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Restoring Integrity to America’s Elections Act

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IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

August 1, 2017

Senator Clay of Indiana, with thanks to Mr. Donnelly introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration

A BILL

To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to reduce the number of members of the Federal Election Commission from 6 to 5, to revise the method of selection and terms of service of members of the Commission, to distribute the powers of the Commission between the Chair and the remaining members, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Restoring Integrity to America’s Elections Act.

2.

Membership of Federal Election Commission

(a)

Reduction in Number of Members; Removal of Secretary of Senate and Clerk of House as Ex Officio Members

(1)

In general; quorum

Section 306(a)(1) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30106(a)(1)) is amended by striking the second and third sentences and inserting the following: The Commission is composed of 5 members appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, of whom no more than 2 may be affiliated with the same political party. A majority of the number of members of the Commission who are serving at the time shall constitute a quorum, except that 3 members shall constitute a quorum if there are 4 members serving at the time..

(2)

Conforming amendments relating to reduction in number of members

(A)

The second sentence of section 306(c) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30106(c)) is amended by strikingaffirmative vote of 4 members of the Commission and inserting affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Commission who are serving at the time.

(B)

Such Act is further amended by striking affirmative vote of 4 of its members and insertingaffirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Commission who are serving at the timeeach place it appears in the following sections:

(i)

Section 309(a)(2) (52 U.S.C. 30109(a)(2)).

(ii)

Section 309(a)(4)(A)(i) (52 U.S.C. 30109(a)(4)(A)(i)).

(iii)

Section 309(a)(5)(C) (52 U.S.C. 30109(a)(5)(C)).

(iv)

Section 309(a)(6)(A) (52 U.S.C. 30109(a)(6)(A)).

(v)

Section 311(b) (52 U.S.C. 30111(b)).

(3)

Conforming amendment relating to removal of ex officio members

Section 306(a) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30106(a)) is amended by striking (other than the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives) each place it appears in paragraphs (4) and (5).

(b)

Terms of Service

Section 306(a)(2) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30106(a)(2)) is amended to read as follows:

(2)

Terms of service

(A)

Chair

The Chair of the Commission shall serve for a single term of 10 years.

(B)

Other members

Each member of the Commission other than the Chair shall serve for a single term of 6 years.

(C)

Special rule for initial appointments

Of the members (other than the Chair) first appointed to serve terms that begin in January 2020, the President shall designate two to serve for a 3-year term.

(D)

No reappointment permitted

An individual who served a term as a Member of the Commission (including the Chair) may not serve for an additional term, except that—

(i)

an individual who served a 3-year term under subparagraph (C) may also be appointed to serve a 6-year term under subparagraph (B) or a 10-year term as Chair under subparagraph (A); and

(ii)

for purposes of this subparagraph, an individual who is appointed to fill a vacancy under subparagraph (E) shall not be considered to have served a term if the portion of the unexpired term the individual fills is less than 50 percent of the period of the term.

(E)

Vacancies

Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the Commission shall be filled in the same manner as in the case of the original appointment. Except as provided in subparagraph (D), an individual appointed to fill a vacancy occurring other than by the expiration of a term of office shall be appointed only for the unexpired term of the member he or she succeeds.

(F)

Limitation on service after expiration of term

A member of the Commission may continue to serve on the Commission after the expiration of the member’s term for an additional period, but only until the earlier of—

(i)

the date on which the member’s successor has taken office as a member of the Commission; or

(ii)

the expiration of the 1-year period that begins on the last day of the member’s term.

.

(c)

Qualifications

Section 306(a)(3) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30106(a)(3)) is amended to read as follows:

(3)

Qualifications

(A)

In general

The President may select an individual for service as a Member of the Commission if the individual has experience in election law and has a demonstrated record of integrity, impartiality, and good judgment.

(B)

Assistance of Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel

(i)

In general

Prior to the regularly scheduled expiration of the term of a member of the Commission and upon the occurrence of a vacancy in the membership of the Commission prior to the expiration of a term, the President shall convene a Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel, consisting of an odd number of individuals selected by the President from retired Federal judges, former law enforcement officials, or individuals with experience in election law, except that the President may not select any individual to serve on the panel who holds any public office at the time of selection.

(ii)

Recommendations

With respect to each member of the Commission whose term is expiring or each vacancy in the membership of the Commission (as the case may be), the Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel shall recommend to the President at least one but not more than 3 individuals for nomination for appointment as a member of the Commission.

