by prohibiting them from participating in decision-making about campaign contributions or expenditures. The SHIELD Act bans the offering of non-public campaign material to foreign governments and those linked with foreign governments and their agents as an illegal solicitation of support.

Finally, the bill prohibits anyone from providing false information about voting rules and qualifications for voting, provides mechanisms for disseminating correct information, and establishes strong penalties for voter intimidation.

The SHIELD Act is led by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and is cosponsored in the Senate by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).