FEDERAL: GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY, AND, A WORD ABOUT H.R. 4!

Not counting H.R.1 and S. 1 – For the People Act – at least another fifty-three (53) additional pieces of legislation affecting voting rights and elections have been introduced within the House of Representatives and the Senate during this session – the 117th - of Congress, so far. (* (D) denotes Democrat member of Congress and (R) denotes Republican member of Congress,)

  1. Ten (10) of the 54 bills reported herein were introduced in the Senate:
  1. S. 136 (D) – Vote at Home Act of 2021
  2. S. 301(R) — Verifiable, Orderly, and Timely Election Results Act
  3. S. 459 (R) — Save Democracy Act
  4. S. 481 (D) — Democracy Restoration Act of 2021
  5. S. 954 (D) — Voter Empowerment Act of 2021
  6. S. 992 (D) – Help Students Vote Act
  7. S. 1130 (R) — Promoting Election Integrity by Proving Voter Identity Act
  8. S. 1470 (D) – Accessible Voting Act of 2021
  9. S. 2117 (D) – A bill to amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to ensure that voters in elections for Federal office do not wait in long lines in order to vote.
  10. S. 2155 (D) — Preventing Election Subversion Act of 2021
  1. The remaining forty-three (43) bills reported herein were introduced in the House of Representatives:
  1. H.R.37 (R) — Voter Integrity Protection Act
  2. H.R.65 (D) — Same Day Registration Act of 2021
  3. H.R. 80 (D) - John Tanner Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act
  4. H.R.93 (R) — Eliminating Foreign Intervention in Elections Act
  5. H.R.102 (R) — Restoring Faith in Elections Act
  6. H.R. 126 (D) – Students Voicing Opinions in Today’s Elections (VOTE) Act
  7. H.R.134 (D) - Coretta Scott King Mid-Decade Redistricting Prohibition Act of 2021
  8. H.R. 237 (D) – Vote at Home Act of 2021
  9. H.R. 322 (R) — Save Democracy Act
  10. H.R. 576 (D) – Next Generation Votes Act
  11. H.R. 589 (R) — American Election Security Act
  12. H.R. 635 (D) – Pre-Registration of Voters Everywhere Act or the PROVE Act
  13. H.R. 639 (D) — Voter Registration Reporting Act of 2021
  14. H.R. 640 (D) – Expanding Access to Early Voting Act of 2021
  15. H.R. 641 (D) — Polling Change Awareness Act
  16. H.R. 642 (D) — Voter Information Hotline Act of 2021
  17. H.R. 775 (D) – Disability Voting Rights Act
  18. H.R. 776 (D) — Dropbox Access Act
  19. H.R. 860 (R) – You Must Be Alive to Vote Act of 2021
  20. H.R. 873 (R) — Ensuring American Voters Act of 2021
  21. H.R. 875 (R) – United Nations Voting Accountability Act of 2021
  22. H.R. 1059 (D) – America Votes Act of 2021
  23. H.R.1071 (R) — Election Technology Integrity and Fraud Prevention Act
  24. H.R. 1245 (D) — Alice Paul Voter Protection Act
  25. H.R.1278 (D) — Know Your Polling Place Act
  26. H.R.1293 (R) - To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to prohibit a State from counting a ballot cast in an election for Federal office which is received by the State after the date of the election.
  27. H.R. 1294 (R) — Foreign-Free Elections Act
  28. H.R. 1307 (D) – Vote by Mail Tracking Act
  29. H.R. 1343 (D) – Voting Access Act
  30. H.R. 1366 (D) – Protect the Youth Vote Act of 2021
  31. H.R.1529 (R) — VOTER ID Act
  32. H.R. 2215 (D) — Our Homes, Our Votes Act
  33. H.R. 2232 (D) – Help Students Vote Act
  34. H.R. 2301 (D) — Automatic Voter Registration Act
  35. H.R. 2358 (D) — Voter Empowerment Act of 2021
  36. H.R. 2440 (D) – Stay in Line to Vote Act
  37. H.R. 2941 (D) – Accessible Voting Act of 2021
  38. H.R. 3646 (D) – To direct the Presidential designee under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act to develop and implement a plan to provide end-to-end electronic voting services for absent uniformed services voters under such Act who are deployed or mobilized to locations with limited or immature postal service.
  39. H.R.3863 (D) — To establish the use of ranked choice voting in elections for Senators and Representatives in Congress, to require each State with more than one Representative to establish multi-member congressional districts, to require States to conduct congressional redistricting through independent commissions, and for other purposes.
  40. H.R. 3867 (D) – To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to prohibit a State from establishing certain restrictions on voting by mail in an election for Federal office, and for other purposes.
  41. H.R. 4044 (R)– To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require State and local election officials to notify the chief State election official of a State with respect to the number of voted ballots that have been received and counted in an election for Federal office at the time of the closing of polls for such election, and for other purposes.
  42. H.J.Res. 5 (D) – Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States protecting the right of citizens to vote.
  43. H.J.Res. 23 (D) – Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States extending the right to vote to citizens sixteen years of age or older.

