Republicans presented a new voting legislation
WASHINGTON — House Republicans presented a new voting legislation on Monday, aimed at bolstering election security and fulfilling a commitment to ensuring the integrity of the electoral process. This move, known as the American Confidence in Elections (ACE) Act, was introduced by the House Administration Committee against the backdrop of Atlanta, emphasizing the ongoing battle over voting access, predominantly taking place at the state level.
Atlanta was chosen as a symbolic location, referencing Georgia’s 2021 voting law, which implemented additional ID requirements for mail-in ballots, restricted ballot drop boxes, and prohibited the provision of food and water to voters in lines, among other changes. This law faced legal challenges from the Justice Department and triggered national controversy, leading Major League Baseball to relocate the All-Star Game out of Atlanta.
Critics argued that the Georgia law would disproportionately affect people of color and make voting more challenging. However, Committee Chairman Bryan Steil, R-Wis., the sponsor of the ACE Act, countered these claims by highlighting an increase in voter turnout from 2020 to 2022. Steil dismissed concerns, emphasizing that the bill aims to enhance election integrity without compromising access.
The House GOP’s proposed legislation includes federal adjustments to support states in election administration. Notable provisions mandate that the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration provide states with voter data to facilitate the removal of noncitizens and deceased individuals from voter rolls. The bill also advocates for modifications to the REAL ID Act, calling for citizenship status to be printed on identification documents like driver’s licenses to verify citizenship at the polls. Additionally, the legislation seeks to reduce incentives for states allowing noncitizens to vote in local and state elections by adjusting their eligibility for grants under the Help America Vote Act.
According to Steil, “This legislation is the most substantive and conservative election integrity legislation that will come before the House in over a generation.”
Lawmakers capitalized on their influence over Washington, D.C., proposing changes to the city’s elections to set an example for effective election administration. The proposed legislation for the nation’s capital includes photo ID requirements, signature verification for mail ballots, and the elimination of same-day voter registration and mailing ballots to those who haven’t requested them. The bill also seeks to repeal the city’s recent law allowing noncitizens to vote in local elections.
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