(iii)

Publication

At the time the President submits to the Senate the nominations for individuals to be appointed as members of the Commission, the President shall publish the Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel’s recommendations for such nominations.

(iv)

Exemption from Federal Advisory Committee Act

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) does not apply to a Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel convened under this subparagraph.

(C)

Prohibiting engagement with other business or employment during service

A member of the Commission shall not engage in any other business, vocation, or employment. Any individual who is engaging in any other business, vocation, or employment at the time of his or her appointment to the Commission shall terminate or liquidate such activity no later than 90 days after such appointment.

.

3.

Assignment of Powers to Chair of Federal Election Commission

(a)

Appointment of Chair by President

(1)

In general

Section 306(a)(5) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30106(a)(5)) is amended to read as follows:

(5)

Chair

(A)

Initial appointment

Of the members first appointed to serve terms that begin in January 2020, one such member (as designated by the President at the time the President submits nominations to the Senate) shall serve as Chair of the Commission.

(B)

Subsequent appointments

Any individual who is appointed to succeed the Member who serves as Chair of the Commission for the term beginning in January 2020 (as well as any individual who is appointed to fill a vacancy if such Member does not serve a full term as Chair) shall serve as Chair of the Commission.

(C)

Vice Chair

The Commission shall select, by majority vote of its members, one of its members to serve as Vice Chair, who shall act as Chair in the absence or disability of the Chair or in the event of a vacancy in the position of Chair.

.

(2)

Conforming amendment

Section 309(a)(2) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30109(a)(2)) is amended by striking through its chairman or vice chairman and inserting through the Chair.

(b)

Powers

(1)

Assignment of certain powers to Chair

Section 307(a) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30107(a)) is amended to read as follows:

(a)

Distribution of Powers Between Chair and Commission

(1)

Powers assigned to Chair

(A)

Administrative powers

The Chair of the Commission shall be the chief administrative officer of the Commission and shall have the authority to administer the Commission and its staff, and (in consultation with the other members of the Commission) shall have the power—

(i)

to appoint and remove the staff director and general counsel of the Commission;

(ii)

to request the assistance (including personnel and facilities) of other agencies and departments of the United States, whose heads may make such assistance available to the Commission with or without reimbursement; and

(iii)

to prepare and establish the budget of the Commission and to make budget requests to the President, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Congress.

(B)

Other powers

The Chair of the Commission shall have the power—

(i)

to require by special or general orders, any person to submit, under oath, such written reports and answers to questions as the Chair may prescribe;

(ii)

to administer oaths or affirmations;

(iii)

to require by subpoena, signed by the Chair, the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of all documentary evidence relating to the execution of its duties;

(iv)

in any proceeding or investigation, to order testimony to be taken by deposition before any person who is designated by the Chair, and shall have the power to administer oaths and, in such instances, to compel testimony and the production of evidence in the same manner as authorized under clause (iii); and

(v)

to pay witnesses the same fees and mileage as are paid in like circumstances in the courts of the United States.

(2)

Powers assigned to Commission

The Commission shall have the power—

(A)

to initiate (through civil actions for injunctive, declaratory, or other appropriate relief), defend (in the case of any civil action brought under section 309(a)(8) of this Act) or appeal any civil action in the name of the Commission to enforce the provisions of this Act and chapter 95 and chapter 96 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, through its general counsel;

(B)

to render advisory opinions under section 308 of this Act;

(C)

to develop such prescribed forms and to make, amend, and repeal such rules, pursuant to the provisions of chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act and chapter 95 and chapter 96 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;

(D)

to conduct investigations and hearings expeditiously, to encourage voluntary compliance, and to report apparent violations to the appropriate law enforcement authorities; and

(E)

to transmit to the President and Congress not later than June 1 of each year a report which states in detail the activities of the Commission in carrying out its duties under this Act, and which includes any recommendations for any legislative or other action the Commission considers appropriate.

(3)

Permitting Commission to exercise other powers of Chair

With respect to any investigation, action, or proceeding, the Commission, by an affirmative vote of a majority of the members who are serving at the time, may exercise any of the powers of the Chair described in paragraph (1)(B).

.

