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National Issues

House Panel Passes Rep. Susan Davis’s Election Reform Bills PDF Print Email
By Rep. Susan Davis Press Release   
June 10, 2009
No Excuse Absentee, Absentee Tracking and Election Integrity Bills Approved    

A package of election reform bills sponsored by Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) cleared an initial hurdle today.  The House Administration Committee approved legislation to allow for national no-excuse absentee voting, help voters track absentee ballots, and prevent a state’s chief elections official from serving on federal campaign committees.

“Democracy flourishes when all Americans have a fair chance to participate in elections and have confidence that the process is fair,” said Davis, a member of the committee.  “I’d like to thank Chairman Brady and my colleagues on the committee for passing this package of bills.”

The bills passed by the committee were:
· Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act (H.R. 1604) - Allows all eligible voters nationwide to vote by mail for any reason in federal elections. Currently, 22 states and the District of Columbia restrict an eligible voter’s ability to vote by mail, also known as absentee.  The bill also removes the doctor’s note, notary and privacy information requirements imposed by some states.

· The Absentee Ballot Track, Receive and Confirm (TRAC) Act (H.R. 2510) - Helps states, through a grant program, to establish absentee ballot tracking systems.  An absentee ballot tracking system allows voters to easily find out, online or through an automated phone system, whether an elections office has sent out a ballot, whether a completed ballot has arrived back at the registrar’s office and whether the ballot was actually counted.  Davis worked with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), also a member of the committee, in sponsoring H.R. 2510.

· The Federal Election Integrity Act (H.R. 512) - Prohibits the chief elections official of a state from serving on federal campaign committees or engaging in other political activity, such as fundraising, on behalf of federal candidates in any election over which the official has supervisory authority.
The action by the House Administration Committee clears the bills to be considered by the full House of Representatives.
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