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H.R. 1 (116th): For the People Act of 2019


The text of the bill below is as of Jan 3, 2019 (Introduced).


I

116th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 3, 2019

(for himself and Ms. Pelosi) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration, and in addition to the Committees on Intelligence (Permanent Select), the Judiciary, Oversight and Reform, Science, Space, and Technology, Education and Labor, Ways and Means, Financial Services, Ethics, and Homeland Security, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the For the People Act of 2019.

2.

Organization of Act into divisions; table of contents

(a)

Divisions

This Act is organized into 3 divisions as follows:

(1)

Division A—Voting.

(2)

Division B—Campaign Finance.

(3)

Division C—Ethics.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents of this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title.

Sec. 2. Organization of Act into divisions; table of contents

Division A—Voting

Title I—Election Access

Sec. 1000. Short title; statement of policy.

Subtitle A—Voter Registration Modernization

Sec. 1000A. Short title.

Part 1—Promoting Internet Registration

Sec. 1001. Requiring availability of internet for voter registration.

Sec. 1002. Use of internet to update registration information.

Sec. 1003. Provision of election information by electronic mail to individuals registered to vote.

Sec. 1004. Clarification of requirement regarding necessary information to show eligibility to vote.

Sec. 1005. Effective date.

Part 2—Automatic Voter Registration

Sec. 1011. Short title; findings and purpose.

Sec. 1012. Automatic registration of eligible individuals.

Sec. 1013. Contributing agency assistance in registration.

Sec. 1014. One-time contributing agency assistance in registration of eligible voters in existing records.

Sec. 1015. Voter protection and security in automatic registration.

Sec. 1016. Registration portability and correction.

Sec. 1017. Payments and grants.

Sec. 1018. Treatment of exempt States.

Sec. 1019. Miscellaneous provisions.

Sec. 1020. Definitions.

Sec. 1021. Effective date.

Part 3—Same-Day Voter Registration

Sec. 1031. Same-day registration.

Part 4—Conditions on Removal on Basis of Interstate Cross-Checks

Sec. 1041. Conditions on removal of registrants from official list of eligible voters on basis of interstate cross-checks.

Part 5—Other Initiatives To Promote Voter Registration

Sec. 1051. Annual reports on voter registration statistics.

Part 6—Availability of HAVA Requirements Payments

Sec. 1061. Availability of requirements payments under HAVA to cover costs of compliance with new requirements.

Part 7—Prohibiting Interference With Voter Registration

Sec. 1071. Prohibiting hindering, interfering with, or preventing voter registration.

Sec. 1072. Establishment of best practices.

Subtitle B—Access to Voting for Individuals With Disabilities

Sec. 1101. Requirements for States to promote access to voter registration and voting for individuals with disabilities.

Sec. 1102. Pilot programs for enabling individuals with disabilities to register to vote and vote privately and independently at residences.

Sec. 1103. Expansion and reauthorization of grant program to assure voting access for individuals with disabilities.

Subtitle C—Prohibiting Voter Caging

Sec. 1201. Voter caging and other questionable challenges prohibited.

Sec. 1202. Development and adoption of best practices for preventing voter caging.

Subtitle D—Prohibiting Deceptive Practices and Preventing Voter Intimidation

Sec. 1301. Short title.

Sec. 1302. Prohibition on deceptive practices in Federal elections.

Sec. 1303. Corrective action.

Sec. 1304. Reports to Congress.

Subtitle E—Democracy Restoration

Sec. 1401. Short title.

Sec. 1402. Rights of citizens.

Sec. 1403. Enforcement.

Sec. 1404. Notification of restoration of voting rights.

Sec. 1405. Definitions.

Sec. 1406. Relation to other laws.

Sec. 1407. Federal prison funds.

Sec. 1408. Effective date.

Subtitle F—Promoting Accuracy, Integrity, and Security Through Voter-Verified Permanent Paper Ballot

Sec. 1501. Short title.

Sec. 1502. Paper ballot and manual counting requirements.

Sec. 1503. Accessibility and ballot verification for individuals with disabilities.

Sec. 1504. Durability and readability requirements for ballots.

Sec. 1505. Effective date for new requirements.

Subtitle G—Provisional Ballots

Sec. 1601. Requirements for counting provisional ballots; establishment of uniform and nondiscriminatory standards.

Subtitle H—Early Voting

Sec. 1611. Early voting.

Subtitle I—Voting by Mail

Sec. 1621. Voting by mail.

Subtitle J—Absent Uniformed Services Voters and Overseas Voters

Sec. 1701. Pre-election reports on availability and transmission of absentee ballots.

Sec. 1702. Enforcement.

Sec. 1703. Revisions to 45-day absentee ballot transmission rule.

Sec. 1704. Use of single absentee ballot application for subsequent elections.

Sec. 1705. Effective date.

Subtitle K—Poll Worker Recruitment and Training

Sec. 1801. Leave to serve as a poll worker for Federal employees.

Sec. 1802. Grants to States for poll worker recruitment and training.

Sec. 1803. State defined.

Subtitle L—Enhancement of Enforcement

Sec. 1811. Enhancement of enforcement of Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Subtitle M—Federal Election Integrity

Sec. 1821. Prohibition on campaign activities by chief State election administration officials.

Subtitle N—Promoting Voter Access Through Election Administration Improvements

Part 1—Promoting Voter Access

Sec. 1901. Treatment of universities as voter registration agencies.

Sec. 1902. Minimum notification requirements for voters affected by polling place changes.

Sec. 1903. Election Day holiday.

Sec. 1904. Permitting use of sworn written statement to meet identification requirements for voting.

Sec. 1905. Postage-free ballots.

Sec. 1906. Reimbursement for costs incurred by States in establishing program to track and confirm receipt of absentee ballots.

Sec. 1907. Voter information response systems and hotline.

Part 2—Improvements in Operation of Election Assistance Commission

Sec. 1911. Reauthorization of Election Assistance Commission.

Sec. 1913. Requiring States to participate in post-general election surveys.

Sec. 1914. Reports by National Institute of Standards and Technology on use of funds transferred from Election Assistance Commission.

Sec. 1915. Recommendations to improve operations of Election Assistance Commission.

Sec. 1916. Repeal of exemption of Election Assistance Commission from certain government contracting requirements.

Part 3—Miscellaneous Provisions

Sec. 1921. Application of laws to Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.

Sec. 1922. No effect on other laws.

Subtitle O—Severability

Sec. 1931. Severability.

Title II—Election Integrity

Subtitle A—Findings Reaffirming Commitment of Congress To Restore the Voting Rights Act

Sec. 2001. Findings reaffirming commitment of Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act.

Subtitle B—Findings Relating to Native American Voting Rights

Sec. 2101. Findings relating to Native American voting rights.

Subtitle C—Findings Relating to District of Columbia Statehood

Sec. 2201. Findings relating to District of Columbia statehood.

Subtitle D—Findings Relating to Territorial Voting Rights

Sec. 2301. Findings relating to territorial voting rights.

Subtitle E—Redistricting Reform

Sec. 2400. Short title; finding of constitutional authority.

Part 1—Requirements for Congressional Redistricting

Sec. 2401. Limit on congressional redistricting after an apportionment.

Sec. 2402. Requiring congressional redistricting to be conducted through plan of independent State commission.

Part 2—Independent Redistricting Commissions

Sec. 2411. Independent redistricting commission.

Sec. 2412. Establishment of selection pool of individuals eligible to serve as members of commission.

Sec. 2413. Criteria for redistricting plan by independent commission; public notice and input.

Sec. 2414. Establishment of related entities.

Part 3—Role of Courts in Development of Redistricting Plans

Sec. 2421. Enactment of plan developed by 3-judge court.

Sec. 2422. Special rule for redistricting conducted under order of Federal court.

Part 4—Administrative and Miscellaneous Provisions

Sec. 2431. Payments to States for carrying out redistricting.

Sec. 2432. Civil enforcement.

Sec. 2433. State apportionment notice defined.

Sec. 2434. No effect on elections for State and local office.

Sec. 2435. Effective date.

Subtitle F—Saving Voters From Voter Purging

Sec. 2501. Short title.

Sec. 2502. Conditions for removal of voters from list of registered voters.

Subtitle G—Severability

Sec. 2601. Severability.

Title III—Election Security

Sec. 3000. Short title; sense of Congress.

Subtitle A—Financial Support for Election Infrastructure

Part 1—Voting System Security Improvement Grants

Sec. 3001. Grants for obtaining compliant paper ballot voting systems and carrying out voting system security improvements.

Sec. 3002. Coordination of voting system security activities with use of requirements payments and election administration requirements under Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Sec. 3003. Incorporation of definitions.

Part 2—Grants for Risk-Limiting Audits of Results of Elections

Sec. 3011. Grants to States for conducting risk-limiting audits of results of elections.

Sec. 3012. GAO analysis of effects of audits.

Part 3—Election Infrastructure Innovation Grant Program

Sec. 3021. Election infrastructure innovation grant program.

Subtitle B—Security Measures

Sec. 3101. Election infrastructure designation.

Sec. 3102. Timely threat information.

Sec. 3103. Security clearance assistance for election officials.

Sec. 3104. Security risk and vulnerability assessments.

Sec. 3105. Annual reports.

Subtitle C—Enhancing Protections for United States Democratic Institutions

Sec. 3201. National strategy to protect United States democratic institutions.

Sec. 3202. National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions.

Subtitle D—Promoting Cybersecurity Through Improvements in Election Administration

Sec. 3301. Testing of existing voting systems to ensure compliance with election cybersecurity guidelines and other guidelines.

Sec. 3302. Treatment of electronic poll books as part of voting systems.

Sec. 3303. Pre-election reports on voting system usage.

Sec. 3304. Streamlining collection of election information.

Subtitle E—Preventing Election Hacking

Sec. 3401. Short title.

Sec. 3402. Election Security Bug Bounty Program.

Sec. 3403. Definitions.

Subtitle F—Miscellaneous Provisions

Sec. 3501. Definitions.

Sec. 3502. Initial report on adequacy of resources available for implementation.

Subtitle G—Severability

Sec. 3601. Severability.

Division B—Campaign Finance

Title IV—Campaign Finance Transparency

Subtitle A—Findings Relating to Illicit Money Undermining Our Democracy

Sec. 4001. Findings relating to illicit money undermining our democracy.

Subtitle B—DISCLOSE Act

Sec. 4100. Short title.

Part 1—Regulation of Certain Political Spending

Sec. 4101. Application of ban on contributions and expenditures by foreign nationals to domestic corporations, limited liability corporations, and partnerships that are foreign-controlled, foreign-influenced, and foreign-owned.

Sec. 4102. Clarification of application of foreign money ban to certain disbursements and activities.

Part 2—Reporting of Campaign-Related Disbursements

Sec. 4111. Reporting of campaign-related disbursements.

Sec. 4112. Application of foreign money ban to disbursements for campaign-related disbursements consisting of covered transfers.

Sec. 4113. Effective date.

Part 3—Other Administrative Reforms

Sec. 4121. Petition for certiorari.

Sec. 4122. Judicial review of actions related to campaign finance laws.

Subtitle C—Honest Ads

Sec. 4201. Short title.

Sec. 4202. Purpose.

Sec. 4203. Findings.

Sec. 4204. Sense of Congress.

Sec. 4205. Expansion of definition of public communication.

Sec. 4206. Expansion of definition of electioneering communication.

Sec. 4207. Application of disclaimer statements to online communications.

Sec. 4208. Political record requirements for online platforms.

Sec. 4209. Preventing contributions, expenditures, independent expenditures, and disbursements for electioneering communications by foreign nationals in the form of online advertising.

Subtitle D—Stand By Every Ad

Sec. 4301. Short title.

Sec. 4302. Stand By Every Ad.

Sec. 4303. Disclaimer requirements for communications made through prerecorded telephone calls.

Sec. 4304. No expansion of persons subject to disclaimer requirements on internet communications.

Sec. 4305. Effective date.

Subtitle E—Secret Money Transparency

Sec. 4401. Repeal of restriction of use of funds by Internal Revenue Service to bring transparency to political activity of certain nonprofit organizations.

Subtitle F—Shareholder Right-To-Know

Sec. 4501. Repeal of restriction on use of funds by Securities and Exchange Commission to ensure shareholders of corporations have knowledge of corporation political activity.

Subtitle G—Disclosure of Political Spending by Government Contractors

Sec. 4601. Repeal of restriction on use of funds to require disclosure of political spending by government contractors.

Subtitle H—Limitation and Disclosure Requirements for Presidential Inaugural Committees

Sec. 4701. Short title.

Sec. 4702. Limitations and disclosure of certain donations to, and disbursements by, inaugural committees.

Subtitle I—Severability

Sec. 4801. Severability.

Title V—Campaign Finance Empowerment

Subtitle A—Findings Relating to Citizens United Decision

Sec. 5001. Findings relating to Citizens United decision.

Subtitle B—Congressional Elections

Sec. 5100. Short title.

Part 1—My Voice Voucher Pilot Program

Sec. 5101. Establishment of pilot program.

Sec. 5102. Voucher program described.

Sec. 5103. Reports.

Sec. 5104. Definitions.

Part 2—Small Dollar Financing of Congressional Election Campaigns

Sec. 5111. Benefits and eligibility requirements for candidates.

Title V—Small Dollar Financing of Congressional Election Campaigns

Subtitle A—Benefits

Sec. 501. Benefits for participating candidates.

Sec. 502. Procedures for making payments.

Sec. 503. Use of funds.

Sec. 504. Qualified small dollar contributions described.

Subtitle B—Eligibility and Certification

Sec. 511. Eligibility.

Sec. 512. Qualifying requirements.

Sec. 513. Certification.

Subtitle C—Requirements for Candidates Certified as Participating Candidates

Sec. 521. Contribution and expenditure requirements.

Sec. 522. Administration of campaign.

Sec. 523. Preventing unnecessary spending of public funds.

Sec. 524. Remitting unspent funds after election.

Subtitle D—Enhanced Match Support

Sec. 531. Enhanced support for general election.

Sec. 532. Eligibility.

Sec. 533. Amount.

Sec. 534. Waiver of authority to retain portion of unspent funds after election.

Subtitle E—Administrative Provisions

Sec. 541. Freedom From Influence Fund.

Sec. 542. Reviews and reports by Government Accountability Office.

Sec. 543. Administration by Commission.

Sec. 544. Violations and penalties.

Sec. 545. Appeals process.

Sec. 546. Indexing of amounts.

Sec. 547. Election cycle defined.

Sec. 5112. Contributions and expenditures by multicandidate and political party committees on behalf of participating candidates.

Sec. 5113. Prohibiting use of contributions by participating candidates for purposes other than campaign for election.

Sec. 5114. Effective date.

Subtitle C—Presidential Elections

Sec. 5200. Short title.

Part 1—Primary Elections

Sec. 5201. Increase in and modifications to matching payments.

Sec. 5202. Eligibility requirements for matching payments.

Sec. 5203. Repeal of expenditure limitations.

Sec. 5204. Period of availability of matching payments.

Sec. 5205. Examination and audits of matchable contributions.

Sec. 5206. Modification to limitation on contributions for Presidential primary candidates.

Part 2—General Elections

Sec. 5211. Modification of eligibility requirements for public financing.

Sec. 5212. Repeal of expenditure limitations and use of qualified campaign contributions.

Sec. 5213. Matching payments and other modifications to payment amounts.

Sec. 5214. Increase in limit on coordinated party expenditures.

Sec. 5215. Establishment of uniform date for release of payments.

Sec. 5216. Amounts in Presidential Election Campaign Fund.

Sec. 5217. Use of general election payments for general election legal and accounting compliance.

Part 3—Effective Date

Sec. 5221. Effective date.

Subtitle D—Personal Use Services as Authorized Campaign Expenditures

Sec. 5301. Short title.

Sec. 5302. Treatment of payments for child care and other personal use services as authorized campaign expenditure.

Subtitle E—Severability

Sec. 5401. Severability.

Title VI—Campaign Finance Oversight

Subtitle A—Restoring Integrity to America’s Elections

Sec. 6001. Short title.

Sec. 6002. Membership of Federal Election Commission.

Sec. 6003. Assignment of powers to Chair of Federal Election Commission.

Sec. 6004. Revision to enforcement process.

Sec. 6005. Permitting appearance at hearings on requests for advisory opinions by persons opposing the requests.

Sec. 6006. Permanent extension of administrative penalty authority.

Sec. 6007. Effective date; transition.

Subtitle B—Stopping Super PAC-Candidate Coordination

Sec. 6101. Short title.

Sec. 6102. Clarification of treatment of coordinated expenditures as contributions to candidates.

Sec. 6103. Clarification of ban on fundraising for super PACs by Federal candidates and officeholders.

Subtitle C—Severability

Sec. 6201. Severability.

Division C—Ethics

Title VII—Ethical Standards

Subtitle A—Supreme Court Ethics

Sec. 7001. Code of conduct for Federal judges.

Subtitle B—Foreign Agents Registration

Sec. 7101. Establishment of FARA investigation and enforcement unit within Department of Justice.

Sec. 7102. Authority to impose civil money penalties.

Sec. 7103. Disclosure of transactions involving things of financial value conferred on officeholders.

Subtitle C—Lobbying Disclosure Reform

Sec. 7201. Expanding scope of individuals and activities subject to requirements of Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995.

Subtitle D—Recusal of Presidential Appointees

Sec. 7301. Recusal of appointees.

Subtitle E—Severability

Sec. 7401. Severability.

Title VIII—Ethics Reforms for the President, Vice President, and Federal Officers and Employees

Subtitle A—Executive Branch Conflict of Interest

Sec. 8001. Short title.

Sec. 8002. Restrictions on private sector payment for government service.

Sec. 8003. Requirements relating to slowing the revolving door.

Sec. 8004. Prohibition of procurement officers accepting employment from government contractors.

Sec. 8005. Revolving door restrictions on employees moving into the private sector.

Subtitle B—Presidential Conflicts of Interest

Sec. 8011. Short title.

Sec. 8012. Divestiture of personal financial interests of the President and Vice President that pose a potential conflict of interest.

Sec. 8013. Initial financial disclosure.

Sec. 8014. Contracts by the President or Vice President.

Subtitle C—White House Ethics Transparency

Sec. 8021. Short title.

Sec. 8022. Procedure for waivers and authorizations relating to ethics requirements.

Subtitle D—Executive Branch Ethics Enforcement

Sec. 8031. Short title.

Sec. 8032. Reauthorization of the Office of Government Ethics.

Sec. 8033. Tenure of the Director of the Office of Government Ethics.

Sec. 8034. Duties of Director of the Office of Government Ethics.

Sec. 8035. Agency ethics officials training and duties.

Subtitle E—Conflicts from Political Fundraising

Sec. 8041. Short title.

Sec. 8042. Disclosure of certain types of contributions.

Subtitle F—Transition Team Ethics

Sec. 8051. Short title.

Sec. 8052. Presidential transition ethics programs.

