The Congressional Voting Rights Caucus supports the following legislation in the 116th Congress for its efforts to restore access to the ballot box, modernize voting procedures, and protect the voting rights of all Americans:
Postage Free Ballot Act
Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX)
Summary: This bill amends title 39, United States Code, to provide that any absentee ballot may be mailed free of postage, and for other purposes.
Expressing support for designation of the month of September as “National Voting Rights Month”
Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX)
Summary: Expressing support for designation of the month of September as “National Voting Rights Month”
Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Summary: This bill addresses election security through grant programs and requirements for voting systems and paper ballots.
The bill establishes requirements for voting systems, including that systems (1) use individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballots; (2) make a voter's marked ballot available for inspection and verification by the voter before the vote is cast; (3) ensure that individuals with disabilities are given an equivalent opportunity to vote, including with privacy and independence, in a manner that produces a voter-verified paper ballot; (4) be manufactured in the United States; and (5) meet specified cybersecurity requirements, including the prohibition of the connection of a voting system to the internet.
The National Science Foundation must award grants to study, test, and develop accessible voter-verified paper ballot voting and best practices to enhance the accessibility of such voting for individuals with disabilities, for voters whose primary language is not English, and for voters with difficulties in literacy.
The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) must award grants to states to replace certain voting systems, carry out voting system security improvements, and implement and model best practices for ballot design, ballot instructions, and the testing of ballots.
States must carry out postelection risk-limiting audits for all federal elections, funded by the EAC.
States may use elections requirements payments from the EAC to carry out activities related to election security.
The EAC must provide for the testing of voting system hardware and software and decertify such technology that does not meet guidelines.
For the People Act
Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD)
Summary: This bill addresses voter access, election integrity, election security, political spending, and ethics for the three branches of government.
Specifically, the bill expands voter registration and voting access, makes Election Day a federal holiday, and limits removing voters from voter rolls.
The bill provides for states to establish independent, nonpartisan redistricting commissions.
The bill also sets forth provisions related to election security, including sharing intelligence information with state election officials, protecting the security of the voter rolls, supporting states in securing their election systems, developing a national strategy to protect the security and integrity of U.S. democratic institutions, establishing in the legislative branch the National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions, and other provisions to improve the cybersecurity of election systems.
This bill addresses campaign spending, including by expanding the ban on foreign nationals contributing to or spending on elections; expanding disclosure rules pertaining to organizations spending money during elections, campaign advertisements, and online platforms; and revising disclaimer requirements for political advertising.
This bill establishes an alternative campaign funding system for certain federal offices. The system involves federal matching of small contributions for qualified candidates.
This bill sets forth provisions related to ethics in all three branches of government. Specifically, the bill requires a code of ethics for federal judges and justices, prohibits Members of the House from serving on the board of a for-profit entity, expands enforcement of regulations governing foreign agents, and establishes additional conflict-of-interest and ethics provisions for federal employees and the White House.
The bill also requires candidates for President and Vice President to submit 10 years of tax returns.
Voting Rights Advancement Act
Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL)
Summary: This bill amends the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to revise the criteria for determining which States and political subdivisions are subject to section 4 of the Act, and for other purposes.