House Democrats passed H.R. 1 on Wednesday
Nancy Pelosi’s “For The People Act” is supposed to change American democracy and nationalize elections. It is also believed to have the power to make permanent changes to voting rules. Yes, Democrats don’t want to lose elections and they are doing the impossible to keep things under their control.
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The 791-page bill was adopted with almost no debate.
We give you 37 key points of the bill:
- Federal control over congressional elections: “Congress finds that it has broad authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of congressional elections under the Elections Clause of the
Constitution.” The States have primary authority, but the Congress can “make or alter such Regulations.”
- Declaring that “States and localities have eroded access to the right to vote”: The bill reads that measures are nothing but “restrictions on the right to vote.” According to it, these measures are forms of “racial discrimination” and “systemic racism.”
- Restricting challenges to H.R. 1 to the federal court system in D.C.: The bill says courts in Washington, D.C. are the only courts to hear challenges to its constitutionality. Too many Democrats thrive there, right?
- Automatic and online voter registration: US states have to make sure “all eligible citizens are registered to vote in elections for Federal office” unless they decide to opt-out. States have to make voter registration available online. In this way, voters can supply their signatures when requesting a ballot.
- Protection for illegal aliens who are registered to vote: The new bill protects non-citizens from prosecution in case they are registered to vote automatically without even making an affirmative declaration that they were U.S. citizens.
- Changing personal information at polling places: Voters can change their address and other information at polling places and can cast regular (not provisional) ballots.
- Same-day voter registration: “Each State shall permit any eligible individual on the day of a Federal election and on any day when voting, including early voting, is permitted for a Federal election—to register to vote in such election at the polling place … [and] to cast a vote in such election.”
- Preventing states from purging ineligible voters from rolls: One part of the bill is called the “Stop Automatically Voiding Eligible Voters Off Their Enlisted Rolls in States Act.” The acronym? “SAVE VOTERS Act.”
- Registration for minors (under 18): US states must register citizens over 16 to vote. The bill provides funds for “States to carry out a plan to increase the involvement of individuals under 18 years of age in public election activities in the State.”
- Prohibiting the publication of misleading information: It is a federal crime to “communicate or cause to be communicated information” that is fake e about any election. You can get up to five years. Claiming a false political endorsement is also a crime.
- Reducing prison funds to states unless they register ex-convicts to vote: Felons are allowed to vote unless they are “serving a felony sentence in a correctional institution or facility at the time of the election.”
- Mandatory early voting: “Each State shall allow individuals to vote in an election for Federal office during an early voting period which occurs prior to the date of the election, in the same manner as voting is allowed on such date.” Early voting begins no later than 15 days before Election Day, allowing for 10 hours of voting each day.
- Nationwide vote-by-mail, without photo ID: US has to provide for an absentee vote by mail-in elections for Federal office. They “may not require an individual to provide any form of identification as a condition of obtaining an absentee ballot.”
- Unlimited “ballot harvesting”: The US “shall permit a voter to designate any person to return a voted and sealed absentee ballot to the post office, a ballot drop-off location, tribally designated building, or election office so long as the person designated to return the ballot does not receive any form of compensation based on the number of ballots” and ” may not put any limit on how many voted and sealed absentee ballots any designated person can return.”
- Allowing 10 days for ballots to be accepted after Election Day: States can accept mailed ballots postmarked before, or on, Election Day, if they are transported within ten days of the given election. States can expand the deadline.
- Paying for postage for mailed ballots: According to this bill, “the State or the unit of local government responsible for the administration of the election involved shall prepay the [return] postage on any envelope provided” for a voter application to register, “an application for an absentee ballot, or the return of the ballot itself. All election materials are to be treated as first-class mail, regardless of the postage paid.”
- Prohibiting state election officials from campaigning in federal elections: The new bill stops “a chief State election administration official from taking an active part in political management or in a political campaign with respect to any election for Federal office over which such official has supervisory authority.”
- Creating “Campus Vote Coordinators” at colleges and universities: Colleges and universities can hire an official to inform students about elections and boost voter registration. Those that “have demonstrated excellence in registering students to vote in elections for public office” can receive additional grants from the Department of Education.