Subtitle G—Ethics Pledge for Senior Executive Branch Employees

Sec. 8061. Short title.

Sec. 8062. Ethics pledge requirement for senior executive branch employees.

Subtitle H—Severability

Sec. 8071. Severability.

Title IX—Congressional Ethics Reform

Subtitle A—Requiring Members of Congress To reimburse Treasury for amounts paid as settlements and awards under Congressional Accountability Act of 1995

Sec. 9001. Requiring Members of Congress to reimburse Treasury for amounts paid as settlements and awards under Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 in all cases of employment discrimination acts by Members.

Subtitle B—Conflicts of Interests

Sec. 9101. Prohibiting Members of House of Representatives from serving on boards of for-profit entities.

Sec. 9102. Conflict of interest rules for Members of Congress and congressional staff.

Sec. 9103. Exercise of rulemaking powers.

Subtitle C—Campaign Finance and Lobbying Disclosure

Sec. 9201. Short title.

Sec. 9202. Requiring disclosure in certain reports filed with Federal Election Commission of persons who are registered lobbyists.

Sec. 9203. Effective date.

Subtitle D—Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports

Sec. 9301. Short title.

Sec. 9302. Definitions.

Sec. 9303. Establishment of online portal for congressionally mandated reports.

Sec. 9304. Federal agency responsibilities.

Sec. 9305. Removing and altering reports.

Sec. 9306. Relationship to the Freedom of Information Act.

Sec. 9307. Implementation.

Subtitle E—Severability

Sec. 9401. Severability.

Title X—Presidential and Vice Presidential Tax Transparency

Sec. 10001. Presidential and Vice Presidential tax transparency.

A

Voting

I

Election Access

Sec. 1000. Short title; statement of policy.

Subtitle A—Voter Registration Modernization

Sec. 1000A. Short title.

Part 1—Promoting Internet Registration

Sec. 1001. Requiring availability of internet for voter registration.

Sec. 1002. Use of internet to update registration information.

Sec. 1003. Provision of election information by electronic mail to individuals registered to vote.

Sec. 1004. Clarification of requirement regarding necessary information to show eligibility to vote.

Sec. 1005. Effective date.

Part 2—Automatic Voter Registration

Sec. 1011. Short title; findings and purpose.

Sec. 1012. Automatic registration of eligible individuals.

Sec. 1013. Contributing agency assistance in registration.

Sec. 1014. One-time contributing agency assistance in registration of eligible voters in existing records.

Sec. 1015. Voter protection and security in automatic registration.

Sec. 1016. Registration portability and correction.

Sec. 1017. Payments and grants.

Sec. 1018. Treatment of exempt States.

Sec. 1019. Miscellaneous provisions.

Sec. 1020. Definitions.

Sec. 1021. Effective date.

Part 3—Same-Day Voter Registration

Sec. 1031. Same-day registration.

Part 4—Conditions on Removal on Basis of Interstate Cross-Checks

Sec. 1041. Conditions on removal of registrants from official list of eligible voters on basis of interstate cross-checks.

Part 5—Other Initiatives To Promote Voter Registration

Sec. 1051. Annual reports on voter registration statistics.

Part 6—Availability of HAVA Requirements Payments

Sec. 1061. Availability of requirements payments under HAVA to cover costs of compliance with new requirements.

Part 7—Prohibiting Interference With Voter Registration

Sec. 1071. Prohibiting hindering, interfering with, or preventing voter registration.

Sec. 1072. Establishment of best practices.

Subtitle B—Access to Voting for Individuals With Disabilities

Sec. 1101. Requirements for States to promote access to voter registration and voting for individuals with disabilities.

Sec. 1102. Pilot programs for enabling individuals with disabilities to register to vote and vote privately and independently at residences.

Sec. 1103. Expansion and reauthorization of grant program to assure voting access for individuals with disabilities.

Subtitle C—Prohibiting Voter Caging

Sec. 1201. Voter caging and other questionable challenges prohibited.

Sec. 1202. Development and adoption of best practices for preventing voter caging.

Subtitle D—Prohibiting Deceptive Practices and Preventing Voter Intimidation

Sec. 1301. Short title.

Sec. 1302. Prohibition on deceptive practices in Federal elections.

Sec. 1303. Corrective action.

Sec. 1304. Reports to Congress.

Subtitle E—Democracy Restoration

Sec. 1401. Short title.

Sec. 1402. Rights of citizens.

Sec. 1403. Enforcement.

Sec. 1404. Notification of restoration of voting rights.

Sec. 1405. Definitions.

Sec. 1406. Relation to other laws.

Sec. 1407. Federal prison funds.

Sec. 1408. Effective date.

Subtitle F—Promoting Accuracy, Integrity, and Security Through Voter-Verified Permanent Paper Ballot

Sec. 1501. Short title.

Sec. 1502. Paper ballot and manual counting requirements.

Sec. 1503. Accessibility and ballot verification for individuals with disabilities.

Sec. 1504. Durability and readability requirements for ballots.

Sec. 1505. Effective date for new requirements.

Subtitle G—Provisional Ballots

Sec. 1601. Requirements for counting provisional ballots; establishment of uniform and nondiscriminatory standards.

Subtitle H—Early Voting

Sec. 1611. Early voting.

Subtitle I—Voting by Mail

Sec. 1621. Voting by mail.

Subtitle J—Absent Uniformed Services Voters and Overseas Voters

Sec. 1701. Pre-election reports on availability and transmission of absentee ballots.

Sec. 1702. Enforcement.

Sec. 1703. Revisions to 45-day absentee ballot transmission rule.

Sec. 1704. Use of single absentee ballot application for subsequent elections.

Sec. 1705. Effective date.

Subtitle K—Poll Worker Recruitment and Training

Sec. 1801. Leave to serve as a poll worker for Federal employees.

Sec. 1802. Grants to States for poll worker recruitment and training.

Sec. 1803. State defined.

Subtitle L—Enhancement of Enforcement

Sec. 1811. Enhancement of enforcement of Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Subtitle M—Federal Election Integrity

Sec. 1821. Prohibition on campaign activities by chief State election administration officials.

Subtitle N—Promoting Voter Access Through Election Administration Improvements

Part 1—Promoting Voter Access

Sec. 1901. Treatment of universities as voter registration agencies.

Sec. 1902. Minimum notification requirements for voters affected by polling place changes.

Sec. 1903. Election Day holiday.

Sec. 1904. Permitting use of sworn written statement to meet identification requirements for voting.

Sec. 1905. Postage-free ballots.

Sec. 1906. Reimbursement for costs incurred by States in establishing program to track and confirm receipt of absentee ballots.

Sec. 1907. Voter information response systems and hotline.

Part 2—Improvements in Operation of Election Assistance Commission

Sec. 1911. Reauthorization of Election Assistance Commission.

Sec. 1913. Requiring States to participate in post-general election surveys.

Sec. 1914. Reports by National Institute of Standards and Technology on use of funds transferred from Election Assistance Commission.

Sec. 1915. Recommendations to improve operations of Election Assistance Commission.

Sec. 1916. Repeal of exemption of Election Assistance Commission from certain government contracting requirements.

Part 3—Miscellaneous Provisions

Sec. 1921. Application of laws to Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.

Sec. 1922. No effect on other laws.

Subtitle O—Severability

Sec. 1931. Severability.

1000.

Short title; statement of policy

(a)

Short title

This title may be cited as the Voter Empowerment Act of 2019.

(b)

Statement of policy

It is the policy of the United States that—

(1)

all eligible citizens of the United States should access and exercise their constitutional right to vote in a free, fair, and timely manner; and

(2)

the integrity, security, and accountability of the voting process must be vigilantly protected, maintained, and enhanced in order to protect and preserve electoral and participatory democracy in the United States.

A

Voter Registration Modernization

1000A.

Short title

This subtitle may be cited as the Voter Registration Modernization Act of 2019.

1

Promoting Internet Registration

1001.

Requiring availability of internet for voter registration

(a)

Requiring Availability of Internet for Registration

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20501 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 6 the following new section:

6A.

Internet Registration

(a)

Requiring Availability of Internet for Online Registration

(1)

Availability of online registration

Each State, acting through the chief State election official, shall ensure that the following services are available to the public at any time on the official public websites of the appropriate State and local election officials in the State, in the same manner and subject to the same terms and conditions as the services provided by voter registration agencies under section 7(a):

(A)

Online application for voter registration.

(B)

Online assistance to applicants in applying to register to vote.

(C)

Online completion and submission by applicants of the mail voter registration application form prescribed by the Election Assistance Commission pursuant to section 9(a)(2), including assistance with providing a signature as required under subsection (c).

(D)

Online receipt of completed voter registration applications.

(b)

Acceptance of completed applications

A State shall accept an online voter registration application provided by an individual under this section, and ensure that the individual is registered to vote in the State, if—

(1)

the individual meets the same voter registration requirements applicable to individuals who register to vote by mail in accordance with section 6(a)(1) using the mail voter registration application form prescribed by the Election Assistance Commission pursuant to section 9(a)(2); and

(2)

the individual meets the requirements of subsection (c) to provide a signature in electronic form (but only in the case of applications submitted during or after the second year in which this section is in effect in the State).

(c)

Signature requirements

(1)

In general

For purposes of this section, an individual meets the requirements of this subsection as follows:

(A)

In the case of an individual who has a signature on file with a State agency, including the State motor vehicle authority, that is required to provide voter registration services under this Act or any other law, the individual consents to the transfer of that electronic signature.

(B)

If subparagraph (A) does not apply, the individual submits with the application an electronic copy of the individual’s handwritten signature through electronic means.

(C)

If subparagraph (A) and subparagraph (B) do not apply, the individual executes a computerized mark in the signature field on an online voter registration application, in accordance with reasonable security measures established by the State, but only if the State accepts such mark from the individual.

(2)

Treatment of individuals unable to meet requirement

If an individual is unable to meet the requirements of paragraph (1), the State shall—

(A)

permit the individual to complete all other elements of the online voter registration application;

(B)

permit the individual to provide a signature at the time the individual requests a ballot in an election (whether the individual requests the ballot at a polling place or requests the ballot by mail); and

(C)

if the individual carries out the steps described in subparagraph (A) and subparagraph (B), ensure that the individual is registered to vote in the State.

(3)

Notice

The State shall ensure that individuals applying to register to vote online are notified of the requirements of paragraph (1) and of the treatment of individuals unable to meet such requirements, as described in paragraph (2).

(d)

Confirmation and disposition

(1)

Confirmation of receipt

Upon the online submission of a completed voter registration application by an individual under this section, the appropriate State or local election official shall send the individual a notice confirming the State’s receipt of the application and providing instructions on how the individual may check the status of the application.

(2)

Notice of disposition

As soon as the appropriate State or local election official has approved or rejected an application submitted by an individual under this section, the official shall send the individual a notice of the disposition of the application.

(3)

Method of notification

The appropriate State or local election official shall send the notices required under this subsection by regular mail, and, in the case of an individual who has requested that the State provide voter registration and voting information through electronic mail, by both electronic mail and regular mail.

(e)

Provision of Services in Nonpartisan Manner

The services made available under subsection (a) shall be provided in a manner that ensures that, consistent with section 7(a)(5)—

(1)

the online application does not seek to influence an applicant’s political preference or party registration; and

(2)

there is no display on the website promoting any political preference or party allegiance, except that nothing in this paragraph may be construed to prohibit an applicant from registering to vote as a member of a political party.

(f)

Protection of Security of Information

In meeting the requirements of this section, the State shall establish appropriate technological security measures to prevent to the greatest extent practicable any unauthorized access to information provided by individuals using the services made available under subsection (a).

(g)

Use of Additional Telephone-Based System

A State shall make the services made available online under subsection (a) available through the use of an automated telephone-based system, subject to the same terms and conditions applicable under this section to the services made available online, in addition to making the services available online in accordance with the requirements of this section.

(h)

Nondiscrimination among registered voters using mail and online registration

In carrying out this Act, the Help America Vote Act of 2002, or any other Federal, State, or local law governing the treatment of registered voters in the State or the administration of elections for public office in the State, a State shall treat a registered voter who registered to vote online in accordance with this section in the same manner as the State treats a registered voter who registered to vote by mail.

.

(b)

Special requirements for individuals using online registration

(1)

Treatment as individuals registering to vote by mail for purposes of first-time voter identification requirements

Section 303(b)(1)(A) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21083(b)(1)(A)) is amended by striking by mail and inserting by mail or online under section 6A of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

(2)

Requiring signature for first-time voters in jurisdiction

Section 303(b) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21083(b)) is amended—

(A)

by redesignating paragraph (5) as paragraph (6); and

(B)

by inserting after paragraph (4) the following new paragraph:

(5)

Signature requirements for first-time voters using online registration

(A)

In general

A State shall, in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner, require an individual to meet the requirements of subparagraph (B) if—

(i)

the individual registered to vote in the State online under section 6A of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993; and

(ii)

the individual has not previously voted in an election for Federal office in the State.

(B)

Requirements

An individual meets the requirements of this subparagraph if—

(i)

in the case of an individual who votes in person, the individual provides the appropriate State or local election official with a handwritten signature; or

(ii)

in the case of an individual who votes by mail, the individual submits with the ballot a handwritten signature.

(C)

Inapplicability

Subparagraph (A) does not apply in the case of an individual who is—

(i)

entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20302 et seq.);

(ii)

provided the right to vote otherwise than in person under section 3(b)(2)(B)(ii) of the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (52 U.S.C. 20102(b)(2)(B)(ii)); or

(iii)

entitled to vote otherwise than in person under any other Federal law.

.

(3)

Conforming amendment relating to effective date

Section 303(d)(2)(A) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21083(d)(2)(A)) is amended by striking Each State and inserting Except as provided in subsection (b)(5), each State.

(c)

Conforming Amendments

(1)

Timing of registration

Section 8(a)(1) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20507(a)(1)) is amended—

(A)

by striking and at the end of subparagraph (C);

(B)

by redesignating subparagraph (D) as subparagraph (E); and

(C)

by inserting after subparagraph (C) the following new subparagraph:

(D)

in the case of online registration through the official public website of an election official under section 6A, if the valid voter registration application is submitted online not later than the lesser of 30 days, or the period provided by State law, before the date of the election (as determined by treating the date on which the application is sent electronically as the date on which it is submitted); and

.

(2)

Informing applicants of eligibility requirements and penalties

Section 8(a)(5) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20507(a)(5)) is amended by striking and 7 and inserting 6A, and 7.

1002.

Use of internet to update registration information

(a)

In General

(1)

Updates to information contained on computerized statewide voter registration list

Section 303(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21083(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(6)

Use of Internet by registered voters to update information

(A)

In general

The appropriate State or local election official shall ensure that any registered voter on the computerized list may at any time update the voter’s registration information, including the voter’s address and electronic mail address, online through the official public website of the election official responsible for the maintenance of the list, so long as the voter attests to the contents of the update by providing a signature in electronic form in the same manner required under section 6A(c) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

(B)

Processing of updated information by election officials

If a registered voter updates registration information under subparagraph (A), the appropriate State or local election official shall—

(i)

revise any information on the computerized list to reflect the update made by the voter; and

(ii)

if the updated registration information affects the voter’s eligibility to vote in an election for Federal office, ensure that the information is processed with respect to the election if the voter updates the information not later than the lesser of 7 days, or the period provided by State law, before the date of the election.

(C)

Confirmation and disposition

(i)

Confirmation of receipt

Upon the online submission of updated registration information by an individual under this paragraph, the appropriate State or local election official shall send the individual a notice confirming the State’s receipt of the updated information and providing instructions on how the individual may check the status of the update.

(ii)

Notice of disposition

As soon as the appropriate State or local election official has accepted or rejected updated information submitted by an individual under this paragraph, the official shall send the individual a notice of the disposition of the update.

(iii)

Method of notification

The appropriate State or local election official shall send the notices required under this subparagraph by regular mail, and, in the case of an individual who has requested that the State provide voter registration and voting information through electronic mail, by both electronic mail and regular mail.

.

(2)

Conforming amendment relating to effective date

Section 303(d)(1)(A) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21083(d)(1)(A)) is amended by striking subparagraph (B) and inserting subparagraph (B) and subsection (a)(6).

(b)

Ability of registrant To use online update To provide information on residence

Section 8(d)(2)(A) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20507(d)(2)(A)) is amended—

(1)

in the first sentence, by inserting after return the card the following: or update the registrant’s information on the computerized Statewide voter registration list using the online method provided under section 303(a)(6) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002; and

(2)

in the second sentence, by striking returned, and inserting the following: returned or if the registrant does not update the registrant’s information on the computerized Statewide voter registration list using such online method,.

1003.

Provision of election information by electronic mail to individuals registered to vote

(a)

Including Option on Voter Registration Application To Provide Email Address and Receive Information

(1)

In general

Section 9(b) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20508(b)) is amended—

(A)

by striking and at the end of paragraph (3);

(B)

by striking the period at the end of paragraph (4) and inserting ; and; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(5)

shall include a space for the applicant to provide (at the applicant’s option) an electronic mail address, together with a statement that, if the applicant so requests, instead of using regular mail the appropriate State and local election officials shall provide to the applicant, through electronic mail sent to that address, the same voting information (as defined in section 302(b)(2) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002) which the officials would provide to the applicant through regular mail.

.

(2)

Prohibiting use for purposes unrelated to official duties of election officials

Section 9 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20508) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(c)

Prohibiting use of electronic mail addresses for other than official purposes

The chief State election official shall ensure that any electronic mail address provided by an applicant under subsection (b)(5) is used only for purposes of carrying out official duties of election officials and is not transmitted by any State or local election official (or any agent of such an official, including a contractor) to any person who does not require the address to carry out such official duties and who is not under the direct supervision and control of a State or local election official.

.

(b)

Requiring Provision of Information by Election Officials

Section 302(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21082(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(3)

Provision of other information by electronic mail

If an individual who is a registered voter has provided the State or local election official with an electronic mail address for the purpose of receiving voting information (as described in section 9(b)(5) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993), the appropriate State or local election official, through electronic mail transmitted not later than 7 days before the date of the election involved, shall provide the individual with information on how to obtain the following information by electronic means:

(A)

The name and address of the polling place at which the individual is assigned to vote in the election.

(B)

The hours of operation for the polling place.

(C)

A description of any identification or other information the individual may be required to present at the polling place.

.

1004.

Clarification of requirement regarding necessary information to show eligibility to vote

Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20507) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsection (j) as subsection (k); and

(2)

by inserting after subsection (i) the following new subsection:

(j)

Requirement for State To Register Applicants Providing Necessary Information To Show Eligibility To Vote

For purposes meeting the requirement of subsection (a)(1) that an eligible applicant is registered to vote in an election for Federal office within the deadlines required under such subsection, the State shall consider an applicant to have provided a valid voter registration form if—

(1)

the applicant has accurately completed the application form and attested to the statement required by section 9(b)(2); and

(2)

in the case of an applicant who registers to vote online in accordance with section 6A, the applicant provides a signature in accordance with subsection (c) of such section.