(2)

Conforming amendments relating to personnel authority

Section 306(f) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30106(f)) is amended—

(A)

by amending the first sentence of paragraph (1) to read as follows: The Commission shall have a staff director and a general counsel who shall be appointed by the Chair of the Commission in consultation with the other members.;

(B)

in paragraph (2), by striking With the approval of the Commission and inserting With the approval of the Chair of the Commission; and

(C)

by striking paragraph (3).

(3)

Conforming amendment relating to budget submission

Section 307(d)(1) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30107(d)(1)) is amended by striking the Commission submits any budget and inserting the Chair (or, pursuant to subsection (a)(3), the Commission) submits any budget.

(4)

Other conforming amendments

Section 306(c) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30106(c)) is amended by striking All decisions and inserting Subject to section 307(a), all decisions.

(5)

Technical amendment

The heading of section 307 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30107) is amended by striking the commissionand inserting the chair and the commission.

4.

Revision to certain enforcement authorities

(a)

Clarifying Authority of FEC Attorneys To Represent FEC in Supreme Court

(1)

Clarifying authority

Section 306(f)(4) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30106(f)(4)) is amended by striking any action instituted under this Act, either (A) by attorneys and inserting any action instituted under this Act, including an action before the Supreme Court of the United States, either (A) by the General Counsel of the Commission and other attorneys.

(2)

Effective date

The amendment made by paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to actions instituted before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(b)

Permitting Appearance at Hearings on Requests for Advisory Opinions by Persons Opposing the Requests

(1)

In general

Section 308 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30108) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(e)

To the extent that the Commission provides an opportunity for a person requesting an advisory opinion under this section (or counsel for such person) to appear before the Commission to present testimony in support of the request, and the person (or counsel) accepts such opportunity, the Commission shall provide a reasonable opportunity for an interested party who submitted written comments under subsection (d) in response to the request (or counsel for such interested party) to appear before the Commission to present testimony in response to the request.

.

(2)

Effective date

The amendment made by paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to requests for advisory opinions under section 308 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 which are made on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(c)

Clarification of Deadline for Filing Action To Challenge Dismissal of Complaint

(1)

Deadline

Section 309(a)(8)(B) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30109(a)(8)(B)) is amended by striking within 60 days after the date of the dismissal and inserting within 60 days after the date on which the party received notice of the dismissal of the complaint.

(2)

Effective date

The amendment made by paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to complaints which are dismissed by the Federal Election Commission on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

5.

Effective date; transition

(a)

In General

Except as provided in section 4, the amendments made by this Act shall apply beginning January 1, 2020.

(b)

Transition

(1)

Termination of service of current members

Notwithstanding any provision of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, the term of any individual serving as a member of the Federal Election Commission as of December 31, 2019, shall expire on that date.

(2)

No effect on existing cases or proceedings

Nothing in this Act or in any amendment made by this Act shall affect any of the powers exercised by the Federal Election Commission prior to December 31, 2019, including any investigation initiated by the Commission prior to such date or any proceeding (including any enforcement action) pending as of such date.

 

 

 

Quote

This bill amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 with respect to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to: (1) reduce the number of members of the FEC from eight to five, (2) remove the Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the House as ex officio members, and (3) permit no more than two members to be affiliated with the same political party. A majority of the FEC members serving at the time shall constitute a quorum, except that three shall constitute a quorum if there are only four members serving.

 

A Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel shall recommend to the President individuals for nomination to the FEC.

 

The President shall appoint the FEC Chair, subject to Senate confirmation as a member of the FEC.

 

The powers of the FEC are revised and distributed between the chair and the other FEC members.

 

Persons who submit written comments regarding requests for advisory opinions must be given an opportunity to appear at FEC hearings on such requests.

 

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The Committee will now come together for 72 hours to debate this bill. 

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There being no debate on the legislation, we will now move to a vote on whether to send the legislation on to the full Senate. 

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Mr. Chairman, 

 

Point of order - you have not assigned a time limit for this vote. How long do you plan on keeping this vote open for? 

 

I yield. 

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The general rule on a vote is 48 hours, so the vote will close 48 hours from the end of debate.

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Mr. Chairman, 

 

Point of Order - based on your ruling, this vote is more than 24 hours past due. Please let the record show that the final tally is 3 aye and 1 nay. 

 

I yield. 

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The Gentleman from Tennesse is correct, the bill is passed to the Senate by a vote of 3-1 in favor. 

