CLC Urges Congressional Action to Pass SHIELD Act and Protect Elections from Foreign Interference

A locked ballot box with a ballot in the top.

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) and a coalition of 35 other organizations sent a letter to Congress urging members to support the SHIELD Act, which would protect U.S. elections against the ongoing threat of foreign intervention.

With a floor vote expected on October 23, 2019, the coalition emphasized that the critical legislation will help safeguard our elections from the risk of foreign interference that Russia exposed in 2016.

Why Is This Important?

The need to protect election integrity was made clear after Special Counsel Robert Mueller issued a report finding that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election in a sweeping and systemic fashion. In subsequent congressional testimony, Mueller described the ongoing risk of foreign interference in the 2020 presidential campaign.

A bipartisan report released earlier in October by the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed Mueller’s findings, stating that Russia’s 2016 influence campaign was “part of a broader, sophisticated and ongoing information warfare campaign.”

The SHIELD Act includes the following critical measures:

  • 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.

CLC has consistently supported measures intended to help voters get the information they need about who is paying for the political ads they see during elections. CLC worked with the co-sponsors of the bipartisan Honest Ads Act and is engaging with the Federal Election Commission to close digital ad disclaimer loopholes. And on the local level, CLC is working with state and municipal governments to craft digital ad legislation. Learn more about CLC’s efforts.

Corey handles media relations for the CLC voting rights and redistricting teams and creates online content. Follow @cgfromdc on Twitter