.

1005.

Effective date

(a)

In General

Except as provided in subsection (b), the amendments made by this part (other than the amendments made by section 1004) shall take effect January 1, 2020.

(b)

Waiver

Subject to the approval of the Election Assistance Commission, if a State certifies to the Election Assistance Commission that the State will not meet the deadline referred to in subsection (a) because of extraordinary circumstances and includes in the certification the reasons for the failure to meet the deadline, subsection (a) shall apply to the State as if the reference in such subsection to January 1, 2020 were a reference to January 1, 2022.

2

Automatic Voter Registration

1011.

Short title; findings and purpose

(a)

Short title

This part may be cited as the Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2019.

(b)

Findings and purpose

(1)

Findings

Congress finds that—

(A)

the right to vote is a fundamental right of citizens of the United States;

(B)

it is the responsibility of the State and Federal Governments to ensure that every eligible citizen is registered to vote;

(C)

existing voter registration systems can be inaccurate, costly, inaccessible and confusing, with damaging effects on voter participation in elections and disproportionate impacts on young people, persons with disabilities, and racial and ethnic minorities; and

(D)

voter registration systems must be updated with 21st-century technologies and procedures to maintain their security.

(2)

Purpose

It is the purpose of this part—

(A)

to establish that it is the responsibility of government at every level to ensure that all eligible citizens are registered to vote;

(B)

to enable the State and Federal Governments to register all eligible citizens to vote with accurate, cost-efficient, and up-to-date procedures;

(C)

to modernize voter registration and list maintenance procedures with electronic and internet capabilities; and

(D)

to protect and enhance the integrity, accuracy, efficiency, and accessibility of the electoral process for all eligible citizens.

1012.

Automatic registration of eligible individuals

(a)

Requiring States To establish and operate automatic registration system

(1)

In general

The chief State election official of each State shall establish and operate a system of automatic registration for the registration of eligible individuals to vote for elections for Federal office in the State, in accordance with the provisions of this part.

(2)

Definition

The term automatic registration means a system that registers an individual to vote in elections for Federal office in a State, if eligible, by electronically transferring the information necessary for registration from government agencies to election officials of the State so that, unless the individual affirmatively declines to be registered, the individual will be registered to vote in such elections.

(b)

Registration of voters based on new agency records

The chief State election official shall—

(1)

not later than 15 days after a contributing agency has transmitted information with respect to an individual pursuant to section 1013, ensure that the individual is registered to vote in elections for Federal office in the State if the individual is eligible to be registered to vote in such elections; and

(2)

send written notice to the individual, in addition to other means of notice established by this part, of the individual’s voter registration status.

(c)

One-Time registration of voters based on existing contributing agency records

The chief State election official shall—

(1)

identify all individuals whose information is transmitted by a contributing agency pursuant to section 1014 and who are eligible to be, but are not currently, registered to vote in that State;

(2)

promptly send each such individual written notice, in addition to other means of notice established by this part, which shall not identify the contributing agency that transmitted the information but shall include—

(A)

an explanation that voter registration is voluntary, but if the individual does not decline registration, the individual will be registered to vote;

(B)

a statement offering the opportunity to decline voter registration through means consistent with the requirements of this part;

(C)

in the case of a State in which affiliation or enrollment with a political party is required in order to participate in an election to select the party’s candidate in an election for Federal office, a statement offering the individual the opportunity to affiliate or enroll with a political party or to decline to affiliate or enroll with a political party, through means consistent with the requirements of this part;

(D)

the substantive qualifications of an elector in the State as listed in the mail voter registration application form for elections for Federal office prescribed pursuant to section 9 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, the consequences of false registration, and a statement that the individual should decline to register if the individual does not meet all those qualifications;

(E)

instructions for correcting any erroneous information; and

(F)

instructions for providing any additional information which is listed in the mail voter registration application form for elections for Federal office prescribed pursuant to section 9 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993;

(3)

ensure that each such individual who is eligible to register to vote in elections for Federal office in the State is promptly registered to vote not later than 45 days after the official sends the individual the written notice under paragraph (2), unless, during the 30-day period which begins on the date the election official sends the individual such written notice, the individual declines registration in writing, through a communication made over the internet, or by an officially logged telephone communication; and

(4)

send written notice to each such individual, in addition to other means of notice established by this part, of the individual’s voter registration status.

(d)

Treatment of individuals under 18 years of age

A State may not refuse to treat an individual as an eligible individual for purposes of this part on the grounds that the individual is less than 18 years of age at the time a contributing agency receives information with respect to the individual, so long as the individual is at least 16 years of age at such time.

(e)

Contributing agency defined

In this part, the term contributing agency means, with respect to a State, an agency listed in section 1013(e).

1013.

Contributing agency assistance in registration

(a)

In general

In accordance with this part, each contributing agency in a State shall assist the State’s chief election official in registering to vote all eligible individuals served by that agency.

(b)

Requirements for contributing agencies

(1)

Instructions on automatic registration

With each application for service or assistance, and with each related recertification, renewal, or change of address, or, in the case of an institution of higher education, with each registration of a student for enrollment in a course of study, each contributing agency that (in the normal course of its operations) requests individuals to affirm United States citizenship (either directly or as part of the overall application for service or assistance) shall inform each such individual who is a citizen of the United States of the following:

(A)

Unless that individual declines to register to vote, or is found ineligible to vote, the individual will be registered to vote or, if applicable, the individual’s registration will be updated.

(B)

The substantive qualifications of an elector in the State as listed in the mail voter registration application form for elections for Federal office prescribed pursuant to section 9 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, the consequences of false registration, and the individual should decline to register if the individual does not meet all those qualifications.

(C)

In the case of a State in which affiliation or enrollment with a political party is required in order to participate in an election to select the party’s candidate in an election for Federal office, the requirement that the individual must affiliate or enroll with a political party in order to participate in such an election.

(D)

Voter registration is voluntary, and neither registering nor declining to register to vote will in any way affect the availability of services or benefits, nor be used for other purposes.

(2)

Opportunity to decline registration required

Each contributing agency shall ensure that each application for service or assistance, and each related recertification, renewal, or change of address, or, in the case of an institution of higher education, each registration of a student for enrollment in a course of study, cannot be completed until the individual is given the opportunity to decline to be registered to vote.

(3)

Information transmittal

Upon the expiration of the 30-day period which begins on the date the contributing agency informs the individual of the information described in paragraph (1), each contributing agency shall electronically transmit to the appropriate State election official, in a format compatible with the Statewide voter database maintained under section 303 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21083), the following information, unless during such 30-day period the individual declined to be registered to vote:

(A)

The individual’s given name(s) and surname(s).

(B)

The individual’s date of birth.

(C)

The individual’s residential address.

(D)

Information showing that the individual is a citizen of the United States.

(E)

The date on which information pertaining to that individual was collected or last updated.

(F)

If available, the individual’s signature in electronic form.

(G)

Information regarding the individual’s affiliation or enrollment with a political party, if the individual provides such information.

(H)

Any additional information listed in the mail voter registration application form for elections for Federal office prescribed pursuant to section 9 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, including any valid driver's license number or the last 4 digits of the individual's social security number, if the individual provided such information.

(c)

Alternate procedure for certain contributing agencies

With each application for service or assistance, and with each related recertification, renewal, or change of address, or in the case of an institution of higher education, with each registration of a student for enrollment in a course of study, any contributing agency that in the normal course of its operations does not request individuals applying for service or assistance to affirm United States citizenship (either directly or as part of the overall application for service or assistance) shall—

(1)

complete the requirements of section 7(a)(6) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20506(a)(6));

(2)

ensure that each applicant’s transaction with the agency cannot be completed until the applicant has indicated whether the applicant wishes to register to vote or declines to register to vote in elections for Federal office held in the State; and

(3)

for each individual who wishes to register to vote, transmit that individual’s information in accordance with subsection (b)(3).

(d)

Required availability of automatic registration opportunity with each application for service or assistance

Each contributing agency shall offer each individual, with each application for service or assistance, and with each related recertification, renewal, or change of address, or in the case of an institution of higher education, with each registration of a student for enrollment in a course of study, the opportunity to register to vote as prescribed by this section without regard to whether the individual previously declined a registration opportunity.

(e)

Contributing agencies

(1)

State agencies

In each State, each of the following agencies shall be treated as a contributing agency:

(A)

Each agency in a State that is required by Federal law to provide voter registration services, including the State motor vehicle authority and other voter registration agencies under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

(B)

Each agency in a State that administers a program pursuant to title III of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 501 et seq.), title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.), or the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111–148).

(C)

Each State agency primarily responsible for regulating the private possession of firearms.

(D)

Each State agency primarily responsible for maintaining identifying information for students enrolled at public secondary schools, including, where applicable, the State agency responsible for maintaining the education data system described in section 6201(e)(2) of the America COMPETES Act (20 U.S.C. 9871(e)(2)).

(E)

In the case of a State in which an individual disenfranchised by a criminal conviction may become eligible to vote upon completion of a criminal sentence or any part thereof, or upon formal restoration of rights, the State agency responsible for administering that sentence, or part thereof, or that restoration of rights.

(F)

Any other agency of the State which is designated by the State as a contributing agency.

(2)

Federal agencies

In each State, each of the following agencies of the Federal Government shall be treated as a contributing agency with respect to individuals who are residents of that State (except as provided in subparagraph (C)):

(A)

The Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Defense Manpower Data Center of the Department of Defense, the Employee and Training Administration of the Department of Labor, and the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services of the Department of Health and Human Services.

(B)

The Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, but only with respect to individuals who have completed the naturalization process.

(C)

In the case of an individual who is a resident of a State in which an individual disenfranchised by a criminal conviction under Federal law may become eligible to vote upon completion of a criminal sentence or any part thereof, or upon formal restoration of rights, the Federal agency responsible for administering that sentence or part thereof (without regard to whether the agency is located in the same State in which the individual is a resident), but only with respect to individuals who have completed the criminal sentence or any part thereof.

(D)

Any other agency of the Federal Government which the State designates as a contributing agency, but only if the State and the head of the agency determine that the agency collects information sufficient to carry out the responsibilities of a contributing agency under this section.

(3)

Institutions of higher education

Each institution of higher education that receives Federal funds shall be treated as a contributing agency in the State in which it is located, but only with respect to students of the institution (including students who attend classes online) who reside in the State. An institution of higher education described in the previous sentence shall be exempt from the voter registration requirements of section 487(a)(23) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1094(a)(23)) if the institution is in compliance with the applicable requirements of this part.

(4)

Publication

Not later than 180 days prior to the date of each election for Federal office held in the State, the chief State election official shall publish on the public website of the official an updated list of all contributing agencies in that State.

(5)

Public education

The chief State election official of each State, in collaboration with each contributing agency, shall take appropriate measures to educate the public about voter registration under this section.

1014.

One-time contributing agency assistance in registration of eligible voters in existing records

(a)

Initial transmittal of information

For each individual already listed in a contributing agency’s records as of the date of enactment of this Act, and for whom the agency has the information listed in section 1013(b)(3), the agency shall promptly transmit that information to the appropriate State election official in accordance with section 1013(b)(3) not later than the effective date described in section 1011(a).

(b)

Transition

For each individual listed in a contributing agency’s records as of the effective date described in section 1011(a) (but who was not listed in a contributing agency’s records as of the date of enactment of this Act), and for whom the agency has the information listed in section 1013(b)(3), the Agency shall promptly transmit that information to the appropriate State election official in accordance with section 1013(b)(3) not later than 6 months after the effective date described in section 1011(a).

1015.

Voter protection and security in automatic registration

(a)

Protections for errors in registration

An individual shall not be prosecuted under any Federal law, adversely affected in any civil adjudication concerning immigration status or naturalization, or subject to an allegation in any legal proceeding that the individual is not a citizen of the United States on any of the following grounds:

(1)

The individual notified an election office of the individual’s automatic registration to vote under this part.

(2)

The individual is not eligible to vote in elections for Federal office but was automatically registered to vote under this part.

(3)

The individual was automatically registered to vote under this part at an incorrect address.

(4)

The individual declined the opportunity to register to vote or did not make an affirmation of citizenship, including through automatic registration, under this part.

(b)

Limits on use of automatic registration

The automatic registration of any individual or the fact that an individual declined the opportunity to register to vote or did not make an affirmation of citizenship (including through automatic registration) under this part may not be used as evidence against that individual in any State or Federal law enforcement proceeding, and an individual’s lack of knowledge or willfulness of such registration may be demonstrated by the individual’s testimony alone.

(c)

Protection of election integrity

Nothing in subsection (a) or (b) may be construed to prohibit or restrict any action under color of law against an individual who—

(1)

knowingly and willfully makes a false statement to effectuate or perpetuate automatic voter registration by any individual; or

(2)

casts a ballot knowingly and willfully in violation of State law or the laws of the United States.

(d)

Contributing agencies’ protection of information

Nothing in this part authorizes a contributing agency to collect, retain, transmit, or publicly disclose any of the following:

(1)

An individual’s decision to decline to register to vote or not to register to vote.

(2)

An individual’s decision not to affirm his or her citizenship.

(3)

Any information that a contributing agency transmits pursuant to section 1013(b)(3), except in pursuing the agency’s ordinary course of business.

(e)

Election officials’ protection of information

(1)

Public disclosure prohibited

(A)

In general

Subject to subparagraph (B), with respect to any individual for whom any State election official receives information from a contributing agency, the State election officials shall not publicly disclose any of the following:

(i)

The identity of the contributing agency.

(ii)

Any information not necessary to voter registration.

(iii)

Any voter information otherwise shielded from disclosure under State law or section 8(a) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20507(a)).

(iv)

Any portion of the individual’s social security number.

(v)

Any portion of the individual’s motor vehicle driver’s license number.

(vi)

The individual’s signature.

(vii)

The individual’s telephone number.

(viii)

The individual’s email address.

(B)

Special rule for individuals registered to vote

With respect to any individual for whom any State election official receives information from a contributing agency and who, on the basis of such information, is registered to vote in the State under this part, the State election officials shall not publicly disclose any of the following:

(i)

The identity of the contributing agency.

(ii)

Any information not necessary to voter registration.

(iii)

Any voter information otherwise shielded from disclosure under State law or section 8(a) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20507(a)).

(iv)

Any portion of the individual’s social security number.

(v)

Any portion of the individual’s motor vehicle driver’s license number.

(vi)

The individual’s signature.

(2)

Voter record changes

Each State shall maintain for at least 2 years and shall make available for public inspection and, where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost, all records of changes to voter records, including removals and updates.

(3)

Database management standards

The Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology shall, after providing the public with notice and the opportunity to comment—

(A)

establish standards governing the comparison of data for voter registration list maintenance purposes, identifying as part of such standards the specific data elements, the matching rules used, and how a State may use the data to determine and deem that an individual is ineligible under State law to vote in an election, or to deem a record to be a duplicate or outdated;

(B)

ensure that the standards developed pursuant to this paragraph are uniform and nondiscriminatory and are applied in a uniform and nondiscriminatory manner; and

(C)

publish the standards developed pursuant to this paragraph on the Director’s website and make those standards available in written form upon request.

(4)

Security policy

The Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology shall, after providing the public with notice and the opportunity to comment, publish privacy and security standards for voter registration information. The standards shall require the chief State election official of each State to adopt a policy that shall specify—

(A)

each class of users who shall have authorized access to the computerized Statewide voter registration list, specifying for each class the permission and levels of access to be granted, and setting forth other safeguards to protect the privacy, security, and accuracy of the information on the list; and

(B)

security safeguards to protect personal information transmitted through the information transmittal processes of section 1013 or section 1014, the online system used pursuant to section 1017, any telephone interface, the maintenance of the voter registration database, and any audit procedure to track access to the system.

(5)

State compliance with national standards

(A)

Certification

The chief executive officer of the State shall annually file with the Election Assistance Commission a statement certifying to the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology that the State is in compliance with the standards referred to in paragraphs (4) and (5). A State may meet the requirement of the previous sentence by filing with the Commission a statement which reads as follows: _____ hereby certifies that it is in compliance with the standards referred to in paragraphs (4) and (5) of section 1015(e) of the Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2019. (with the blank to be filled in with the name of the State involved).

(B)

Publication of policies and procedures

The chief State election official of a State shall publish on the official’s website the policies and procedures established under this section, and shall make those policies and procedures available in written form upon public request.

(C)

Funding dependent on certification

If a State does not timely file the certification required under this paragraph, it shall not receive any payment under this part for the upcoming fiscal year.

(D)

Compliance of States that require changes to State law

In the case of a State that requires State legislation to carry out an activity covered by any certification submitted under this paragraph, for a period of not more than 2 years the State shall be permitted to make the certification notwithstanding that the legislation has not been enacted at the time the certification is submitted, and such State shall submit an additional certification once such legislation is enacted.

(f)

Restrictions on use of information

No person acting under color of law may discriminate against any individual based on, or use for any purpose other than voter registration, election administration, or enforcement relating to election crimes, any of the following:

(1)

Voter registration records.

(2)

An individual’s declination to register to vote or complete an affirmation of citizenship under section 1013(b).

(3)

An individual’s voter registration status.

(g)

Prohibition on the use of voter registration information for commercial purposes

Information collected under this part shall not be used for commercial purposes. Nothing in this subsection may be construed to prohibit the transmission, exchange, or dissemination of information for political purposes, including the support of campaigns for election for Federal, State, or local public office or the activities of political committees (including committees of political parties) under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

1016.

Registration portability and correction

(a)

Correcting registration information at polling place

Notwithstanding section 302(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21082(a)), if an individual is registered to vote in elections for Federal office held in a State, the appropriate election official at the polling pace for any such election (including a location used as a polling place on a date other than the date of the election) shall permit the individual to—

(1)

update the individual’s address for purposes of the records of the election official;

(2)

correct any incorrect information relating to the individual, including the individual’s name and political party affiliation, in the records of the election official; and

(3)

cast a ballot in the election on the basis of the updated address or corrected information, and to have the ballot treated as a regular ballot and not as a provisional ballot under section 302(a) of such Act.

(b)

Updates to computerized Statewide voter registration lists

If an election official at the polling place receives an updated address or corrected information from an individual under subsection (a), the official shall ensure that the address or information is promptly entered into the computerized Statewide voter registration list in accordance with section 303(a)(1)(A)(vi) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21083(a)(1)(A)(vi)).

1017.

Payments and grants

(a)

In general

The Election Assistance Commission shall make grants to each eligible State to assist the State in implementing the requirements of this part (or, in the case of an exempt State, in implementing its existing automatic voter registration program).

(b)

Eligibility; application

A State is eligible to receive a grant under this section if the State submits to the Commission, at such time and in such form as the Commission may require, an application containing—

(1)

a description of the activities the State will carry out with the grant;

(2)

an assurance that the State shall carry out such activities without partisan bias and without promoting any particular point of view regarding any issue; and

(3)

such other information and assurances as the Commission may require.

