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H.R. 1617 (114th): Federal Election Integrity Act of 2015

The text of the bill below is as of Mar 25, 2015 (Introduced).


I

114th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1617

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 25, 2015

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration

A BILL

To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit certain State election administration officials from actively participating in electoral campaigns.

1.

Short Title

This Act may be cited as the Federal Election Integrity Act of 2015.

2.

Findings

Congress finds that—

(1)

chief State election administration officials have served on political campaigns for Federal candidates whose elections those officials will supervise;

(2)

such partisan activity by the chief State election administration official, an individual charged with certifying the validity of an election, represents a fundamental conflict of interest that may prevent the official from ensuring a fair and accurate election;

(3)

this conflict impedes the legal duty of chief State election administration officials to supervise Federal elections, undermines the integrity of Federal elections, and diminishes the people’s confidence in our electoral system by casting doubt on the results of Federal elections;

(4)

the Supreme Court has long recognized that Congress’s power to regulate Congressional elections under article I, section 4, clause 1 of the Constitution is both plenary and powerful; and

(5)

the Supreme Court and numerous appellate courts have recognized that the broad power given to Congress over congressional elections extends to Presidential elections.

3.

Prohibition on campaign activities by chief State election administration officials

(a)

In General

Title III of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30101 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 319 the following new section:

319A.

Campaign activities by chief State election administration officials

(a)

Prohibition

It shall be unlawful for a chief State election administration official to take 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.

(b)

Chief State election administration official

The term chief State election administration official means the highest State official with responsibility for the administration of Federal elections under State law.

(c)

Active part in political management or in a political campaign

The term active part in political management or in a political campaign means—

(1)

serving as a member of an authorized committee of a candidate for Federal office;

(2)

the use of official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election for Federal office;

(3)

the solicitation, acceptance, or receipt of a contribution from any person on behalf of a candidate for Federal office; and

(4)

any other act which would be prohibited under paragraph (2) or (3) of section 7323(b) of title 5, United States Code, if taken by an individual to whom such paragraph applies (other than any prohibition on running for public office).

(d)

Exception for Campaigns of Official or Immediate Family Members

(1)

In general

This section does not apply to a chief State election administration official with respect to an election for Federal office in which the official or an immediate family member of the official is a candidate.

(2)

Immediate family member defined

In paragraph (1), the term immediate family member means, with respect to a candidate, a father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, father-in-law, or mother-in-law.

.

(b)

Effective Date

The amendments made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to elections for Federal office held after December 2015.