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Posted (edited)

Debate on this piece of legislation will now begin. The debate will last till cloture is invoked.

Edited by Storm

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Mr. President,

 

I motion for Unanimous Consent to pass this legislation. It seems clear to me that the current state of the FEC is making it very difficult for anything meaningful to be accomplished, and this bill will be able to change it for the better.

 

I yield. 

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Mr. President,

 

I must object to unanimous consent. I would appreciate some explanation, perhaps, in this body as to the need for this piece of legislation aside from a brief passing comment. This bill passed Committee on a party-line vote, and I would like to see some rigorous debate before we speedily pass a major piece of reform to our nation's election system, which we can all agree is of the utmost importance to our democratic system of government.

 

I yield.

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Mr. President,

 

There is little reason to oppose this piece of legislation. The need for this legislation is clear, and if the Gentleman from Arizona has any questions, I'd be happy to answer them. 

 

I yield. 

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Mr. President,

 

I think that we need to have serious reform for the FEC and for the way we handle money in politics as well. However, I will save the money in politics issue for another debate. I have a few questions that I would like to raise to the Majority Leader. How would this bill curve partisanship with the restriction of only two persons from a specific party when this bill would also reduce the number to five members? How will we determine if the other three members aren't all conservative or liberal or somewhere in between?

 

I yield.

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Mr. President,

 

In regards to the Gentleman from Hawaii's question, the goal is to eliminate the deadlock that stops the FEC from doing anything meaningful. Having an 8 member FEC is as valuable in many cases as not having one at all. With these reforms, we will once and for all have an FEC that can actually decide the issues that come before it. As to the political party membership, basically what would happen, in practice, is an FEC that has two Republicans, Two Democrats, and either a political independent, or a member of a third party. This will open up the process a little more, as we currently have a commission that is allowed to be made up of 3 Democrats, and 3 Republicans, with no independents or third parties having a seat at the table. in the last few years, around 14% of FEC votes have been deadlocked, and this means that in 14% of cases, we are unable to get a definitive ruling and therefore nothing is done in the face of a potential violation, or the need for further regulation. With an FEC that would guarantee an actual decision in almost every case, I think we will see a real improvement. 

 

 

I yield. 

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Mr. President,

 

I propose an amendment.  Strike Section 2, sub-section C, clause C, in its entirety.  

 

I yield.  

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Mr. President,

 

I am concerned with the amendment proposed by my college here. I think that the purpose of this clause is very much needed to lead us in the direction of limiting conflict of interest between private interest and the FEC. I can’t support this amendment because it would open the floodgates for the issue having a biased elections boarded for specific interest groups that lobby these halls. Even if it someone who I agree with on an issue we cannot allow one side of an issue be preferenced more than the other. Our job with reformin the FEC should be to make it as non-partisan as possible. After all that is the sole purpose of the bureaucracy. 

 

I yield. 

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Mr. President,

 

If I may, I'd like to explain why I believe my proposed amendment is needed.  As written, the clause in question reads

 

Quote

A member of the Commission shall not engage in any other business, vocation, or employment. Any individual who is engaging in any other business, vocation, or employment at the time of his or her appointment to the Commission shall terminate or liquidate such activity no later than 90 days after such appointment.

 

I understand the need for an unbiased and transparent Federal Election Commission; I don't take issue with that.  What concerns me is this bill's prohibition of any type of business promotion by members of the Commission. 

 

It has been said that "the business of America is business".  Indeed, a main purpose of business, as defined in our capitalist system, is to make money.  I am of the opinion that the current bill unreasonably infringes on a prospective Commission member's right to free enterprise. 

 

Having said this, do I believe that certain types of business activities, such as lobbying, should not be permitted of a Commission member? Yes I do, and quite strongly, I might add.  It is of vital importance that the Commission be independent, and  free of undue influence.  However, if a prospective member wishes to operate a business that is totally unrelated to election policy (and law), I believe that they should be allowed to do so.  When you start to tell people that they can't operate their own businesses....that's when things get a bit hairy, IMHO.  And quite frankly, it's not like individual Commission members won't be inherently biased one way or the other.  That's just the nature of public opinion.  

 

I hope that my colleagues in this chamber will consider my arguments, and support my amendment.  

 

I yield.  