Thirteen (13) of the bills were introduced by House and Senate Republicans; the remaining thirty (30) were introduced by House Democrats.  Also, as you can see:

  1. 136 and H.R. 237, Vote at Home Act of 2021, are the same bill.
  2. 459 and H.R. 322, Save Democracy Act, are the same bill.
  3. 992 and H.R. 2232, Help Students Vote Act, are the same bill.
  4. 1470 and H.R. 2941, Accessible Voting Act of 2021, are the same bill.

Many of these bills are still in Committee where they will be massaged and possibly combined into single, larger bills similar to the 800-page “For the People Act” or simply die in committee. Please note that for a significant number of these bills, the actual text of the bill is not available for review. 

Like the defeat of S. 1, For the People Act, it is highly doubtful that any of these bills will be enacted into law, notwithstanding the fact that most of the House bills, if reported out of committee, passed or will pass the House through its simple vote majority process.  If Republicans hold together and filibuster all House and Senate bills introduced by Democrats, none will pass.  We all know that no House or Senate Democrat will vote for any Republican-introduced bill.

Several of you have asked about H.R. 4 – The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2019.  This bill was introduced during the last session of Congress – the 116th.  It was introduced in January 2019, but failed to advance.  Upon review, none of the bills set forth above contain the requirements of H.R. 4. Here’s a summary of it:

“[H.R. 4] establishes new criteria for determining which states and political subdivisions must obtain preclearance before changes to voting practices in these areas may take effect. (Preclearance is the process of receiving preapproval from the Department of Justice or the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before making legal changes that would affect voting rights.)

A state and all of its political subdivisions shall be subject to preclearance of voting practice changes for a 10-year period if:

(1) 15 or more voting rights violations occurred in the state during the previous 25 years; or

(2) 10 or more violations occurred during the previous 25 years, at least one of which was committed by the state itself.

A political subdivision as a separate unit shall also be subject to preclearance for a 10-year period if three or more voting rights violations occurred there during the previous 25 years. A state or political subdivision that obtains a declaratory judgment that it has not used a voting practice to deny or abridge the right to vote shall be exempt from preclearance.

All jurisdictions must preclear changes to requirements for documentation to vote that make the requirements more stringent than federal requirements for voters who register by mail or state law.

The bill specifies practices jurisdictions meeting certain thresholds regarding racial minority groups, language minority groups, or minority groups on Indian land, must preclear before implementing. These practices include changes to methods of election, changes to jurisdiction boundaries, redistricting, changes to voting locations and opportunities, and changes to voter registration list maintenance. The bill expands the circumstances under which:

(1) a court may retain the authority to preclear voting changes made by a state or political subdivision, or

(2) the Department of Justice may assign election observers. States and political subdivisions must notify the public of changes to voting practices.


The bill revises the circumstances under which a court must grant preliminary injunctive relief in a challenge to voting practices.”

(See:  https://legiscan.com/US/bill/HR4 .)

But, please, take a closer look at H.R. 2941 and S 1470, both titled, “The Accessible Voting Act of 2021”.  A provision within each bill would allow complaints involving lack of access to voting to be filed with and adjudicated by the Department of Justice (DOJ).  Is this the opening the Democrats need to involve the DOJ in other aspects of the election process under the pretext that States cannot be trusted to run fair Federal elections?  Don’t bet against this ploy!

This does not mean H.R. 4 will not be reintroduced (and perhaps renumbered) later during this session of Congress.  The Democrats are likely strategizing how to defeat the Senate filibuster and hold onto its majority in the House.  If the Democrats have any hope of getting rid of the filibuster—which they have used against Republicans hundreds of times—they must do it before the 2022 election, unless they know something the rest of us don’t about the 2022 election!  My money is on Republicans gaining a majority of seats in both the House and the Senate!

The Democrats never give up!  Neither should we!  Resistance is never futile!

I hope this is of value!

Demetria Carter

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  • Amanda Mercer
    published this page in Blog 2021-07-06 17:58:25 -0400