(c)

Amount of grant; priorities

The Commission shall determine the amount of a grant made to an eligible State under this section. In determining the amounts of the grants, the Commission shall give priority to providing funds for those activities which are most likely to accelerate compliance with the requirements of this part (or, in the case of an exempt State, which are most likely to enhance the ability of the State to automatically register individuals to vote through its existing automatic voter registration program), including—

(1)

investments supporting electronic information transfer, including electronic collection and transfer of signatures, between contributing agencies and the appropriate State election officials;

(2)

updates to online or electronic voter registration systems already operating as of the date of the enactment of this Act;

(3)

introduction of online voter registration systems in jurisdictions in which those systems did not previously exist; and

(4)

public education on the availability of new methods of registering to vote, updating registration, and correcting registration.

(d)

Authorization of appropriations

(1)

Authorization

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section—

(A)

$500,000,000 for fiscal year 2019; and

(B)

such sums as may be necessary for each succeeding fiscal year.

(2)

Continuing availability of funds

Any amounts appropriated pursuant to the authority of this subsection shall remain available without fiscal year limitation until expended.

1018.

Treatment of exempt States

(a)

Waiver of requirements

Except as provided in subsection (b), this part does not apply with respect to an exempt State.

(b)

Exceptions

The following provisions of this part apply with respect to an exempt State:

(1)

Section 1016 (relating to registration portability and correction).

(2)

Section 1017 (relating to payments and grants).

(3)

Section 1019(e) (relating to enforcement).

(4)

Section 1019(f) (relating to relation to other laws).

1019.

Miscellaneous provisions

(a)

Accessibility of registration services

Each contributing agency shall ensure that the services it provides under this part are made available to individuals with disabilities to the same extent as services are made available to all other individuals.

(b)

Transmission through secure third party permitted

Nothing in this part shall be construed to prevent a contributing agency from contracting with a third party to assist the agency in meeting the information transmittal requirements of this part, so long as the data transmittal complies with the applicable requirements of this part, including the privacy and security provisions of section 1015.

(c)

Nonpartisan, nondiscriminatory provision of services

The services made available by contributing agencies under this part and by the State under sections 1006 and 1007 shall be made in a manner consistent with paragraphs (4), (5), and (6)(C) of section 7(a) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20506(a)).

(d)

Notices

Each State may send notices under this part via electronic mail if the individual has provided an electronic mail address and consented to electronic mail communications for election-related materials. All notices sent pursuant to this part that require a response must offer the individual notified the opportunity to respond at no cost to the individual.

(e)

Enforcement

Section 11 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20510), relating to civil enforcement and the availability of private rights of action, shall apply with respect to this part in the same manner as such section applies to such Act.

(f)

Relation to other laws

Except as provided, nothing in this part may be construed to authorize or require conduct prohibited under, or to supersede, restrict, or limit the application of any of the following:

(1)

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10301 et seq.).

(2)

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20301 et seq.).

(3)

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20501 et seq.).

(4)

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 20901 et seq.).

1020.

Definitions

In this part, the following definitions apply:

(1)

The term chief State election official means, with respect to a State, the individual designated by the State under section 10 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20509) to be responsible for coordination of the State’s responsibilities under such Act.

(2)

The term Commission means the Election Assistance Commission.

(3)

The term exempt State means a State which, under law which is in effect continuously on and after the date of the enactment of this Act, operates an automatic voter registration program under which an individual is automatically registered to vote in elections for Federal office in the State if the individual provides the motor vehicle authority of the State with such identifying information as the State may require.

(4)

The term State means each of the several States and the District of Columbia.

1021.

Effective date

(a)

In general

Except as provided in subsection (b), this part and the amendments made by this part shall apply with respect to a State beginning January 1, 2021.

(b)

Waiver

Subject to the approval of the Commission, if a State certifies to the Commission that the State will not meet the deadline referred to in subsection (a) because of extraordinary circumstances and includes in the certification the reasons for the failure to meet the deadline, subsection (a) shall apply to the State as if the reference in such subsection to January 1, 2021 were a reference to January 1, 2023.

3

Same-Day Voter Registration

1031.

Same-day registration

(a)

In general

Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081 et seq.) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating sections 304 and 305 as sections 305 and 306; and

(2)

by inserting after section 303 the following new section:

304.

Same-day registration

(a)

In general

(1)

Registration

Notwithstanding section 8(a)(1)(D) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20507(a)(1)(D)), each State shall permit any eligible individual on the day of a Federal election and on any day when voting, including early voting, is permitted for a Federal election—

(A)

to register to vote in such election at the polling place using a form that meets the requirements under section 9(b) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (or, if the individual is already registered to vote, to revise any of the individual’s voter registration information); and

(B)

to cast a vote in such election.

(2)

Exception

The requirements under paragraph (1) shall not apply to a State in which, under a State law in effect continuously on and after the date of the enactment of this section, there is no voter registration requirement for individuals in the State with respect to elections for Federal office.

(b)

Eligible individual

For purposes of this section, the term eligible individual means, with respect to any election for Federal office, an individual who is otherwise qualified to vote in that election.

(c)

Effective date

Each State shall be required to comply with the requirements of subsection (a) for the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office occurring in November 2020 and for any subsequent election for Federal office.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment relating to enforcement

Section 401 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21111) is amended by striking sections 301, 302, and 303 and inserting subtitle A of title III.

(c)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents of such Act is amended—

(1)

by redesignating the items relating to sections 304 and 305 as relating to sections 305 and 306; and

(2)

by inserting after the item relating to section 303 the following new item:

Sec. 304. Same-day registration.

.

4

Conditions on Removal on Basis of Interstate Cross-Checks

1041.

Conditions on removal of registrants from official list of eligible voters on basis of interstate cross-checks

(a)

Minimum information required for removal under cross-Check

Section 8(c)(2) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20507(c)(2)) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subparagraph (B) as subparagraph (D); and

(2)

by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following new subparagraphs:

(B)

To the extent that the program carried out by a State under subparagraph (A) to systematically remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters uses information obtained in an interstate cross-check, the State may not remove the name of the voter from such a list unless—

(i)

the State obtained the voter’s full name (including the voter’s middle name, if any) and date of birth, and the last 4 digits of the voter’s social security number, in the interstate cross-check; or

(ii)

the State obtained documentation from the ERIC system that the voter is no longer a resident of the State.

(C)

In this paragraph—

(i)

the term interstate cross-check means the transmission of information from an election official in one State to an election official of another State; and

(ii)

the term ERIC system means the system operated by the Electronic Registration Information Center to share voter registration information and voter identification information among participating States.

.

(b)

Requiring completion of cross-Checks not later than 6 months prior to election

Subparagraph (A) of section 8(c)(2) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20507(c)(2)) is amended by striking not later than 90 days and inserting the following: not later than 90 days (or, in the case of a program in which the State uses interstate cross-checks, not later than 6 months).

(c)

Conforming amendment

Subparagraph (F) of section 8(c)(2) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20507(c)(2)) is amended by striking Subparagraph (A) and inserting This paragraph.

(d)

Effective date

The amendments made by this Act shall apply with respect to elections held on or after the expiration of the 6-month period which begins on the date of the enactment of this Act.

5

Other Initiatives To Promote Voter Registration

1051.

Annual reports on voter registration statistics

(a)

Annual report

Not later than 90 days after the end of each year, each State shall submit to the Election Assistance Commission and Congress a report containing the following categories of information for the year:

(1)

The number of individuals who were registered under part 2.

(2)

The number of voter registration application forms completed by individuals that were transmitted by motor vehicle authorities in the State (pursuant to section 5(d) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993) and voter registration agencies in the State (as designated under section 7 of such Act) to the chief State election official of the State, broken down by each such authority and agency.

(3)

The number of such individuals whose voter registration application forms were accepted and who were registered to vote in the State and the number of such individuals whose forms were rejected and who were not registered to vote in the State, broken down by each such authority and agency.

(4)

The number of change of address forms and other forms of information indicating that an individual’s identifying information has been changed that were transmitted by such motor vehicle authorities and voter registration agencies to the chief State election official of the State, broken down by each such authority and agency and the type of form transmitted.

(5)

The number of individuals on the Statewide computerized voter registration list (as established and maintained under section 303 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002) whose voter registration information was revised by the chief State election official as a result of the forms transmitted to the official by such motor vehicle authorities and voter registration agencies (as described in paragraph (3)), broken down by each such authority and agency and the type of form transmitted.

(6)

The number of individuals who requested the chief State election official to revise voter registration information on such list, and the number of individuals whose information was revised as a result of such a request.

(b)

Breakdown of information by race and ethnicity of Individuals

In preparing the report under this section, the State shall, for each category of information described in subsection (a), include a breakdown by race and ethnicity of the individuals whose information is included in the category, to the extent that information on the race and ethnicity of such individuals is available to the State.

(c)

Confidentiality of information

In preparing and submitting a report under this section, the chief State election official shall ensure that no information regarding the identification of any individual is revealed.

(d)

State defined

In this section, a State includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, but does not include any State in which, under a State law in effect continuously on and after the date of the enactment of this Act, there is no voter registration requirement for individuals in the State with respect to elections for Federal office.

6

Availability of HAVA Requirements Payments

1061.

Availability of requirements payments under HAVA to cover costs of compliance with new requirements

(a)

In General

Section 251(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21001(b)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1), by striking (2) and (3) and inserting (2), (3), and (4); and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(4)

Certain voter registration activities

A State may use a requirements payment to carry out any of the requirements of the Voter Registration Modernization Act of 2019, including the requirements of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 which are imposed pursuant to the amendments made to such Act by the Voter Registration Modernization Act of 2019.

.

(b)

Conforming Amendment

Section 254(a)(1) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21004(a)(1)) is amended by striking section 251(a)(2) and inserting section 251(b)(2).

(c)

Effective Date

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to fiscal year 2018 and each succeeding fiscal year.

7

Prohibiting Interference With Voter Registration

1071.

Prohibiting hindering, interfering with, or preventing voter registration

(a)

In general

Chapter 29 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

612.

Hindering, interfering with, or preventing registering to vote

(a)

Prohibition

It shall be unlawful for any person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, to corruptly hinder, interfere with, or prevent another person from registering to vote or to corruptly hinder, interfere with, or prevent another person from aiding another person in registering to vote.

(b)

Attempt

Any person who attempts to commit any offense described in subsection (a) shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense that the person attempted to commit.

(c)

Penalty

Any person who violates subsection (a) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections for chapter 29 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

612. Hindering, interfering with, or preventing registering to vote.

.

(c)

Effective Date

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to elections held on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, except that no person may be found to have violated section 612 of title 18, United States Code (as added by subsection (a)), on the basis of any act occurring prior to the date of the enactment of this Act.

1072.

Establishment of best practices

(a)

Best practices

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Election Assistance Commission shall develop and publish recommendations for best practices for States to use to deter and prevent violations of section 612 of title 18, United States Code (as added by section 1071), and section 12 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20511) (relating to the unlawful interference with registering to vote, or voting, or attempting to register to vote or vote), including practices to provide for the posting of relevant information at polling places and voter registration agencies under such Act, the training of poll workers and election officials, and relevant educational materials. For purposes of this subsection, the term State includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

(b)

Inclusion in voter information requirements

Section 302(b)(2) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21082(b)(2)) is amended—

(1)

by striking and at the end of subparagraph (E);

(2)

by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (F) and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(G)

information relating to the prohibitions of section 612 of title 18, United States Code, and section 12 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20511) (relating to the unlawful interference with registering to vote, or voting, or attempting to register to vote or vote), including information on how individuals may report allegations of violations of such prohibitions.

.

B

Access to Voting for Individuals With Disabilities

1101.

Requirements for States to promote access to voter registration and voting for individuals with disabilities

(a)

Requirements

Subtitle A of title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081 et seq.), as amended by section 1031(a), is amended—

(1)

by redesignating sections 305 and 306 as sections 306 and 307; and

(2)

by inserting after section 304 the following new section:

305.

Access to voter registration and voting for individuals with disabilities

(a)

Treatment of applications and ballots

Each State shall—

(1)

permit individuals with disabilities to use absentee registration procedures and to vote by absentee ballot in elections for Federal office;

(2)

accept and process, with respect to any election for Federal office, any otherwise valid voter registration application and absentee ballot application from an individual with a disability if the application is received by the appropriate State election official not less than 30 days before the election;

(3)

in addition to any other method of registering to vote or applying for an absentee ballot in the State, establish procedures—

(A)

for individuals with disabilities to request by mail and electronically voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications with respect to elections for Federal office in accordance with subsection (c);

(B)

for States to send by mail and electronically (in accordance with the preferred method of transmission designated by the individual under subparagraph (C)) voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications requested under subparagraph (A) in accordance with subsection (c); and

(C)

by which such an individual can designate whether the individual prefers that such voter registration application or absentee ballot application be transmitted by mail or electronically;

(4)

in addition to any other method of transmitting blank absentee ballots in the State, establish procedures for transmitting by mail and electronically blank absentee ballots to individuals with disabilities with respect to elections for Federal office in accordance with subsection (d);

(5)

transmit a validly requested absentee ballot to an individual with a disability—

(A)

except as provided in subsection (e), in the case in which the request is received at least 45 days before an election for Federal office, not later than 45 days before the election; and

(B)

in the case in which the request is received less than 45 days before an election for Federal office—

(i)

in accordance with State law; and

(ii)

if practicable and as determined appropriate by the State, in a manner that expedites the transmission of such absentee ballot; and

(6)

if the State declares or otherwise holds a runoff election for Federal office, establish a written plan that provides absentee ballots are made available to individuals with disabilities in a manner that gives them sufficient time to vote in the runoff election.

(b)

Designation of single State office To Provide Information on Registration and Absentee Ballot Procedures for All Disabled Voters in State

Each State shall designate a single office which shall be responsible for providing information regarding voter registration procedures and absentee ballot procedures to be used by individuals with disabilities with respect to elections for Federal office to all individuals with disabilities who wish to register to vote or vote in any jurisdiction in the State.

(c)

Designation of Means of Electronic Communication for Individuals with Disabilities To Request and for States To Send Voter Registration Applications and Absentee Ballot Applications, and for Other Purposes Related to Voting Information

(1)

In general

Each State shall, in addition to the designation of a single State office under subsection (b), designate not less than 1 means of electronic communication—

(A)

for use by individuals with disabilities who wish to register to vote or vote in any jurisdiction in the State to request voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications under subsection (a)(3);

(B)

for use by States to send voter registration applications and absentee ballot applications requested under such subsection; and

(C)

for the purpose of providing related voting, balloting, and election information to individuals with disabilities.

(2)

Clarification regarding provision of multiple means of electronic communication

A State may, in addition to the means of electronic communication so designated, provide multiple means of electronic communication to individuals with disabilities, including a means of electronic communication for the appropriate jurisdiction of the State.

(3)

Inclusion of designated means of electronic communication with informational and instructional materials that accompany balloting materials

Each State shall include a means of electronic communication so designated with all informational and instructional materials that accompany balloting materials sent by the State to individuals with disabilities.

(4)

Transmission if no preference indicated

In the case where an individual with a disability does not designate a preference under subsection (a)(3)(C), the State shall transmit the voter registration application or absentee ballot application by any delivery method allowable in accordance with applicable State law, or if there is no applicable State law, by mail.

(d)

Transmission of blank absentee ballots by mail and electronically

(1)

In general

Each State shall establish procedures—

(A)

to securely transmit blank absentee ballots by mail and electronically (in accordance with the preferred method of transmission designated by the individual with a disability under subparagraph (B)) to individuals with disabilities for an election for Federal office; and

(B)

by which the individual with a disability can designate whether the individual prefers that such blank absentee ballot be transmitted by mail or electronically.

(2)

Transmission if no preference indicated

In the case where an individual with a disability does not designate a preference under paragraph (1)(B), the State shall transmit the ballot by any delivery method allowable in accordance with applicable State law, or if there is no applicable State law, by mail.

(3)

Application of methods to track delivery to and return of ballot by individual requesting ballot

Under the procedures established under paragraph (1), the State shall apply such methods as the State considers appropriate, such as assigning a unique identifier to the ballot, to ensure that if an individual with a disability requests the State to transmit a blank absentee ballot to the individual in accordance with this subsection, the voted absentee ballot which is returned by the individual is the same blank absentee ballot which the State transmitted to the individual.

(e)

Hardship Exemption

(1)

In general

If the chief State election official determines that the State is unable to meet the requirement under subsection (a)(5)(A) with respect to an election for Federal office due to an undue hardship described in paragraph (2)(B), the chief State election official shall request that the Attorney General grant a waiver to the State of the application of such subsection. Such request shall include—

(A)

a recognition that the purpose of such subsection is to individuals with disabilities enough time to vote in an election for Federal office;

(B)

an explanation of the hardship that indicates why the State is unable to transmit such individuals an absentee ballot in accordance with such subsection;

(C)

the number of days prior to the election for Federal office that the State requires absentee ballots be transmitted to such individuals; and

(D)

a comprehensive plan to ensure that such individuals are able to receive absentee ballots which they have requested and submit marked absentee ballots to the appropriate State election official in time to have that ballot counted in the election for Federal office, which includes—

(i)

the steps the State will undertake to ensure that such individuals have time to receive, mark, and submit their ballots in time to have those ballots counted in the election;

(ii)

why the plan provides such individuals sufficient time to vote as a substitute for the requirements under such subsection; and

(iii)

the underlying factual information which explains how the plan provides such sufficient time to vote as a substitute for such requirements.

(2)

Approval of waiver request

The Attorney General shall approve a waiver request under paragraph (1) if the Attorney General determines each of the following requirements are met:

(A)

The comprehensive plan under subparagraph (D) of such paragraph provides individuals with disabilities sufficient time to receive absentee ballots they have requested and submit marked absentee ballots to the appropriate State election official in time to have that ballot counted in the election for Federal office.

(B)

One or more of the following issues creates an undue hardship for the State:

(i)

The State's primary election date prohibits the State from complying with subsection (a)(5)(A).

(ii)

The State has suffered a delay in generating ballots due to a legal contest.

(iii)

The State Constitution prohibits the State from complying with such subsection.

(3)

Timing of waiver

(A)

In general

Except as provided under subparagraph (B), a State that requests a waiver under paragraph (1) shall submit to the Attorney General the written waiver request not later than 90 days before the election for Federal office with respect to which the request is submitted. The Attorney General shall approve or deny the waiver request not later than 65 days before such election.

(B)

Exception

If a State requests a waiver under paragraph (1) as the result of an undue hardship described in paragraph (2)(B)(ii), the State shall submit to the Attorney General the written waiver request as soon as practicable. The Attorney General shall approve or deny the waiver request not later than 5 business days after the date on which the request is received.

(4)

Application of waiver

A waiver approved under paragraph (2) shall only apply with respect to the election for Federal office for which the request was submitted. For each subsequent election for Federal office, the Attorney General shall only approve a waiver if the State has submitted a request under paragraph (1) with respect to such election.

