Rep. Susan Davis Opens 116th Congress with Introduction of Election Reform Bills

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Washington, January 4, 2019 | comments

Emphasizing the importance of election reform, Congresswoman Susan Davis (CA-53) introduced her signature election reform bills as the 116th Congress convened. Davis re-introduced legislation to expand vote by mail opportunities and restore integrity to our election process.  

“With many states curtailing voting rights, it’s time for the federal government to exercise its constitutional responsibility and ensure Americans’ access to the ballot box,” said Rep. Davis. “My bills would end arbitrary roadblocks to absentee voting and ensure those running our elections are free from conflict of interest. We have a responsibility to protect and strengthen our democracy for current and future generations.”

The Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act would end restrictions many states impose on a person’s ability to vote by mail, such as requiring a doctor’s note, the details of a religious obligation, latest pregnancy status or details of a vacation destination. Currently, 21 states restrict an eligible voters’ ability to vote by mail.

Davis's vote by mail bill, which the Congressional Budget Office says would not cost the federal government any money, twice passed the House Administration Committee - the committee that has oversight of federal elections.

The Federal Election Integrity Act would prohibit a chief election official of a state from serving on federal campaign committees or engaging in other political activity on behalf of federal candidates in any election over which that official has supervisory authority.

Recent elections have brought examples of leading state election officials with disturbing conflicts of interest.  In some of these cases, chief state election officials have held official positions on the campaign committees of federal candidates, such as state committee chair.  

In 2010, the House passed the Election Integrity Act on a bipartisan vote of 296-129. The Senate failed to act on the bill before the end of the 111th Congress.

The first major piece of legislation House Democrats plan to bring to the floor is the For the People Act (H.R. 1) - which will include Davis’s election bills. H.R 1, which Davis is cosponsoring, will also strengthen campaign finance and ethics laws which are priorities for Davis as well.

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