Re-introduced DETER Act Seeks to Punish Election Interference

Two senators have re-introduced legislation that would discourage nations from meddling in future U.S. elections, imposing strict sanctions on any foreign interference with the American election system.

The Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Red lines Act, or DETER for short, promises “swift and severe consequences” for Russia and other nations trying to disrupt U.S. elections, according to an April 3 statement from the bill sponsors, Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

The bill specifically calls out Russia, who played an active role in influencing the 2016 U.S. elections. Rubio said the act makes it “crystal clear” the U.S. will act “immediately and overwhelmingly” to thwart any foreign interference in future U.S. elections.

The legislation would impose sanctions on Russian finance, energy and defense sectors and blacklist all senior Russian political leaders identified by the U.S. director of national intelligence.

“The focus of our legislation is to prevent any future efforts to manipulate our elections,” Van Hollen said. “By making it clear in advance that attempts to interfere in our elections will be met with swift, harsh consequences, we can deter hostile foreign powers from taking future interference – but we must act now.”

Asian voter voting in polling place

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