(f)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this section may be construed to allow the marking or casting of ballots over the internet.

(g)

Individual with a disability defined

In this section, an individual with a disability means an individual with an impairment that substantially limits any major life activities and who is otherwise qualified to vote in elections for Federal office.

(h)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to elections for Federal office held on or after January 1, 2020.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment relating to issuance of 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 305, January 1, 2020.

.

(c)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1031(c), is amended—

(1)

by redesignating the items relating to sections 305 and 306 as relating to sections 306 and 307; and

(2)

by inserting after the item relating to section 304 the following new item:

Sec. 305. Access to voter registration and voting for individuals with disabilities.

.

1102.

Pilot programs for enabling individuals with disabilities to register to vote and vote privately and independently at residences

(a)

Establishment of pilot programs

The Election Assistance Commission (hereafter referred to as the Commission) shall make grants to eligible States to conduct pilot programs under which—

(1)

individuals with disabilities may use electronic means (including the internet and telephones utilizing assistive devices) to register to vote and to request and receive absentee ballots, in a manner which permits such individuals to do so privately and independently at their own residences; and

(2)

individuals with disabilities may use the telephone to cast ballots electronically from their own residences, but only if the telephone used is not connected to the internet.

(b)

Reports

(1)

In general

A State receiving a grant for a year under this section shall submit a report to the Commission on the pilot programs the State carried out with the grant with respect to elections for public office held in the State during the year.

(2)

Deadline

A State shall submit a report under paragraph (1) not later than 90 days after the last election for public office held in the State during the year.

(c)

Eligibility

A State is eligible to receive a grant under this section if the State submits to the Commission, at such time and in such form as the Commission may require, an application containing such information and assurances as the Commission may require.

(d)

Timing

The Commission shall make the first grants under this section for pilot programs which will be in effect with respect to elections for Federal office held in 2020, or, at the option of a State, with respect to other elections for public office held in the State in 2020.

(e)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated for grants for pilot programs under this section $30,000,000 for fiscal year 2020 and each succeeding fiscal year.

(f)

State defined

In this section, the term State includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

1103.

Expansion and reauthorization of grant program to assure voting access for individuals with disabilities

(a)

Purposes of payments

Section 261(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21021(b)) is amended by striking paragraphs (1) and (2) and inserting the following:

(1)

making absentee voting and voting at home accessible to individuals with the full range of disabilities (including impairments involving vision, hearing, mobility, or dexterity) through the implementation of accessible absentee voting systems that work in conjunction with assistive technologies for which individuals have access at their homes, independent living centers, or other facilities;

(2)

making polling places, including the path of travel, entrances, exits, and voting areas of each polling facility, accessible to individuals with disabilities, including the blind and visually impaired, in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access and participation (including privacy and independence) as for other voters; and

(3)

providing solutions to problems of access to voting and elections for individuals with disabilities that are universally designed and provide the same opportunities for individuals with and without disabilities.

.

(b)

Reauthorization

Section 264(a) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21024(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(4)

For fiscal year 2020 and each succeeding fiscal year, such sums as may be necessary to carry out this part.

.

(c)

Period of availability of funds

Section 264 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21024) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (b), by striking Any amounts and inserting Except as provided in subsection (b), any amounts; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(c)

Return and transfer of certain funds

(1)

Deadline for obligation and expenditure

In the case of any amounts appropriated pursuant to the authority of subsection (a) for a payment to a State or unit of local government for fiscal year 2020 or any succeeding fiscal year, any portion of such amounts which have not been obligated or expended by the State or unit of local government prior to the expiration of the 4-year period which begins on the date the State or unit of local government first received the amounts shall be transferred to the Commission.

(2)

Reallocation of transferred amounts

(A)

In general

The Commission shall use the amounts transferred under paragraph (1) to make payments on a pro rata basis to each covered payment recipient described in subparagraph (B), which may obligate and expend such payment for the purposes described in section 261(b) during the 1-year period which begins on the date of receipt.

(B)

Covered payment recipients described

In subparagraph (A), a covered payment recipient is a State or unit of local government with respect to which—

(i)

amounts were appropriated pursuant to the authority of subsection (a); and

(ii)

no amounts were transferred to the Commission under paragraph (1).

.

C

Prohibiting Voter Caging

1201.

Voter caging and other questionable challenges prohibited

(a)

In General

Chapter 29 of title 18, United States Code, as amended by section 1071(a), is amended by adding at the end the following:

613.

Voter caging and other questionable challenges

(a)

Definitions

In this section—

(1)

the term voter caging document means—

(A)

a nonforwardable document that is returned to the sender or a third party as undelivered or undeliverable despite an attempt to deliver such document to the address of a registered voter or applicant; or

(B)

any document with instructions to an addressee that the document be returned to the sender or a third party but is not so returned, despite an attempt to deliver such document to the address of a registered voter or applicant, unless at least two Federal election cycles have passed since the date of the attempted delivery;

(2)

the term voter caging list means a list of individuals compiled from voter caging documents; and

(3)

the term unverified match list means a list produced by matching the information of registered voters or applicants for voter registration to a list of individuals who are ineligible to vote in the registrar’s jurisdiction, by virtue of death, conviction, change of address, or otherwise; unless one of the pieces of information matched includes a signature, photograph, or unique identifying number ensuring that the information from each source refers to the same individual.

(b)

Prohibition Against Voter Caging

No State or local election official shall prevent an individual from registering or voting in any election for Federal office, or permit in connection with any election for Federal office a formal challenge under State law to an individual’s registration status or eligibility to vote, if the basis for such decision is evidence consisting of—

(1)

a voter caging document or voter caging list;

(2)

an unverified match list;

(3)

an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material to an individual’s eligibility to vote under section 2004 of the Revised Statutes, as amended (52 U.S.C. 10101(a)(2)(B)); or

(4)

any other evidence so designated for purposes of this section by the Election Assistance Commission,

except that the election official may use such evidence if it is corroborated by independent evidence of the individual’s ineligibility to register or vote.
(c)

Requirements for Challenges by Persons Other Than Election Officials

No person, other than a State or local election official, shall submit a formal challenge to an individual’s eligibility to register to vote in an election for Federal office or to vote in an election for Federal office unless that challenge is supported by personal knowledge regarding the grounds for ineligibility which is—

(1)

documented in writing; and

(2)

subject to an oath or attestation under penalty of perjury that the challenger has a good faith factual basis to believe that the individual who is the subject of the challenge is ineligible to register to vote or vote in that election, except a challenge which is based on the race, ethnicity, or national origin of the individual who is the subject of the challenge may not be considered to have a good faith factual basis for purposes of this paragraph.

(d)

Penalties for Knowing Misconduct

Whoever knowingly challenges the eligibility of one or more individuals to register or vote or knowingly causes the eligibility of such individuals to be challenged in violation of this section with the intent that one or more eligible voters be disqualified, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both, for each such violation. Each violation shall be a separate offense.

(e)

No Effect on Related Laws

Nothing in this section is intended to override the protections of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20501 et seq.) or to affect the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10301 et seq.).

.

(b)

Clerical Amendment

The table of sections for chapter 29 of title 18, United States Code, as amended by section 1071(b), is amended by adding at the end the following:

613. Voter caging and other questionable challenges.

.

1202.

Development and adoption of best practices for preventing voter caging

(a)

Best practices

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Election Assistance Commission shall develop and publish for the use of States recommendations for best practices to deter and prevent violations of section 613 of title 18, United States Code, as added by section 1201(a), including practices to provide for the posting of relevant information at polling places and voter registration agencies, the training of poll workers and election officials, and relevant educational measures. For purposes of this subsection, the term State includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

(b)

Inclusion in voting information requirements

Section 302(b)(2) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21082(b)(2)), as amended by section 1072(b), is amended—

(1)

by striking and at the end of subparagraph (F);

(2)

by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (G) and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(H)

information relating to the prohibition against voter caging and other questionable challenges (as set forth in section 613 of title 18, United States Code), including information on how individuals may report allegations of violations of such prohibition.

.

D

Prohibiting Deceptive Practices and Preventing Voter Intimidation

1301.

Short title

This subtitle may be cited as the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2019.

1302.

Prohibition on deceptive practices in Federal elections

(a)

Prohibition

Subsection (b) of section 2004 of the Revised Statutes (52 U.S.C. 10101(b)) is amended—

(1)

by striking No person and inserting the following:

(1)

In general

No person

; and

(2)

by inserting at the end the following new paragraphs:

(2)

False statements regarding Federal elections

(A)

Prohibition

No person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall, within 60 days before an election described in paragraph (5), by any means, including by means of written, electronic, or telephonic communications, communicate or cause to be communicated information described in subparagraph (B), or produce information described in subparagraph (B) with the intent that such information be communicated, if such person—

(i)

knows such information to be materially false; and

(ii)

has the intent to impede or prevent another person from exercising the right to vote in an election described in paragraph (5).

(B)

Information described

Information is described in this subparagraph if such information is regarding—

(i)

the time, place, or manner of holding any election described in paragraph (5); or

(ii)

the qualifications for or restrictions on voter eligibility for any such election, including—

(I)

any criminal penalties associated with voting in any such election; or

(II)

information regarding a voter's registration status or eligibility.

(3)

False statements regarding public endorsements

(A)

Prohibition

No person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall, within 60 days before an election described in paragraph (5), by any means, including by means of written, electronic, or telephonic communications, communicate, or cause to be communicated, a materially false statement about an endorsement, if such person—

(i)

knows such statement to be false; and

(ii)

has the intent to impede or prevent another person from exercising the right to vote in an election described in paragraph (5).

(B)

Definition of materially false

For purposes of subparagraph (A), a statement about an endorsement is materially false if, with respect to an upcoming election described in paragraph (5)—

(i)

the statement states that a specifically named person, political party, or organization has endorsed the election of a specific candidate for a Federal office described in such paragraph; and

(ii)

such person, political party, or organization has not endorsed the election of such candidate.

(4)

Hindering, interfering with, or preventing voting or registering to vote

No person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall intentionally hinder, interfere with, or prevent another person from voting, registering to vote, or aiding another person to vote or register to vote in an election described in paragraph (5).

(5)

Election described

An election described in this paragraph is any general, primary, run-off, or special election held solely or in part for the purpose of nominating or electing a candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, or Delegate or Commissioner from a Territory or possession.

.

(b)

Private right of action

(1)

In general

Subsection (c) of section 2004 of the Revised Statutes (52 U.S.C. 10101(c)) is amended—

(A)

by striking Whenever any person and inserting the following:

(1)

Whenever any person

; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(2)

Any person aggrieved by a violation of subsection (b)(2), (b)(3), or (b)(4) may institute a civil action for preventive relief, including an application in a United States district court for a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order. In any such action, the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs.

.

(2)

Conforming amendments

(A)

Subsection (e) of section 2004 of the Revised Statutes (52 U.S.C. 10101(e)) is amended by striking subsection (c) and inserting subsection (c)(1).

(B)

Subsection (g) of section 2004 of the Revised Statutes (52 U.S.C. 10101(g)) is amended by striking subsection (c) and inserting subsection (c)(1).

(c)

Criminal penalties

(1)

Deceptive acts

Section 594 of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(A)

by striking Whoever and inserting the following:

(a)

Intimidation

Whoever

;

(B)

in subsection (a), as inserted by subparagraph (A), by striking at any election and inserting at any general, primary, run-off, or special election; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new subsections:

(b)

Deceptive acts

(1)

False statements regarding Federal elections

(A)

Prohibition

It shall be unlawful for any person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, within 60 days before an election described in subsection (e), by any means, including by means of written, electronic, or telephonic communications, to communicate or cause to be communicated information described in subparagraph (B), or produce information described in subparagraph (B) with the intent that such information be communicated, if such person—

(i)

knows such information to be materially false; and

(ii)

has the intent to mislead voters, or the intent to impede or prevent another person from exercising the right to vote in an election described in subsection (e).

(B)

Information described

Information is described in this subparagraph if such information is regarding—

(i)

the time or place of holding any election described in subsection (e); or

(ii)

the qualifications for or restrictions on voter eligibility for any such election, including—

(I)

any criminal penalties associated with voting in any such election; or

(II)

information regarding a voter's registration status or eligibility.

(2)

Penalty

Any person who violates paragraph (1) shall be fined not more than $100,000, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.

(c)

Hindering, interfering with, or preventing voting or registering To vote

(1)

Prohibition

It shall be unlawful for any person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, to corruptly hinder, interfere with, or prevent another person from voting, registering to vote, or aiding another person to vote or register to vote in an election described in subsection (e).

(2)

Penalty

Any person who violates paragraph (1) shall be fined not more than $100,000, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.

(d)

Attempt

Any person who attempts to commit any offense described in subsection (a), (b)(1), or (c)(1) shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense that the person attempted to commit.

(e)

Election described

An election described in this subsection is any general, primary, run-off, or special election held solely or in part for the purpose of nominating or electing a candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, or Delegate or Commissioner from a Territory or possession.

.

(2)

Modification of penalty for voter intimidation

Section 594(a) of title 18, United States Code, as amended by paragraph (1), is amended by striking fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year and inserting fined not more than $100,000, imprisoned for not more than 5 years.

(3)

Sentencing guidelines

(A)

Review and amendment

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the United States Sentencing Commission, pursuant to its authority under section 994 of title 28, United States Code, and in accordance with this section, shall review and, if appropriate, amend the Federal sentencing guidelines and policy statements applicable to persons convicted of any offense under section 594 of title 18, United States Code, as amended by this section.

(B)

Authorization

The United States Sentencing Commission may amend the Federal Sentencing Guidelines in accordance with the procedures set forth in section 21(a) of the Sentencing Act of 1987 (28 U.S.C. 994 note) as though the authority under that section had not expired.

(4)

Payments for refraining from voting

Subsection (c) of section 11 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10307) is amended by striking either for registration to vote or for voting and inserting for registration to vote, for voting, or for not voting.

1303.

Corrective action

(a)

Corrective action

(1)

In general

If the Attorney General receives a credible report that materially false information has been or is being communicated in violation of paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 2004(b) of the Revised Statutes (52 U.S.C. 10101(b)), as added by section 1302(a), and if the Attorney General determines that State and local election officials have not taken adequate steps to promptly communicate accurate information to correct the materially false information, the Attorney General shall, pursuant to the written procedures and standards under subsection (b), communicate to the public, by any means, including by means of written, electronic, or telephonic communications, accurate information designed to correct the materially false information.

(2)

Communication of corrective information

Any information communicated by the Attorney General under paragraph (1)—

(A)

shall—

(i)

be accurate and objective;

(ii)

consist of only the information necessary to correct the materially false information that has been or is being communicated; and

(iii)

to the extent practicable, be by a means that the Attorney General determines will reach the persons to whom the materially false information has been or is being communicated; and

(B)

shall not be designed to favor or disfavor any particular candidate, organization, or political party.

(b)

Written procedures and standards for taking corrective action

(1)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall publish written procedures and standards for determining when and how corrective action will be taken under this section.

(2)

Inclusion of appropriate deadlines

The procedures and standards under paragraph (1) shall include appropriate deadlines, based in part on the number of days remaining before the upcoming election.

(3)

Consultation

In developing the procedures and standards under paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall consult with the Election Assistance Commission, State and local election officials, civil rights organizations, voting rights groups, voter protection groups, and other interested community organizations.

(c)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Attorney General such sums as may be necessary to carry out this subtitle.

1304.

Reports to Congress

(a)

In general

Not later than 180 days after each general election for Federal office, the Attorney General shall submit to Congress a report compiling all allegations received by the Attorney General of deceptive practices described in paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of section 2004(b) of the Revised Statutes (52 U.S.C. 10101(b)), as added by section 1302(a), relating to the general election for Federal office and any primary, run-off, or a special election for Federal office held in the 2 years preceding the general election.

(b)

Contents

(1)

In general

Each report submitted under subsection (a) shall include—

(A)

a description of each allegation of a deceptive practice described in subsection (a), including the geographic location, racial and ethnic composition, and language minority-group membership of the persons toward whom the alleged deceptive practice was directed;

(B)

the status of the investigation of each allegation described in subparagraph (A);

(C)

a description of each corrective action taken by the Attorney General under section 4(a) in response to an allegation described in subparagraph (A);

(D)

a description of each referral of an allegation described in subparagraph (A) to other Federal, State, or local agencies;

(E)

to the extent information is available, a description of any civil action instituted under section 2004(c)(2) of the Revised Statutes (52 U.S.C. 10101(c)(2)), as added by section 1302(b), in connection with an allegation described in subparagraph (A); and

(F)

a description of any criminal prosecution instituted under section 594 of title 18, United States Code, as amended by section 3(c), in connection with the receipt of an allegation described in subparagraph (A) by the Attorney General.

(2)

Exclusion of certain information

(A)

In general

The Attorney General shall not include in a report submitted under subsection (a) any information protected from disclosure by rule 6(e) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure or any Federal criminal statute.

(B)

Exclusion of certain other information

The Attorney General may determine that the following information shall not be included in a report submitted under subsection (a):

(i)

Any information that is privileged.

(ii)

Any information concerning an ongoing investigation.

(iii)

Any information concerning a criminal or civil proceeding conducted under seal.

(iv)

Any other nonpublic information that the Attorney General determines the disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to infringe on the rights of any individual or adversely affect the integrity of a pending or future criminal investigation.

(c)

Report made public

On the date that the Attorney General submits the report under subsection (a), the Attorney General shall also make the report publicly available through the internet and other appropriate means.

E

Democracy Restoration

1401.

Short title

This subtitle may be cited as the Democracy Restoration Act of 2019.

1402.

Rights of citizens

The right of an individual who is a citizen of the United States to vote in any election for Federal office shall not be denied or abridged because that individual has been convicted of a criminal offense unless such individual is serving a felony sentence in a correctional institution or facility at the time of the election.

1403.

Enforcement

(a)

Attorney general

The Attorney General may, in a civil action, obtain such declaratory or injunctive relief as is necessary to remedy a violation of this subtitle.

(b)

Private right of action

(1)

In general

A person who is aggrieved by a violation of this subtitle may provide written notice of the violation to the chief election official of the State involved.

(2)

Relief

Except as provided in paragraph (3), if the violation is not corrected within 90 days after receipt of a notice under paragraph (1), or within 20 days after receipt of the notice if the violation occurred within 120 days before the date of an election for Federal office, the aggrieved person may, in a civil action, obtain declaratory or injunctive relief with respect to the violation.

(3)

Exception

If the violation occurred within 30 days before the date of an election for Federal office, the aggrieved person need not provide notice to the chief election official of the State under paragraph (1) before bringing a civil action to obtain declaratory or injunctive relief with respect to the violation.

1404.

Notification of restoration of voting rights

(a)

State notification

(1)

Notification

On the date determined under paragraph (2), each State shall notify in writing any individual who has been convicted of a criminal offense under the law of that State that such individual has the right to vote in an election for Federal office pursuant to the Democracy Restoration Act of 2019 and may register to vote in any such election.

