May 11, 2021

Election Integrity and Civic Education

Overview

Due to allegations of foreign interference in the election process, the rapid spread of disinformation, and litigation challenging changes to election procedures made by many states in response to the coronavirus pandemic, issues relating to the integrity of our electoral process and the protection of voting rights are of significant importance to the public and the legal profession.

Support Enhancement of Election Security

Ensuring the security of our elections involves protecting physical infrastructure, such as voting machines and computer systems, as well as combatting efforts sponsored by foreign individuals or entities to spread disinformation. The ABA supports federal funding to protect the security and integrity of the federal election process and authorization for the National Institute of Standards and Technology to define federal standards and develop a certification process for cybersecurity of election systems software, infrastructure, and hardware. The ABA also supports federal legislation to prohibit the use of false, deceptive, or misleading statements and acts by foreign principals regarding the regarding the time, place, or manner of voting, to interfere with voting, registering to vote, vote tabulation, or vote reporting.

Support Protection of Voting Rights

The ABA has long supported measures protecting the right to vote, particularly for vulnerable and historically disenfranchised populations. This includes support for the enhancement of remedies under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, in response to Shelby County v. Holder, that would provide a new, flexible coverage formula and create nationwide transparency requirements to keep citizens informed about voting changes in their community. The ABA also supports efforts to remove barriers to voting for Native Americans and Alaska Natives, the homeless and disabled, and persons with criminal convictions.

Support Civic Education Initiatives

The ABA supports civic education to foster understanding of the Constitution and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, including voting. Our policy supports federal initiatives to promote digital literacy, civic education, and public awareness to build societal resilience to domestic and foreign malign disinformation operations and to increase understanding of the importance of democracy, voting, and democratic institutions.

Contact

Kristi Gaines

Legislative Counsel

Governmental Affairs Office
American Bar Association
1050 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Direct: (202) 662-1763
FAX: (202) 662-1782
Kristi.Gaines@americanbar.org