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Tonko Votes to Pass SHIELD Act to Protect Integrity of U.S. Elections

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Washington, October 24, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTON—Congressman Paul D. Tonko voted last night to pass H.R. 4617, the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act. This bill takes bipartisan steps to combat foreign interference in elections by strengthening reporting requirements, closing loopholes and deterring foreign activity in U.S. elections.  

“As the people’s representatives, we swore an oath to our Constitution and that means doing whatever it takes to safeguard the integrity of America’s elections,” Congressman Tonko said. “We have seen ample evidence and built broad bipartisan agreement around the fact that the Russian government invested heavily in distorting and undermining U.S. elections in ‘sweeping and systemic fashion.’ Even more troubling, we know that foreign governments plan to continue interfering in our elections for as long as they can get away with it. Congress must take action to ensure our national elections are decided by the American people and no one else. That’s why I voted with hundreds of my colleagues to pass the SHIELD Act. For the sake of our national security and the integrity of future elections, I call on Senate Republicans to put country over party or politics and advance this legislation to the President’s desk.” 

The SHIELD Act takes critical steps to protect our elections and our democracy:

  • Creates a duty to report illicit offers of campaign assistance from foreign governments and their agents.
  • Helps prevent foreign interference in future elections by improving transparency of online political advertisements.
  • Closes loopholes that allow foreign nationals and foreign governments to spend in U.S. elections.
  • Restricts exchange of campaign information between candidates and foreign governments and their agents.
  • Prohibits deceptive practices about voting procedures.

The passage of H.R. 4617 builds on previous legislation passed by House Democrats to close dangerous gaps in voting security by passing H.R. 1, the For The People Act, and H.R. 2722, the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act, earlier this year.

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