(2)

Date of notification

(A)

Felony conviction

In the case of such an individual who has been convicted of a felony, the notification required under paragraph (1) shall be given on the date on which the individual—

(i)

is sentenced to serve only a term of probation; or

(ii)

is released from the custody of that State (other than to the custody of another State or the Federal Government to serve a term of imprisonment for a felony conviction).

(B)

Misdemeanor conviction

In the case of such an individual who has been convicted of a misdemeanor, the notification required under paragraph (1) shall be given on the date on which such individual is sentenced by a State court.

(b)

Federal notification

(1)

Notification

Any individual who has been convicted of a criminal offense under Federal law shall be notified in accordance with paragraph (2) that such individual has the right to vote in an election for Federal office pursuant to the Democracy Restoration Act of 2019 and may register to vote in any such election.

(2)

Date of notification

(A)

Felony conviction

In the case of such an individual who has been convicted of a felony, the notification required under paragraph (1) shall be given—

(i)

in the case of an individual who is sentenced to serve only a term of probation, by the Assistant Director for the Office of Probation and Pretrial Services of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts on the date on which the individual is sentenced; or

(ii)

in the case of any individual committed to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, by the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, during the period beginning on the date that is 6 months before such individual is released and ending on the date such individual is released from the custody of the Bureau of Prisons.

(B)

Misdemeanor conviction

In the case of such an individual who has been convicted of a misdemeanor, the notification required under paragraph (1) shall be given on the date on which such individual is sentenced by a court established by an Act of Congress.

1405.

Definitions

For purposes of this subtitle:

(1)

Correctional institution or facility

The term correctional institution or facility means any prison, penitentiary, jail, or other institution or facility for the confinement of individuals convicted of criminal offenses, whether publicly or privately operated, except that such term does not include any residential community treatment center (or similar public or private facility).

(2)

Election

The term election means—

(A)

a general, special, primary, or runoff election;

(B)

a convention or caucus of a political party held to nominate a candidate;

(C)

a primary election held for the selection of delegates to a national nominating convention of a political party; or

(D)

a primary election held for the expression of a preference for the nomination of persons for election to the office of President.

(3)

Federal office

The term Federal office means the office of President or Vice President of the United States, or of Senator or Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress of the United States.

(4)

Probation

The term probation means probation, imposed by a Federal, State, or local court, with or without a condition on the individual involved concerning—

(A)

the individual’s freedom of movement;

(B)

the payment of damages by the individual;

(C)

periodic reporting by the individual to an officer of the court; or

(D)

supervision of the individual by an officer of the court.

1406.

Relation to other laws

(a)

State laws relating to voting rights

Nothing in this subtitle be construed to prohibit the States from enacting any State law which affords the right to vote in any election for Federal office on terms less restrictive than those established by this subtitle.

(b)

Certain Federal Acts

The rights and remedies established by this subtitle are in addition to all other rights and remedies provided by law, and neither rights and remedies established by this Act shall supersede, restrict, or limit the application of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10301 et seq.) or the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20501 et seq.).

1407.

Federal prison funds

No State, unit of local government, or other person may receive or use, to construct or otherwise improve a prison, jail, or other place of incarceration, any Federal funds unless that person has in effect a program under which each individual incarcerated in that person’s jurisdiction who is a citizen of the United States is notified, upon release from such incarceration, of that individual’s rights under section 1402.

1408.

Effective date

This subtitle shall apply to citizens of the United States voting in any election for Federal office held after the date of the enactment of this Act.

F

Promoting Accuracy, Integrity, and Security Through Voter-Verified Permanent Paper Ballot

1501.

Short title

This subtitle may be cited as the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2019.

1502.

Paper ballot and manual counting requirements

(a)

In general

Section 301(a)(2) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081(a)(2)) is amended to read as follows:

(2)

Paper ballot requirement

(A)

Voter-verified paper ballots

(i)

Paper ballot requirement

(I)

The voting system shall require the use of an individual, durable, voter-verified, paper ballot of the voter’s vote that shall be marked and made available for inspection and verification by the voter before the voter’s vote is cast and counted, and which shall be counted by hand or read by an optical character recognition device or other counting device. For purposes of this subclause, the term individual, durable, voter-verified, paper ballot means a paper ballot marked by the voter by hand or a paper ballot marked through the use of a nontabulating ballot marking device or system, so long as the voter shall have the option to mark his or her ballot by hand.

(II)

The voting system shall provide the voter with an opportunity to correct any error on the paper ballot before the permanent voter-verified paper ballot is preserved in accordance with clause (ii).

(III)

The voting system shall not preserve the voter-verified paper ballots in any manner that makes it possible, at any time after the ballot has been cast, to associate a voter with the record of the voter’s vote without the voter’s consent.

(ii)

Preservation as official record

The individual, durable, voter-verified, paper ballot used in accordance with clause (i) shall constitute the official ballot and shall be preserved and used as the official ballot for purposes of any recount or audit conducted with respect to any election for Federal office in which the voting system is used.

(iii)

Manual counting requirements for recounts and audits

(I)

Each paper ballot used pursuant to clause (i) shall be suitable for a manual audit, and shall be counted by hand in any recount or audit conducted with respect to any election for Federal office.

(II)

In the event of any inconsistencies or irregularities between any electronic vote tallies and the vote tallies determined by counting by hand the individual, durable, voter-verified, paper ballots used pursuant to clause (i), and subject to subparagraph (B), the individual, durable, voter-verified, paper ballots shall be the true and correct record of the votes cast.

(iv)

Application to all ballots

The requirements of this subparagraph shall apply to all ballots cast in elections for Federal office, including ballots cast by absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act and other absentee voters.

(B)

Special rule for treatment of disputes when paper ballots have been shown to be compromised

(i)

In general

In the event that—

(I)

there is any inconsistency between any electronic vote tallies and the vote tallies determined by counting by hand the individual, durable, voter-verified, paper ballots used pursuant to subparagraph (A)(i) with respect to any election for Federal office; and

(II)

it is demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence (as determined in accordance with the applicable standards in the jurisdiction involved) in any recount, audit, or contest of the result of the election that the paper ballots have been compromised (by damage or mischief or otherwise) and that a sufficient number of the ballots have been so compromised that the result of the election could be changed,

the determination of the appropriate remedy with respect to the election shall be made in accordance with applicable State law, except that the electronic tally shall not be used as the exclusive basis for determining the official certified result.
(ii)

Rule for consideration of ballots associated with each voting machine

For purposes of clause (i), only the paper ballots deemed compromised, if any, shall be considered in the calculation of whether or not the result of the election could be changed due to the compromised paper ballots.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment clarifying applicability of alternative language accessibility

Section 301(a)(4) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21081(a)(4)) is amended by inserting (including the paper ballots required to be used under paragraph (2)) after voting system.

(c)

Other conforming amendments

Section 301(a)(1) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21081(a)(1)) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (A)(i), by striking counted and inserting counted, in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3);

(2)

in subparagraph (A)(ii), by striking counted and inserting counted, in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3);

(3)

in subparagraph (A)(iii), by striking counted each place it appears and inserting counted, in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3); and

(4)

in subparagraph (B)(ii), by striking counted and inserting counted, in accordance with paragraphs (2) and (3).

1503.

Accessibility and ballot verification for individuals with disabilities

(a)

In general

Section 301(a)(3)(B) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081(a)(3)(B)) is amended to read as follows:

(B)
(i)

ensure that individuals with disabilities and others are given an equivalent opportunity to vote, including with privacy and independence, in a manner that produces a voter-verified paper ballot as for other voters;

(ii)

satisfy the requirement of subparagraph (A) through the use of at least one voting system equipped for individuals with disabilities, including nonvisual and enhanced visual accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, and nonmanual and enhanced manual accessibility for the mobility and dexterity impaired, at each polling place; and

(iii)

meet the requirements of subparagraph (A) and paragraph (2)(A) by using a system that—

(I)

allows the voter to privately and independently verify the permanent paper ballot through the presentation, in accessible form, of the printed or marked vote selections from the same printed or marked information that would be used for any vote counting or auditing; and

(II)

allows the voter to privately and independently verify and cast the permanent paper ballot without requiring the voter to manually handle the paper ballot.

.

(b)

Specific requirement of study, testing, and development of accessible paper ballot verification mechanisms

(1)

Study and reporting

Subtitle C of title II of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21081 et seq.) is amended—

(A)

by redesignating section 247 as section 248; and

(B)

by inserting after section 246 the following new section:

247.

Study and report on accessible paper ballot verification mechanisms

(a)

Study and report

The Director of the National Science Foundation shall make grants to not fewer than 3 eligible entities to study, test, and develop accessible paper ballot voting, verification, and casting mechanisms and devices and best practices to enhance the accessibility of paper ballot voting and verification mechanisms for individuals with disabilities, for voters whose primary language is not English, and for voters with difficulties in literacy, including best practices for the mechanisms themselves and the processes through which the mechanisms are used.

(b)

Eligibility

An entity is eligible to receive a grant under this part if it submits to the Director (at such time and in such form as the Director may require) an application containing—

(1)

certifications that the entity shall specifically investigate enhanced methods or devices, including non-electronic devices, that will assist such individuals and voters in marking voter-verified paper ballots and presenting or transmitting the information printed or marked on such ballots back to such individuals and voters, and casting such ballots;

(2)

a certification that the entity shall complete the activities carried out with the grant not later than December 31, 2020; and

(3)

such other information and certifications as the Director may require.

(c)

Availability of technology

Any technology developed with the grants made under this section shall be treated as non-proprietary and shall be made available to the public, including to manufacturers of voting systems.

(d)

Coordination with grants for technology improvements

The Director shall carry out this section so that the activities carried out with the grants made under subsection (a) are coordinated with the research conducted under the grant program carried out by the Commission under section 271, to the extent that the Director and Commission determine necessary to provide for the advancement of accessible voting technology.

(e)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out subsection (a) $5,000,000, to remain available until expended.

.

(2)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents of such Act is amended—

(A)

by redesignating the item relating to section 247 as relating to section 248; and

(B)

by inserting after the item relating to section 246 the following new item:

Sec. 247. Study and report on accessible paper ballot verification mechanisms.

.

(c)

Clarification of accessibility standards under voluntary voting system guidance

In adopting any voluntary guidance under subtitle B of title III of the Help America Vote Act with respect to the accessibility of the paper ballot verification requirements for individuals with disabilities, the Election Assistance Commission shall include and apply the same accessibility standards applicable under the voluntary guidance adopted for accessible voting systems under such subtitle.

(d)

Permitting use of funds for protection and advocacy systems To support actions To enforce election-Related disability access

Section 292(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21062(a)) is amended by striking ; except that and all that follows and inserting a period.

1504.

Durability and readability requirements for ballots

Section 301(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(7)

Durability and readability requirements for ballots

(A)

Durability requirements for paper ballots

(i)

In general

All voter-verified paper ballots required to be used under this Act shall be marked or printed on durable paper.

(ii)

Definition

For purposes of this Act, paper is durable if it is capable of withstanding multiple counts and recounts by hand without compromising the fundamental integrity of the ballots, and capable of retaining the information marked or printed on them for the full duration of a retention and preservation period of 22 months.

(B)

Readability requirements for paper ballots marked by ballot marking device

All voter-verified paper ballots completed by the voter through the use of a ballot marking device shall be clearly readable by the voter without assistance (other than eyeglasses or other personal vision enhancing devices) and by an optical character recognition device or other device equipped for individuals with disabilities.

.

1505.

Effective date for new requirements

Section 301(d) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081(d)) is amended to read as follows:

(d)

Effective Date

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), each State and jurisdiction shall be required to comply with the requirements of this section on and after January 1, 2006.

(2)

Special rule for certain requirements

(A)

In general

Except as provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C), the requirements of this section which are first imposed on a State and jurisdiction pursuant to the amendments made by the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2019 shall apply with respect to voting systems used for any election for Federal office held in 2022 or any succeeding year.

(B)

Delay for jurisdictions using certain paper record printers or certain systems using or producing voter-verifiable paper records in 2020

(i)

Delay

In the case of a jurisdiction described in clause (ii), subparagraph (A) shall apply to a voting system in the jurisdiction as if the reference in such subparagraph to 2022 were a reference to 2024, but only with respect to the following requirements of this section:

(I)

Paragraph (2)(A)(i)(I) of subsection (a) (relating to the use of voter-marked paper ballots).

(II)

Paragraph (3)(B)(ii)(I) and (II) of subsection (a) (relating to access to verification from and casting of the durable paper ballot).

(III)

Paragraph (7) of subsection (a) (relating to durability and readability requirements for ballots).

(ii)

Jurisdictions described

A jurisdiction described in this clause is a jurisdiction—

(I)

which used voter verifiable paper record printers attached to direct recording electronic voting machines, or which used other voting systems that used or produced paper records of the vote verifiable by voters but that are not in compliance with paragraphs (2)(A)(i)(I), (3)(B)(iii)(I) and (II), and (7) of subsection (a) (as amended or added by the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2019), for the administration of the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2020; and

(II)

which will continue to use such printers or systems for the administration of elections for Federal office held in years before 2022.

(iii)

Mandatory availability of paper ballots at polling places using grandfathered printers and systems

(I)

Requiring ballots to be offered and provided

The appropriate election official at each polling place that uses a printer or system described in clause (ii)(I) for the administration of elections for Federal office shall offer each individual who is eligible to cast a vote in the election at the polling place the opportunity to cast the vote using a blank pre-printed paper ballot which the individual may mark by hand and which is not produced by the direct recording electronic voting machine or other such system. The official shall provide the individual with the ballot and the supplies necessary to mark the ballot, and shall ensure (to the greatest extent practicable) that the waiting period for the individual to cast a vote is the lesser of 30 minutes or the average waiting period for an individual who does not agree to cast the vote using such a paper ballot under this clause.

(II)

Treatment of ballot

Any paper ballot which is cast by an individual under this clause shall be counted and otherwise treated as a regular ballot for all purposes (including by incorporating it into the final unofficial vote count (as defined by the State) for the precinct) and not as a provisional ballot, unless the individual casting the ballot would have otherwise been required to cast a provisional ballot.

(III)

Posting of notice

The appropriate election official shall ensure there is prominently displayed at each polling place a notice that describes the obligation of the official to offer individuals the opportunity to cast votes using a pre-printed blank paper ballot.

(IV)

Training of election officials

The chief State election official shall ensure that election officials at polling places in the State are aware of the requirements of this clause, including the requirement to display a notice under subclause (III), and are aware that it is a violation of the requirements of this title for an election official to fail to offer an individual the opportunity to cast a vote using a blank pre-printed paper ballot.

(V)

Period of applicability

The requirements of this clause apply only during the period in which the delay is in effect under clause (i).

(C)

Special rule for jurisdictions using certain nontabulating ballot marking devices

In the case of a jurisdiction which uses a nontabulating ballot marking device which automatically deposits the ballot into a privacy sleeve, subparagraph (A) shall apply to a voting system in the jurisdiction as if the reference in such subparagraph to any election for Federal office held in 2022 or any succeeding year were a reference to elections for Federal office occurring held in 2024 or each succeeding year, but only with respect to paragraph (3)(B)(iii)(II) of subsection (a) (relating to nonmanual casting of the durable paper ballot).

.

G

Provisional Ballots

1601.

Requirements for counting provisional ballots; establishment of uniform and nondiscriminatory standards

(a)

In general

Section 302 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21082) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsection (d) as subsection (f); and

(2)

by inserting after subsection (c) the following new subsections:

(d)

Statewide counting of provisional ballots

(1)

In general

For purposes of subsection (a)(4), notwithstanding the precinct or polling place at which a provisional ballot is cast within the State, the appropriate election official shall count each vote on such ballot for each election in which the individual who cast such ballot is eligible to vote.

(2)

Effective date

This subsection shall apply with respect to elections held on or after January 1, 2020.

(e)

Uniform and nondiscriminatory standards

(1)

In general

Consistent with the requirements of this section, each State shall establish uniform and nondiscriminatory standards for the issuance, handling, and counting of provisional ballots.

(2)

Effective date

This subsection shall apply with respect to elections held on or after January 1, 2020.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

Section 302(f) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21082(f)), as redesignated by subsection (a), is amended by striking Each State and inserting Except as provided in subsections (d)(2) and (e)(2), each State.

H

Early Voting

1611.

Early voting

(a)

Requirements

Subtitle A of title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081 et seq.), as amended by section 1031(a) and section 1101(a), is amended—

(1)

by redesignating sections 306 and 307 as sections 307 and 308; and

(2)

by inserting after section 305 the following new section:

306.

Early voting

(a)

Requiring Voting Prior to Date of Election

(1)

In general

Each State shall allow individuals to vote in an election for Federal office during an early voting period which occurs prior to the date of the election, in the same manner as voting is allowed on such date.

(2)

Length of period

The early voting period required under this subsection with respect to an election shall consist of a period of consecutive days (including weekends) which begins on the 15th day before the date of the election (or, at the option of the State, on a day prior to the 15th day before the date of the election) and ends on the date of the election.

(b)

Minimum early voting requirements

Each polling place which allows voting during an early voting period under subsection (a) shall—

(1)

allow such voting for no less than 4 hours on each day, except that the polling place may allow such voting for fewer than 4 hours on Sundays; and

(2)

have uniform hours each day for which such voting occurs.

(c)

Location of polling places near public transportation

To the greatest extent practicable, a State shall ensure that each polling place which allows voting during an early voting period under subsection (a) is located within walking distance of a stop on a public transportation route.

(d)

Standards

(1)

In general

The Commission shall issue standards for the administration of voting prior to the day scheduled for a Federal election. Such standards shall include the nondiscriminatory geographic placement of polling places at which such voting occurs.

(2)

Deviation

The standards described in paragraph (1) shall permit States, upon providing adequate public notice, to deviate from any requirement in the case of unforeseen circumstances such as a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or a change in voter turnout.

(e)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to elections held on or after January 1, 2020.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment relating to issuance of voluntary guidance by election assistance commission

Section 311(b) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21101(b)), as amended by section 1101(b), is amended—

(1)

by striking and at the end of paragraph (3);

(2)

by striking the period at the end of paragraph (4) and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(5)

in the case of the recommendations with respect to section 306, June 30, 2020.

.

(c)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1031(c) and section 1101(d), is amended—

(1)

by redesignating the items relating to sections 306 and 307 as relating to sections 307 and 308; and

(2)

by inserting after the item relating to section 305 the following new item:

Sec. 306. Early voting.

.

I

Voting by Mail

1621.

Voting by mail

(a)

Requirements

Subtitle A of title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081 et seq.), as amended by section 1031(a), section 1101(a), and section 1611(a), is amended—

(1)

by redesignating sections 307 and 308 as sections 308 and 309; and

(2)

by inserting after section 306 the following new section:

307.

