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Lawmakers Want Election Service Providers Owned, Operated by US Persons

Three Senate lawmakers have introduced legislation designed to protect U.S. elections from the influence of foreign adversaries by ensuring the integrity of companies that support the electoral process.

Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., proposed the measure, titled the Protect Our Elections Act, in light of warnings from intelligence services about attempts to undermine U.S. democracy, the office of Sen. Collins said in an Oct. 11 press release.

The bill seeks to amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 by adding two critical provisions.

The act requires an election service provider to disclose to pertinent government authorities whether the firm is directly or indirectly owned or controlled by a foreign national. The provider is also required to file a report should it undergo “any material change in ownership or control”.

Second, the proposed law calls on pertinent government authorities to audit election service providers at least once a year to ensure their continuing compliance with legal requisites, including being wholly owned or controlled by U.S. persons.

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