- Gutting photo ID requirements: States can substitute photo ID requirements by encouraging would-be voters to submit a “sworn written statement, signed by the individual under penalty of perjury, attesting to the individual’s identity and attesting that the individual is eligible to vote in the election.”
- Making absentee voter boxes available for 45 days: “In each county in the State, each State shall provide in-person, secured, and clearly labeled drop boxes at which individuals may, at any time during the period described in subsection (b), drop off voted absentee ballots in an election for Federal office.” These boxes must be “available to all voters on a non-discriminatory basis” and “during all hours of the day.”
- Mandatory curbside voting: US may not “prohibit any jurisdiction administering an election for Federal office in the State from utilizing curbside voting as a method by which individuals may cast ballots in the election.”
- Restoring federal supervision of states under Voting Rights Act: “The 2018 midterm and 2020 general elections provide further evidence that systemic voter discrimination and intimidation continues to occur in communities of color across the county.
- Encouraging statehood for DC, and representation for territories: D.C. is not a state. “The United States is the only democratic country that denies both voting representation in the national legislature and local self-government to the residents of its Nation’s capital.”
- Federal control of congressional district maps through “independent” commissions: Commissions have to show “racial, ethnic, economic, and gender” diversity. This also includes geographic diversity.
- “National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions”: The commission will study given elections and write a report after 18 months with recommendations for improving elections. It consists of ten members. Four of these would be selected by the minority party. Democrats dominate once again
- New reporting requirements for companies: Limited liability companies (LLCs) are identified as a conduit for foreign donations to domestic super PACs. Congress can require LLCs to identify these owners.
- Candidates required to report “foreign contacts”: “Not later than 1 week after a reportable foreign contact, each political committee shall notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the [Federal Elections] Commission of the reportable foreign contact and provide a summary of the circumstances with respect to such reportable foreign contact.”
- New disclosure for corporations: According to the DISCLOSE Act, corporations can certify that there’s no foreign interference in their political activities. Corporations showing more than $10,000 in an election cycle have to provide detailed disclosures. This includes independent expenditures that are not related to campaigns.
- Oversight of online political advertising: “Stand By Every Ad Act.” Online platforms should maintain detailed records of efforts to obtain political advertising space on the platform. Foreigners can’t do political ads. The Federal Elections Commission should conduct “an independent study and report on media literacy with respect to online political content consumption” to determine whether US citizens can be tricked by political advertising.
- Deportation for “aliens” who violate election laws: Aliens are foreigners who have attempted to interfere in US elections and are considered “deportable.”
- Removing restrictions on IRS targeting: The bill reverses provisions that limited the Internal Revenue Service from finding tax-exempt organizations and their donors (IRS scandal of 2013).
- Attacking Citizens United and free speech for corporations: “The Supreme Court’s misinterpretation of the Constitution to empower monied interests at the expense of the American people in elections has seriously eroded over 100 years of congressional action to promote fairness and protect elections from the toxic influence of money. The Constitution should be amended so that Congress and the States may regulate and set limits on the raising and spending of money.”
- Gift cards and reimbursements for political donations: “My Voice” is a federally-funded voucher program that provides individuals with $25 to donate to their favorite candidates.
- Allowing politicians to use campaign funds for personal use: The “Help America Run Act” allows federal office candidates to use campaign donations for personal expenses.
- Changing the composition of the FEC to become partisan: The bill shrinks the membership of the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). It goes from six to five members. Only two members can be related to a particular political party. The fifth member should be independent but nominated by a president related to a party.
- Changing conflict of interest rules to bar Donald Trump from running: Democrats didn’t mention the former President in the bill, but they made sure he doesn’t run again. According to this bill, the president or vice president should divest all finances that could trigger a conflict of interest for anyone related to the new administration
- Changing FEC rules to require Trump (or other presidential candidates) to provide their tax returns: “Not later than the date that is 15 days after the date on which an individual becomes a covered candidate, the individual shall submit to the Federal Election Commission a copy of the individual’s income tax returns for the 10 most recent taxable years for which a return has been filed with the Internal Revenue Service.”
“(Note: this list was organized with reference to the thread by Twitter user Oilfield_Rando, who posted about the bill.)”
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