Promoting ability of voters to vote by mail

(a)

In General

If an individual in a State is eligible to cast a vote in an election for Federal office, the State may not impose any additional conditions or requirements on the eligibility of the individual to cast the vote in such election by absentee ballot by mail, except as required under subsection (b) and except to the extent that the State imposes a deadline for requesting the ballot and related voting materials from the appropriate State or local election official and for returning the ballot to the appropriate State or local election official.

(b)

Requiring signature verification

A State may not accept and process an absentee ballot submitted by any individual with respect to an election for Federal office unless the State verifies the identification of the individual by comparing the individual’s signature on the absentee ballot with the individual’s signature on the official list of registered voters in the State, in accordance with such procedures as the State may adopt.

(c)

Deadline for providing balloting materials

If an individual requests to vote by absentee ballot in an election for Federal office, the appropriate State or local election official shall ensure that the ballot and relating voting materials are transmitted to the individual—

(1)

not later than 2 weeks before the date of the election; or

(2)

in the case of a State which imposes a deadline for requesting an absentee ballot and related voting materials which is less than 2 weeks before the date of the election, as expeditiously as possible.

(d)

Accessibility for individuals with disabilities

Consistent with section 305, the State shall ensure that all absentee ballots and related voting materials in elections for Federal office are accessible to individuals with disabilities in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access and participation (including with privacy and independence) as for other voters.

(e)

Uniform deadline for acceptance of mailed ballots

If a ballot submitted by an individual by mail with respect to an election for Federal office in a State is postmarked on or before the date of the election, the State may not refuse to accept or process the ballot on the grounds that the individual did not meet a deadline for returning the ballot to the appropriate State or local election official.

(f)

No effect on ballots submitted by absent military and overseas voters

Nothing in this section may be construed to affect the treatment of any ballot submitted by an individual who is entitled to vote by absentee ballot under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20301 et seq.).

(g)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to elections held on or after January 1, 2020.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment relating to issuance of voluntary guidance by election assistance commission

Section 311(b) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21101(b)), as amended by section 1101(b) and section 1611(b), is amended—

(1)

by striking and at the end of paragraph (4);

(2)

by striking the period at the end of paragraph (5) and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(6)

in the case of the recommendations with respect to section 307, June 30, 2020.

.

(c)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1031(c), section 1101(d), and section 1611(c), is amended—

(1)

by redesignating the items relating to sections 307 and 308 as relating to sections 308 and 309; and

(2)

by inserting after the item relating to section 306 the following new item:

Sec. 307. Promoting ability of voters to vote by mail.

.

J

Absent Uniformed Services Voters and Overseas Voters

1701.

Pre-election reports on availability and transmission of absentee ballots

Section 102(c) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20302(c)) is amended to read as follows:

(c)

Reports on Availability, transmission, and receipt of absentee ballots

(1)

Pre-election report on absentee ballot availability

Not later than 55 days before any regularly scheduled general election for Federal office, each State shall submit a report to the Attorney General, the Election Assistance Commission (hereafter in this subsection referred to as the Commission), and the Presidential Designee, and make that report publicly available that same day, certifying that absentee ballots for the election are or will be available for transmission to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters by not later than 45 days before the election. The report shall be in a form prescribed jointly by the Attorney General and the Commission and shall require the State to certify specific information about ballot availability from each unit of local government which will administer the election.

(2)

Pre-election report on absentee ballot transmission

Not later than 43 days before any regularly scheduled general election for Federal office, each State shall submit a report to the Attorney General, the Commission, and the Presidential Designee, and make that report publicly available that same day, certifying whether all absentee ballots have been transmitted by not later than 45 days before the election to all qualified absent uniformed services and overseas voters whose requests were received at least 45 days before the election. The report shall be in a form prescribed jointly by the Attorney General and the Commission, and shall require the State to certify specific information about ballot transmission, including the total numbers of ballot requests received and ballots transmitted, from each unit of local government which will administer the election.

(3)

Post-election report on number of absentee ballots transmitted and received

Not later than 90 days after the date of each regularly scheduled general election for Federal office, each State and unit of local government which administered the election shall (through the State, in the case of a unit of local government) submit a report to the Attorney General, the Commission, and the Presidential Designee on the combined number of absentee ballots transmitted to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters for the election and the combined number of such ballots which were returned by such voters and cast in the election, and shall make such report available to the general public that same day.

.

1702.

Enforcement

(a)

Availability of civil penalties and private rights of action

Section 105 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20307) is amended to read as follows:

105.

Enforcement

(a)

Action by Attorney General

(1)

In general

The Attorney General may bring civil action in an appropriate district court for such declaratory or injunctive relief as may be necessary to carry out this title.

(2)

Penalty

In a civil action brought under paragraph (1), if the court finds that the State violated any provision of this title, it may, to vindicate the public interest, assess a civil penalty against the State—

(A)

in an amount not to exceed $110,000 for each such violation, in the case of a first violation; or

(B)

in an amount not to exceed $220,000 for each such violation, for any subsequent violation.

(3)

Report to Congress

Not later than December 31 of each year, the Attorney General shall submit to Congress an annual report on any civil action brought under paragraph (1) during the preceding year.

(b)

Private right of action

A person who is aggrieved by a State's violation of this title may bring a civil action in an appropriate district court for such declaratory or injunctive relief as may be necessary to carry out this title.

(c)

State as only necessary defendant

In any action brought under this section, the only necessary party defendant is the State, and it shall not be a defense to any such action that a local election official or a unit of local government is not named as a defendant, notwithstanding that a State has exercised the authority described in section 576 of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act to delegate to another jurisdiction in the State any duty or responsibility which is the subject of an action brought under this section.

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to violations alleged to have occurred on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

1703.

Revisions to 45-day absentee ballot transmission rule

(a)

Repeal of waiver authority

(1)

In general

Section 102 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20302) is amended by striking subsection (g).

(2)

Conforming amendment

Section 102(a)(8)(A) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20302(a)(8)(A)) is amended by striking except as provided in subsection (g),.

(b)

Requiring use of express delivery in case of failure To meet requirement

Section 102 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20302), as amended by subsection (a), is amended by inserting after subsection (f) the following new subsection:

(g)

Requiring use of express delivery in case of failure To transmit ballots within deadlines

(1)

Transmission of ballot by express delivery

If a State fails to meet the requirement of subsection (a)(8)(A) to transmit a validly requested absentee ballot to an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter not later than 45 days before the election (in the case in which the request is received at least 45 days before the election)—

(A)

the State shall transmit the ballot to the voter by express delivery; or

(B)

in the case of a voter who has designated that absentee ballots be transmitted electronically in accordance with subsection (f)(1), the State shall transmit the ballot to the voter electronically.

(2)

Special rule for transmission fewer than 40 days before the election

If, in carrying out paragraph (1), a State transmits an absentee ballot to an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter fewer than 40 days before the election, the State shall enable the ballot to be returned by the voter by express delivery, except that in the case of an absentee ballot of an absent uniformed services voter for a regularly scheduled general election for Federal office, the State may satisfy the requirement of this paragraph by notifying the voter of the procedures for the collection and delivery of such ballots under section 103A.

.

(c)

Clarification of treatment of weekends

Section 102(a)(8)(A) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20302(a)(8)(A)) is amended by striking the election; and inserting the following: the election (or, if the 45th day preceding the election is a weekend or legal public holiday, not later than the most recent weekday which precedes such 45th day and which is not a legal public holiday, but only if the request is received by at least such most recent weekday);.

1704.

Use of single absentee ballot application for subsequent elections

(a)

In general

Section 104 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20306) is amended to read as follows:

104.

Use of single application for subsequent elections

(a)

In general

If a State accepts and processes an official post card form (prescribed under section 101) submitted by an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter for simultaneous voter registration and absentee ballot application (in accordance with section 102(a)(4)) and the voter requests that the application be considered an application for an absentee ballot for each subsequent election for Federal office held in the State through the next regularly scheduled general election for Federal office (including any runoff elections which may occur as a result of the outcome of such general election), the State shall provide an absentee ballot to the voter for each such subsequent election.

(b)

Exception for voters changing registration

Subsection (a) shall not apply with respect to a voter registered to vote in a State for any election held after the voter notifies the State that the voter no longer wishes to be registered to vote in the State or after the State determines that the voter has registered to vote in another State or is otherwise no longer eligible to vote in the State.

(c)

Prohibition of refusal of application on grounds of early submission

A State may not refuse to accept or to process, with respect to any election for Federal office, any otherwise valid voter registration application or absentee ballot application (including the postcard form prescribed under section 101) submitted by an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter on the grounds that the voter submitted the application before the first date on which the State otherwise accepts or processes such applications for that election which are submitted by absentee voters who are not members of the uniformed services or overseas citizens.

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to voter registration and absentee ballot applications which are submitted to a State or local election official on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

1705.

Effective date

The amendments made by this subtitle shall apply with respect to elections occurring on or after January 1, 2020.

K

Poll Worker Recruitment and Training

1801.

Leave to serve as a poll worker for Federal employees

(a)

In general

Subchapter II of chapter 63 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 6329c the following:

6329d.

Absence in connection with serving as a poll worker

(a)

In general

An employee in or under an Executive agency is entitled to leave, without loss of or reduction in pay, leave to which otherwise entitled, credit for time or service, or performance or efficiency rating, not to exceed 6 days in a leave year, in order—

(1)

to provide election administration assistance to a State or unit of local government at a polling place on the date of any election for public office; or

(2)

to receive any training without which such employee would be ineligible to provide such assistance.

(b)

Regulations

The Director of the Office of Personnel Management may prescribe regulations for the administration of this section, including regulations setting forth the terms and conditions of the election administration assistance an employee may provide for purposes of subsection (a).

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections for chapter 63 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 6329c the following:

6329d. Absence in connection with serving as a poll worker.

.

1802.

Grants to States for poll worker recruitment and training

(a)

Grants by Election Assistance Commission

(1)

In general

The Election Assistance Commission (hereafter referred to as the Commission) shall make a grant to each eligible State for recruiting and training individuals to serve as poll workers on dates of elections for public office.

(2)

Use of Commission materials

In carrying out activities with a grant provided under this section, the recipient of the grant shall use the manual prepared by the Commission on successful practices for poll worker recruiting, training and retention as an interactive training tool, and shall develop training programs with the participation and input of experts in adult learning.

(b)

Requirements for Eligibility

(1)

Application

Each State that desires to receive a payment under this section shall submit an application for the payment to the Commission at such time and in such manner and containing such information as the Commission shall require.

(2)

Contents of Application

Each application submitted under paragraph (1) shall—

(A)

describe the activities for which assistance under this section is sought;

(B)

provide assurances that the funds provided under this section will be used to supplement and not supplant other funds used to carry out the activities;

(C)

provide assurances that the State will furnish the Commission with information on the number of individuals who served as poll workers after recruitment and training with the funds provided under this section; and

(D)

provide such additional information and certifications as the Commission determines to be essential to ensure compliance with the requirements of this section.

(c)

Amount of Grant

(1)

In general

The amount of a grant made to a State under this section shall be equal to the product of—

(A)

the aggregate amount made available for grants to States under this section; and

(B)

the voting age population percentage for the State.

(2)

Voting age population percentage defined

In paragraph (1), the voting age population percentage for a State is the quotient of—

(A)

the voting age population of the State (as determined on the basis of the most recent information available from the Bureau of the Census); and

(B)

the total voting age population of all States (as determined on the basis of the most recent information available from the Bureau of the Census).

(d)

Reports to Congress

(1)

Reports by recipients of grants

Not later than 6 months after the date on which the final grant is made under this section, each recipient of a grant shall submit a report to the Commission on the activities conducted with the funds provided by the grant.

(2)

Reports by Commission

Not later than 1 year after the date on which the final grant is made under this section, the Commission shall submit a report to Congress on the grants made under this section and the activities carried out by recipients with the grants, and shall include in the report such recommendations as the Commission considers appropriate.

(e)

Funding

(1)

Continuing availability of amount appropriated

Any amount appropriated to carry out this section shall remain available without fiscal year limitation until expended.

(2)

Administrative expenses

Of the amount appropriated for any fiscal year to carry out this section, not more than 3 percent shall be available for administrative expenses of the Commission.

1803.

State defined

In this subtitle, the term State includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

L

Enhancement of Enforcement

1811.

Enhancement of enforcement of Help America Vote Act of 2002

(a)

Complaints; availability of private right of action

Section 401 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21111) is amended—

(1)

by striking The Attorney General and inserting (a) In General.—The Attorney General; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new subsections:

(b)

Filing of Complaints by Aggrieved Persons

(1)

In general

A person who is aggrieved by a violation of title III which has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur may file a written, signed, notarized complaint with the Attorney General describing the violation and requesting the Attorney General to take appropriate action under this section. The Attorney General shall immediately provide a copy of a complaint filed under the previous sentence to the entity responsible for administering the State-based administrative complaint procedures described in section 402(a) for the State involved.

(2)

Response by Attorney General

The Attorney General shall respond to each complaint filed under paragraph (1), in accordance with procedures established by the Attorney General that require responses and determinations to be made within the same (or shorter) deadlines which apply to a State under the State-based administrative complaint procedures described in section 402(a)(2). The Attorney General shall immediately provide a copy of the response made under the previous sentence to the entity responsible for administering the State-based administrative complaint procedures described in section 402(a) for the State involved.

(c)

Availability of private right of action

Any person who is authorized to file a complaint under subsection (b)(1) (including any individual who seeks to enforce the individual’s right to a voter-verified paper ballot, the right to have the voter-verified paper ballot counted in accordance with this Act, or any other right under title III) may file an action under section 1979 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (42 U.S.C. 1983) to enforce the uniform and nondiscriminatory election technology and administration requirements under subtitle A of title III.

(d)

No effect on State procedures

Nothing in this section may be construed to affect the availability of the State-based administrative complaint procedures required under section 402 to any person filing a complaint under this subsection.

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to violations occurring with respect to elections for Federal office held in 2020 or any succeeding year.

M

Federal Election Integrity

1821.

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 in case of recusal from administration of elections involving official or immediate family member

(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, but only if such official recuses himself or herself from all of the official’s responsibilities for the administration of such election.

(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 2019.

N

Promoting Voter Access Through Election Administration Improvements

1

Promoting Voter Access

1901.

Treatment of universities as voter registration agencies

(a)

In general

Section 7(a) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20506(a)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (2)—

(A)

by striking and at the end of subparagraph (A);

(B)

by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (B) and inserting ; and; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(C)

each institution of higher education (as defined in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001)) in the State that receives Federal funds.

; and

(2)

in paragraph (6)(A), by inserting or, in the case of an institution of higher education, with each registration of a student for enrollment in a course of study after assistance,.

(b)

Amendment to Higher Education Act of 1965

Section 487(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1094(a)) is amended by striking paragraph (23).

(c)

Sense of Congress relating to option of students to register in jurisdiction of institution of higher education or jurisdiction of domicile

It is the sense of Congress that, as provided under existing law, students who attend an institution of higher education and reside in the jurisdiction of the institution while attending the institution should have the option of registering to vote in elections for Federal office in that jurisdiction or in the jurisdiction of their own domicile.

(d)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to elections held on or after January 1, 2020.

1902.

Minimum notification requirements for voters affected by polling place changes

(a)

Requirements

Section 302 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21082), as amended by section 1601(a), is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsection (f) as subsection (g); and

(2)

by inserting after subsection (e) the following new subsection:

(f)

Minimum notification requirements for voters affected by polling place changes

(1)

In general

If a State assigns an individual who is a registered voter in a State to a polling place with respect to an election for Federal office which is not the same polling place to which the individual was previously assigned with respect to the most recent election for Federal office in the State in which the individual was eligible to vote—

(A)

the State shall notify the individual of the location of the polling place not later than 7 days before the date of the election; or

(B)

if the State makes such an assignment fewer than 7 days before the date of the election and the individual appears on the date of the election at the polling place to which the individual was previously assigned, the State shall make every reasonable effort to enable the individual to vote on the date of the election.

(2)

Effective date

This subsection shall apply with respect to elections held on or after January 1, 2020.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

Section 302(g) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21082(g)), as redesignated by subsection (a) and as amended by section 1601(b), is amended by striking (d)(2) and (e)(2) and inserting (d)(2), (e)(2), and (f)(2).

1903.

Election Day holiday

(a)

Treatment of Election Day in same manner as legal public holiday for purposes of Federal employment

For purposes of any law relating to Federal employment, the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November in 2020 and each even-numbered year thereafter shall be treated in the same manner as a legal public holiday described in section 6103 of title 5, United States Code.

(b)

Sense of Congress relating to treatment of day by private employers

It is the sense of Congress that private employers in the United States should give their employees a day off on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November in 2020 and each even-numbered year thereafter to enable the employees to cast votes in the elections held on that day.

1904.

Permitting use of sworn written statement to meet identification requirements for voting

(a)

Permitting use of statement

Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 303 the following new section:

303A.

Permitting use of sworn written statement to meet identification requirements

(a)

Use of statement

(1)

In general

Except as provided in subsection (c), if a State has in effect a requirement that an individual present identification as a condition of receiving and casting a ballot in an election for Federal office, the State shall permit the individual to meet the requirement—

(A)

in the case of an individual who desires to vote in person, by presenting the appropriate State or local election official with a sworn written statement, signed by the individual under penalty of perjury, attesting to the individual’s identification and attesting that the individual is eligible to vote in the election; or

(B)

in the case of an individual who desires to vote by mail, by submitting with the ballot the statement described in subparagraph (A).

(2)

Providing pre-printed copy of statement

A State which is subject to paragraph (1) shall—

(A)

prepare a pre-printed version of the statement described in paragraph (1)(A) which includes a blank space for an individual to provide a name and signature;

(B)

make copies of the pre-printed version available at polling places for election officials to distribute to individuals who desire to vote in person; and

(C)

include a copy of the pre-printed version with each blank absentee or other ballot transmitted to an individual who desires to vote by mail.

(b)

Requiring use of regular ballot

An individual who presents or submits a sworn written statement in accordance with subsection (a)(1) shall be permitted to cast a regular ballot in the election in the same manner as an individual who presents identification.

(c)

Exception for first-Time voters registering by mail

Subsections (a) and (b) do not apply with respect to any individual described in paragraph (1) of section 303(b) who is required to meet the requirements of paragraph (2) of such section.

.

(b)

Requiring States To include information on use of sworn written statement in voting information material posted at polling places

Section 302(b)(2) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21082(b)(2)), as amended by section 1072(b) and section 1202(b), is amended—

(1)

by striking and at the end of subparagraph (G);

(2)

by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (H) and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(I)

in the case of a State that has in effect a requirement that an individual present identification as a condition of receiving and casting a ballot in an election for Federal office, information on how an individual may meet such requirement by presenting a sworn written statement in accordance with section 303A.

.

(c)

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. Permitting use of sworn written statement to meet identification requirements.

.

(d)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to elections occurring on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

1905.

Postage-free ballots

(a)

Absentee ballots carried free of postage

(1)

In general

Chapter 34 of title 39, United States Code, is amended by adding after section 3406 the following:

3407.