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Mr. President,

 

I am opposed to the amendment of the Senator for North Carolina. There are so many ways that having a business while being a public servant makes every interaction with lobbyists or interested parties even more susceptible to corruption, and allowing people who have an expanded possibility for bribery is the last thing we want on the FEC or any important board or commission. I believe we should pass this legislation as it stands, because it is simply good policy. Making the FEC work is something that every member of this body, and every citizen of this country should want and pursue. Let's pass this bill, because it is the right thing to do.

 

I yield. 

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Mr. President,

 

The remarks from the Gentleman from North Carolina confuse me. If he wishes to clarify, I hope I didn't hear his remarks and came to the conclusion that he is inferring that Elections in the United States are a business or even the regulation of them is a business. Moreover, As the Majority Leader said I cannot support this amendment because it compromises the credibility of what the Federal Elections Commission is supposed to do. I ask the gentleman from North Carolina to rethink this position and to again reconsider what decisions this could have on our election laws in the United States.

 

I yield.

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Mr. President,

 

It is very concerning that anyone could look at our elections, and political system, and then think that we should protect the money and lobbyists within that current system at the expense of impartiality, which to me seems to be what the Senator from North Carolina is suggesting? It is in the interest of the American People, and the very foundation of our Democracy, to do whatever we can to protect our elections, and this proposed amendment seems to be counter intuitive to that goal. It is very alarming and frustrating that such an amendment would even be proposed, and I feel it shows as exhibit A why a reform of our political process is desperately needed. We must get money out of politics so that everyone has the ability to participate and have their say. 

 

With that line of thinking, I feel that this bill is a good step in improving our elections in this country, and I will support it. I urge my colleagues to do the same, and I look forward to working with all of them to do just that. 

 

Thank you, 

 

I Yield. 

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Mr President,

 

I can see myself voting for this piece of legislation if it actually did more to strengthen the integrity of American elections. The bill in its current form is all bark but no bite, that is why I offer the following amendment. 

 

I move to amend by adding the following section:

 

Quote

 

SEC. X. REQUIRING VOTERS TO PROVIDE PHOTO IDENTIFICATION.

 

(a) Requirement To Provide Photo Identification As Condition Of Casting Ballot.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 15481 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 303 the following new section:

“SEC. 303A. PHOTO IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.

“(a) Provision Of Identification Required As Condition Of Casting Ballot.—

“(1) INDIVIDUALS VOTING IN PERSON.—

“(A) REQUIREMENT TO PROVIDE IDENTIFICATION.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in subparagraph (B), the appropriate State or local election official may not provide a ballot for an election for Federal office to an individual who desires to vote in person unless the individual presents to the official a valid photo identification.

“(B) AVAILABILITY OF PROVISIONAL BALLOT.—

“(i) IN GENERAL.—If an individual does not present the identification required under subparagraph (A), the individual shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot with respect to the election under section 302(a), except that the appropriate State or local election official may not make a determination under section 302(a)(4) that the individual is eligible under State law to vote in the election unless, not later than 10 days after casting the provisional ballot, the individual presents to the official—

“(I) the identification required under subparagraph (A); or

“(II) an affidavit attesting that the individual does not possess the identification required under subparagraph (A) because the individual has a religious objection to being photographed.

“(ii) NO EFFECT ON OTHER PROVISIONAL BALLOTING RULES.—Nothing in clause (i) may be construed to apply to the casting of a provisional ballot pursuant to section 302(a) or any State law for reasons other than the failure to present the identification required under subparagraph (A).

“(2) INDIVIDUALS VOTING OTHER THAN IN PERSON.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in subparagraph (B), the appropriate State or local election official may not accept any ballot for an election for Federal office provided by an individual who votes other than in person unless the individual submits with the ballot a copy of a valid photo identification.

“(B) EXCEPTION FOR OVERSEAS MILITARY VOTERS.—Subparagraph (A) does not apply with respect to a ballot provided by an absent uniformed services voter who, by reason of active duty or service, is absent from the United States on the date of the election involved. In this subparagraph, the term ‘absent uniformed services voter’ has the meaning given such term in section 107(1) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20310(1)), other than an individual described in section 107(1)(C) of such Act.

“(b) Provision Of Identifications Without Charge To Individuals Unable To Pay Costs Of Obtaining Identification.—If an individual presents a State or local election official with an affidavit attesting that the individual is unable to pay the costs associated with obtaining a valid photo identification under this section, the official shall provide the individual with a valid photo identification under this subsection without charge to the individual.

