A two-bill package making it illegal to intimidate an election official or prevent an official from performing their job was reported by the House Elections Committee this week.
- The legislation was introduced by Representative Kara Hope (D-Holt).
- An election official could be a public officer or employee, election inspector, member of the Board of State Canvassers, member of a board of county canvassers, member of an absent voter counting board, county clerk, or city or township clerk.
- Intimidation includes harassment intending to cause fear of physical injury.
- The bills don’t apply to a constitutionally protected activity such as reporting, protesting, or advocating.
- A first violation could result in up to 93 days in jail, a fine of $500, or both.
- A second violation could be punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of $1,000, or both.
- A third and subsequent violation would be a felony, punishable by up to five years imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
- The bills were referred to the House floor for consideration.