Washington, D.C. – In a House Rules Committee hearing yesterday, Congresswoman Ross condemned ongoing threats to poll workers which have contributed to understaffing at polling locations in North Carolina and across the country. Ross filed two amendments to the Protecting Our Democracy Act (PODA), including one intended to help protect election officials by establishing a new taskforce at the Department of Justice.    

Congresswoman Ross said in her remarks: “In the wake of the 2020 election, poll workers and their families have been subjected to unprecedented levels of harassment, violent threats, and intimidation – all spurred by baseless conspiracies like ‘Stop the Steal.’ As a result, my home state of North Carolina and countless others have suffered critical shortages of poll workers.  Ahead of the 2020 election, over one quarter of counties in North Carolina had understaffed polling sites.

“This is simply unacceptable. A lack of poll workers threatens the right at the very core of our democracy – the right to vote.  It creates a litany of barriers to the ballot box – from longer lines to fewer polling sites – that disproportionately cuts vulnerable North Carolinians and people of color out of the political process.

“My amendment would establish a taskforce within the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute threats to election officials in collaboration with state and local governments. Threats to election officials are threats to our democracy and must be stopped.” 

Congresswoman Ross’ amendment will protect the poll workers and election officials who work tirelessly to ensure the free and fair administration of our elections.

Ending Illegitimate White House Non-Disclosure Agreements: Rep. Ross also filed an amendment to prohibit warrantless Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) that have no legitimate purpose and obstruct the public’s interest in executive branch operations. In the Trump White House, staffers were required to sign NDAs that far exceeded the bounds of lawful public employee speech restrictions. These NDAs infringed on the First Amendment rights of both government employees and the press that reports on matters of public interest.

Her full remarks are available here.

The Protecting Our Democracy, including Congresswoman Ross’ amendments, will be considered on the House floor this week.