“(c) Valid Photo Identifications Described.—For purposes of this section, a ‘valid photo identification’ means, with respect to an individual who seeks to vote in a State, any of the following:

“(1) A valid State-issued motor vehicle driver’s license that includes a photo of the individual and an expiration date.

“(2) A valid State-issued identification card that includes a photo of the individual and an expiration date.

“(3) A valid United States passport for the individual.

“(4) A valid military identification for the individual.

“(5) Any other form of government-issued identification that the State may specify as a valid photo identification for purposes of this subsection.

“(d) Notification Of Identification Requirement To Applicants For Voter Registration.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Each State shall ensure that, at the time an individual applies to register to vote in elections for Federal office in the State, the appropriate State or local election official notifies the individual of the photo identification requirements of this section.

“(2) SPECIAL RULE FOR INDIVIDUALS APPLYING TO REGISTER TO VOTE ONLINE.—Each State shall ensure that, in the case of an individual who applies to register to vote in elections for Federal office in the State online, the online voter registration system notifies the individual of the photo identification requirements of this section before the individual completes the online registration process.

“(e) Treatment Of States With Photo Identification Requirements In Effect As Of Date Of Enactment.—If, as of the date of the enactment of this section, a State has in effect a law requiring an individual to provide a photo identification as a condition of casting a ballot in elections for Federal office held in the State and the law remains in effect on and after the effective date of this section, the State shall be considered to meet the requirements of this section if—

“(1) the State submits a request to the Attorney General and provides such information as the Attorney General may consider necessary to determine that the State has in effect such a law and that the law remains in effect; and

“(2) the Attorney General approves the request.

“(f) Effective Date.—This section shall apply with respect to elections for Federal office held in 2020 or any succeeding year.”.

 

(2) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.—The table of contents of such Act is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 303 the following new item:


“Sec. 303A. Photo identification requirements.”.

(b) Conforming Amendment Relating To Voluntary Guidance By Election Assistance Commission.—Section 311(b) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21101(b)) is amended—

(1) by striking “and” at the end of paragraph (2);

(2) by striking the period at the end of paragraph (3) and inserting “; and”; and

(3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

“(4) in the case of the recommendations with respect to section 303A, October 1, 2018.”.

(c) Conforming Amendment Relating To Enforcement.—Section 401 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21111) is amended by striking “and 303” and inserting “303, and 303A”.

(d) Conforming Amendments Relating To Repeal Of Existing Photo Identification Requirements For Certain Voters.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 303 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 15483) is amended—

(A) in the heading, by striking “AND REQUIREMENTS FOR VOTERS WHO REGISTER BY MAIL”;

(B) in the heading of subsection (b), by striking “FOR VOTERS WHO REGISTER BY MAIL” and inserting “FOR MAIL-IN REGISTRATION FORMS”;

(C) in subsection (b), by striking paragraphs (1) through (3) and redesignating paragraphs (4) and (5) as paragraphs (1) and (2), respectively; and

(D) in subsection (c), by striking “subsections (a)(5)(A)(i)(II) and (b)(3)(B)(i)(II)” and inserting “subsection (a)(5)(A)(i)(II)”.

(2) CLERICAL AMENDMENT.—The table of contents of such Act is amended by amending the item relating to section 303 to read as follows:


“Sec. 303. Computerized statewide voter registration list requirements.”.

(e) Effective Date.—This section and the amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to elections for Federal office held in 2020 or any succeeding year.

 

 

 

The PES of the amendment as follows:

Quote

 

amends the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to prohibit a state or local election official from providing a ballot for a federal election to an individual who desires to vote in person unless the individual presents a valid photo identification.

 

If an individual does not present a valid photo identification, the individual shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot. An election official may not determine that such an individual is eligible under state law to vote in the election unless, not later than 10 days after casting the provisional ballot, the individual presents: (1) the identification required, or (2) an affidavit attesting that the individual does not possess the identification because the individual has a religious objection to being photographed.

 

With an exception for overseas military voters, an election official may not accept a ballot for a federal election provided by an individual who votes other than in person unless the individual submits with the ballot a copy of a valid photo identification.

 

If an individual presents an election official with an affidavit attesting that the individual is unable to afford to obtain a valid photo identification, the official shall provide the individual with a valid photo identification without charge.

 

 

I yield

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