Sending Office: Honorable A. Donald McEachin
We invite you to co-sponsor the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2019, which would impose penalties on those who spread false information or use unfair deceptive or abusive practices to manipulate or influence a federal election.
In recent election cycles, organizations and individuals have disseminated false or deceptive information about elections—for instance, broadcasting the wrong date of the election or spreading false information regarding people’s voting eligibility—and have
even attempted to intimidate voters outside polling places. These efforts represent a significant threat to individual citizens’ right to vote and to the health of our democracy.
This bill would prohibit efforts to willfully spread misinformation about the timing, polling locations, general voter eligibility requirements, or procedures of federal elections for the purpose of manipulating or influencing the electoral process. The bill
would likewise prohibit disinformation regarding political endorsements or an individual’s eligibility to vote, and it would forbid intentional efforts to “hinder, interfere with, or prevent another person from voting, registering to vote, or aiding another
person to vote or register to vote.” Violators would face a fine of up to $100,000, a prison sentence of up to 5 years, or both.
The bill would enable the Attorney General to take action in the face of disinformation campaigns, communicating corrective information if state and local election officials fail to adequately respond; it would create a private right of action, enabling those
affected by disinformation to seek preventive relief in federal court; and it would mandate post-election reports to Congress on alleged violations.
Finally, the bill would increase existing penalties for voter intimidation and expand an existing prohibition on vote-buying to include payments for the act of not voting.
Our democratic institutions rest on the foundation of our electoral system and, as such, we have an obligation to ensure that elections are protected from unfair or deceptive practices that undermine our right to vote. We strongly urge you to consider cosponsoring
this important legislation.
If you have any questions or are interested in cosponsoring this piece of legislation, please contact Justin Goldberger in Rep. McEachin’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 5-6365.
A. Donald McEachin Jerrold Nadler
Member of Congress Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0