Absentee ballots carried free of postage

(a)

Any absentee ballot for any election shall be carried expeditiously and free of postage.

(b)

As used in this section, the term absentee ballot does not include any ballot covered by section 3406.

.

(2)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections for chapter 34 of such title is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 3406 the following:

3407. Absentee ballots carried free of postage.

.

(3)

Reimbursement

Section 2401(c) of title 39, United States Code, is amended by striking 3406 and inserting 3407.

(b)

Use by States of requirements payments under Help America Vote Act of 2002 To reimburse Postal Service

(1)

Authorizing use of payments

Section 251(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21001(b)) is amended—

(A)

in paragraph (1), by striking as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) and inserting as otherwise provided in this subsection; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(4)

Reimbursement of Postal Service for costs associated with absentee ballots

A State shall use a requirements payment to reimburse the United States Postal Service for the revenue which the Postal Service would have obtained as the result of the mailing of absentee ballots in the State but for section 3407 of title 39, United States Code.

.

(2)

Effective date

The amendment made by paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to the requirements payments made to a State under part 1 of subtitle D of title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21001 et seq.)—

(A)

for fiscal year 2019 or any previous fiscal year, but only to the extent that any such payment remains unobligated or unexpended by the State as of the date of the enactment of this Act; and

(B)

for fiscal year 2020 and each succeeding fiscal year.

1906.

Reimbursement for costs incurred by States in establishing program to track and confirm receipt of absentee ballots

(a)

Reimbursement

Subtitle D of title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15401 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new part:

7

Payments To Reimburse States for Costs Incurred in Establishing Program To Track and Confirm Receipt of Absentee Ballots

297.

Payments to States

(a)

Payments for Costs of Establishing Program

In accordance with this section, the Commission shall make a payment to a State to reimburse the State for the costs incurred in establishing, if the State so chooses to establish, an absentee ballot tracking program with respect to elections for Federal office held in the State (including costs incurred prior to the date of the enactment of this part).

(b)

Absentee Ballot Tracking Program Described

(1)

Program described

(A)

In general

In this part, an absentee ballot tracking program is a program to track and confirm the receipt of absentee ballots in an election for Federal office under which the State or local election official responsible for the receipt of voted absentee ballots in the election carries out procedures to track and confirm the receipt of such ballots, and makes information on the receipt of such ballots available to the individual who cast the ballot, by means of online access using the internet site of the official’s office.

(B)

Information on whether vote was counted

The information referred to under subparagraph (A) with respect to the receipt of an absentee ballot shall include information regarding whether the vote cast on the ballot was counted, and, in the case of a vote which was not counted, the reasons therefor.

(2)

Use of Toll-Free Telephone Number by Officials Without Internet Site

A program established by a State or local election official whose office does not have an internet site may meet the description of a program under paragraph (1) if the official has established a toll-free telephone number that may be used by an individual who cast an absentee ballot to obtain the information on the receipt of the voted absentee ballot as provided under such paragraph.

(c)

Certification of Compliance and Costs

(1)

Certification required

In order to receive a payment under this section, a State shall submit to the Commission a statement containing—

(A)

a certification that the State has established an absentee ballot tracking program with respect to elections for Federal office held in the State; and

(B)

a statement of the costs incurred by the State in establishing the program.

(2)

Amount of payment

The amount of a payment made to a State under this section shall be equal to the costs incurred by the State in establishing the absentee ballot tracking program, as set forth in the statement submitted under paragraph (1), except that such amount may not exceed the product of—

(A)

the number of jurisdictions in the State which are responsible for operating the program; and

(B)

$3,000.

(3)

Limit on number of payments received

A State may not receive more than one payment under this part.

297A.

Authorization of Appropriations

(a)

Authorization

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Commission for fiscal year 2020 and each succeeding fiscal year such sums as may be necessary for payments under this part.

(b)

Continuing Availability of Funds

Any amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization under this section shall remain available until expended.

.

(b)

Clerical Amendment

The table of contents of such Act is amended by adding at the end of the items relating to subtitle D of title II the following:

Part 7—Payments To Reimburse States for Costs Incurred in Establishing Program To Track and Confirm Receipt of Absentee Ballots

Sec. 297. Payments to States.

Sec. 297A. Authorization of appropriations.

.

1907.

Voter information response systems and hotline

(a)

Establishment and operation of systems and services

(1)

State-based response systems

The Attorney General shall coordinate the establishment of a State-based response system for responding to questions and complaints from individuals voting or seeking to vote, or registering to vote or seeking to register to vote, in elections for Federal office. Such system shall provide—

(A)

State-specific, same-day, and immediate assistance to such individuals, including information on how to register to vote, the location and hours of operation of polling places, and how to obtain absentee ballots; and

(B)

State-specific, same-day, and immediate assistance to individuals encountering problems with registering to vote or voting, including individuals encountering intimidation or deceptive practices.

(2)

Hotline

The Attorney General, in consultation with State election officials, shall establish and operate a toll-free telephone service, using a telephone number that is accessible throughout the United States and that uses easily identifiable numerals, through which individuals throughout the United States—

(A)

may connect directly to the State-based response system described in paragraph (1) with respect to the State involved;

(B)

may obtain information on voting in elections for Federal office, including information on how to register to vote in such elections, the locations and hours of operation of polling places, and how to obtain absentee ballots; and

(C)

may report information to the Attorney General on problems encountered in registering to vote or voting, including incidences of voter intimidation or suppression.

(3)

Collaboration with State and local election officials

(A)

Collection of information from states

The Attorney General shall coordinate the collection of information on State and local election laws and policies, including information on the Statewide computerized voter registration lists maintained under title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, so that individuals who contact the free telephone service established under paragraph (2) on the date of an election for Federal office may receive an immediate response on that day.

(B)

Forwarding questions and complaints to States

If an individual contacts the free telephone service established under paragraph (2) on the date of an election for Federal office with a question or complaint with respect to a particular State or jurisdiction within a State, the Attorney General shall forward the question or complaint immediately to the appropriate election official of the State or jurisdiction so that the official may answer the question or remedy the complaint on that date.

(4)

Consultation requirements for development of systems and services

The Attorney General shall ensure that the State-based response system under paragraph (1) and the free telephone service under paragraph (2) are each developed in consultation with civil rights organizations, voting rights groups, State and local election officials, voter protection groups, and other interested community organizations, especially those that have experience in the operation of similar systems and services.

(b)

Use of service by individuals with disabilities and individuals with limited English language proficiency

The Attorney General shall design and operate the telephone service established under this section in a manner that ensures that individuals with disabilities are fully able to use the service, and that assistance is provided in any language in which the State (or any jurisdiction in the State) is required to provide election materials under section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

(c)

Voter Hotline Task Force

(1)

Appointment by attorney general

The Attorney General shall appoint individuals (in such number as the Attorney General considers appropriate but in no event fewer than 3) to serve on a Voter Hotline Task Force to provide ongoing analysis and assessment of the operation of the telephone service established under this section, and shall give special consideration in making appointments to the Task Force to individuals who represent civil rights organizations. At least one member of the Task Force shall be a representative of an organization promoting voting rights or civil rights which has experience in the operation of similar telephone services or in protecting the rights of individuals to vote, especially individuals who are members of racial, ethnic, or linguistic minorities or of communities who have been adversely affected by efforts to suppress voting rights.

(2)

Eligibility

An individual shall be eligible to serve on the Task Force under this subsection if the individual meets such criteria as the Attorney General may establish, except that an individual may not serve on the task force if the individual has been convicted of any criminal offense relating to voter intimidation or voter suppression.

(3)

Term of service

An individual appointed to the Task Force shall serve a single term of 2 years, except that the initial terms of the members first appointed to the Task Force shall be staggered so that there are at least 3 individuals serving on the Task Force during each year. A vacancy in the membership of the Task Force shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

(4)

No compensation for service

Members of the Task Force shall serve without pay, but shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with applicable provisions under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code.

(d)

Bi-Annual report to Congress

Not later than March 1 of each odd-numbered year, the Attorney General shall submit a report to Congress on the operation of the telephone service established under this section during the previous 2 years, and shall include in the report—

(1)

an enumeration of the number and type of calls that were received by the service;

(2)

a compilation and description of the reports made to the service by individuals citing instances of voter intimidation or suppression;

(3)

an assessment of the effectiveness of the service in making information available to all households in the United States with telephone service;

(4)

any recommendations developed by the Task Force established under subsection (c) with respect to how voting systems may be maintained or upgraded to better accommodate voters and better ensure the integrity of elections, including but not limited to identifying how to eliminate coordinated voter suppression efforts and how to establish effective mechanisms for distributing updates on changes to voting requirements; and

(5)

any recommendations on best practices for the State-based response systems established under subsection (a)(1).

(e)

Authorization of appropriations

(1)

Authorization

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Attorney General for fiscal year 2019 and each succeeding fiscal year such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section.

(2)

Set-aside for outreach

Of the amounts appropriated to carry out this section for a fiscal year pursuant to the authorization under paragraph (1), not less than 15 percent shall be used for outreach activities to make the public aware of the availability of the telephone service established under this section, with an emphasis on outreach to individuals with disabilities and individuals with limited proficiency in the English language.

2

Improvements in Operation of Election Assistance Commission

1911.

Reauthorization of Election Assistance Commission

Section 210 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 20930) is amended—

(1)

by striking for each of the fiscal years 2003 through 2005 and inserting for fiscal year 2019 and each succeeding fiscal year; and

(2)

by striking (but not to exceed $10,000,000 for each such year).

1913.

Requiring States to participate in post-general election surveys

(a)

Requirement

Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081 et seq.), as amended by section 1904(a), is further amended by inserting after section 303A the following new section:

303B.

Requiring participation in post-general election surveys

(a)

Requirement

Each State shall furnish to the Commission such information as the Commission may request for purposes of conducting any post-election survey of the States with respect to the administration of a regularly scheduled general election for Federal office.

(b)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2020 and any succeeding election.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1904(c), is further amended by inserting after the item relating to section 303A the following new item:

Sec. 303B. Requiring participation in post-general election surveys.

.

1914.

Reports by National Institute of Standards and Technology on use of funds transferred from Election Assistance Commission

(a)

Requiring reports on use of funds as condition of receipt

Section 231 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 20971) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(e)

Report on use of funds transferred from Commission

To the extent that funds are transferred from the Commission to the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology for purposes of carrying out this section during any fiscal year, the Director may not use such funds unless the Director certifies at the time of transfer that the Director will submit a report to the Commission not later than 90 days after the end of the fiscal year detailing how the Director used such funds during the year.

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to fiscal year 2020 and each succeeding fiscal year.

1915.

Recommendations to improve operations of Election Assistance Commission

(a)

Assessment of information technology and cybersecurity

Not later than December 31, 2019, the Election Assistance Commission shall carry out an assessment of the security and effectiveness of the Commission’s information technology systems, including the cybersecurity of such systems.

(b)

Improvements to administrative complaint procedures

(1)

Review of procedures

The Election Assistance Commission shall carry out a review of the effectiveness and efficiency of the State-based administrative complaint procedures established and maintained under section 402 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21112) for the investigation and resolution of allegations of violations of title III of such Act.

(2)

Recommendations to streamline procedures

Not later than December 31, 2019, the Commission shall submit to Congress a report on the review carried out under paragraph (1), and shall include in the report such recommendations as the Commission considers appropriate to streamline and improve the procedures which are the subject of the review.

1916.

Repeal of exemption of Election Assistance Commission from certain government contracting requirements

(a)

In general

Section 205 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 20925) is amended by striking subsection (e).

(b)

Effective date

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to contracts entered into by the Election Assistance Commission on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

3

Miscellaneous Provisions

1921.

Application of laws to Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands

(a)

National Voter Registration Act of 1993

Section 3(4) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20502(4)) is amended by striking States and the District of Columbia and inserting States, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

(b)

Help America Vote Act of 2002

(1)

Coverage of Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Section 901 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21141) is amended by striking and the United States Virgin Islands and inserting the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

(2)

Conforming amendments to Help America Vote Act of 2002

Such Act is further amended as follows:

(A)

The second sentence of section 213(a)(2) (52 U.S.C. 20943(a)(2)) is amended by striking and American Samoa and inserting American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

(B)

Section 252(c)(2) (52 U.S.C. 21002(c)(2)) is amended by striking or the United States Virgin Islands and inserting the United States Virgin Islands, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

(3)

Conforming amendment relating to consultation of Help America Vote Foundation with local election officials

Section 90102(c) of title 36, United States Code, is amended by striking and the United States Virgin Islands and inserting the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

(4)

Effective date

The amendments made by this subsection shall apply with respect to fiscal years beginning with the first fiscal year which begins after funds are appropriated to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands pursuant to the payment under section 2.

1922.

No effect on other laws

(a)

In general

Except as specifically provided, nothing in this subtitle may be construed to authorize or require conduct prohibited under any of the following laws, or to supersede, restrict, or limit the application of such laws:

(1)

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10301 et seq.).

(2)

The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (52 U.S.C. 20101 et seq.).

(3)

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20301 et seq.).

(4)

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20501 et seq.).

(5)

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).

(6)

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 701 et seq.).

(b)

No effect on preclearance or other requirements under Voting Rights Act

The approval by any person of a payment or grant application under this title, or any other action taken by any person under this title, shall not be considered to have any effect on requirements for preclearance under section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10304) or any other requirements of such Act.

O

Severability

1931.

Severability

If any provision of this title or amendment made by this title, or the application of a provision or amendment to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this title and amendments made by this title, and the application of the provisions and amendment to any person or circumstance, shall not be affected by the holding.

II

Election Integrity

Subtitle A—Findings Reaffirming Commitment of Congress To Restore the Voting Rights Act

Sec. 2001. Findings reaffirming commitment of Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act.

Subtitle B—Findings Relating to Native American Voting Rights

Sec. 2101. Findings relating to Native American voting rights.

Subtitle C—Findings Relating to District of Columbia Statehood

Sec. 2201. Findings relating to District of Columbia statehood.

Subtitle D—Findings Relating to Territorial Voting Rights

Sec. 2301. Findings relating to territorial voting rights.

Subtitle E—Redistricting Reform

Sec. 2400. Short title; finding of constitutional authority.

Part 1—Requirements for Congressional Redistricting

Sec. 2401. Limit on congressional redistricting after an apportionment.

Sec. 2402. Requiring congressional redistricting to be conducted through plan of independent State commission.

Part 2—Independent Redistricting Commissions

Sec. 2411. Independent redistricting commission.

Sec. 2412. Establishment of selection pool of individuals eligible to serve as members of commission.

Sec. 2413. Criteria for redistricting plan by independent commission; public notice and input.

Sec. 2414. Establishment of related entities.

Part 3—Role of Courts in Development of Redistricting Plans

Sec. 2421. Enactment of plan developed by 3-judge court.

Sec. 2422. Special rule for redistricting conducted under order of Federal court.

Part 4—Administrative and Miscellaneous Provisions

Sec. 2431. Payments to States for carrying out redistricting.

Sec. 2432. Civil enforcement.

Sec. 2433. State apportionment notice defined.

Sec. 2434. No effect on elections for State and local office.

Sec. 2435. Effective date.

Subtitle F—Saving Voters From Voter Purging

Sec. 2501. Short title.

Sec. 2502. Conditions for removal of voters from list of registered voters.

Subtitle G—Severability

Sec. 2601. Severability.

A

Findings Reaffirming Commitment of Congress To Restore the Voting Rights Act

2001.

Findings reaffirming commitment of Congress to restore the Voting Rights Act

Congress finds the following:

(1)

The right to vote for all Americans is sacrosanct and rules for voting and election administration should protect the right to vote and promote voter participation.

(2)

The Voting Rights Act has empowered the Department of Justice and Federal courts for nearly a half a century to block discriminatory voting practices before their implementation in States and localities with the most troubling histories and ongoing records of racial discrimination.

(3)

There continues to be an alarming movement to erect barriers to make it more difficult for Americans to participate in our Nation’s democratic process. The Nation has witnessed unprecedented efforts to turn back the clock and erect barriers to voting for communities of color which have faced historic and continuing discrimination, as well as disabled, young, elderly, and low-income Americans.

(4)

The Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby County v. Holder decision gutted decades-long Federal protections for communities of color that face historic and continuing discrimination, emboldening States and local jurisdictions to pass voter suppression laws and implement procedures, such as those requiring photo identification, limiting early voting hours, eliminating same-day registration, purging voters from the rolls, and reducing the number of polling places. Congress is committed to reversing the devastating impact of this decision.

(5)

Racial discrimination in voting is a clear and persistent problem. The actions of States and localities around the country post-Shelby County, including at least 10 findings by Federal courts of intentional discrimination, underscore the need for Congress to conduct investigatory and evidentiary hearings to determine the legislation necessary to restore the Voting Rights Act and combat continuing efforts in America that suppress the free exercise of the franchise in communities of color.

(6)

The 2018 midterm election provides further evidence that systemic voter discrimination and intimidation continues to occur in communities of color across the country, making it clear that democracy reform cannot be achieved until Congress restores key provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

(7)

Congress must remain vigilant in protecting every eligible citizen’s right to vote. Congress should respond by modernizing the electoral system to—

(A)

improve access to the ballot;

(B)

enhance the integrity and security of our voting systems;

(C)

ensure greater accountability for the administration of elections; and

(D)

restore protections for voters against practices in States and localities plagued by the persistence of voter disenfranchisement; and

(E)

ensure that Federal civil rights laws protect the rights of voters against discriminatory and deceptive practices.

B

Findings Relating to Native American Voting Rights

2101.

Findings relating to Native American voting rights

Congress finds the following:

(1)

The right to vote for all Americans is sacred. Congress must fulfill the Federal Government’s trust responsibility to protect and promote Native Americans’ exercise of their fundamental right to vote, including equal access to voter registration voting mechanisms and locations, and the ability to serve as election officials.

(2)

The Native American Voting Rights Coalition’s four-State survey of voter discrimination (2016) and nine field hearings in Indian Country (2017–2018) revealed obstacles that Native Americans must overcome, including a lack of accessible and proximate registration and polling sites, nontraditional addresses for residents on Indian reservations, inadequate language assistance for Tribal members, and voter identification laws that discriminate against Native Americans. The Department of Justice and courts have recognized that some jurisdictions have been unresponsive to reasonable requests from federally recognized Indian Tribes for more accessible and proximate voter registration sites and in-person voting locations.

(3)

The 2018 elections provide further evidence that systemic voter discrimination and intimidation continues to occur in communities of color and Tribal lands across the country, making it clear that democracy reform cannot be achieved until Congress restores key provisions of the Voting Rights Act and passes additional protections.

(4)

Congress has broad, plenary authority to enact legislation to safeguard the voting rights of Native American voters.

(5)

Congress must conduct investigatory and evidentiary hearings to determine the necessary legislation to restore the Voting Rights Act and combat continuous efforts that suppress the voter franchise within Tribal lands, to include, but not to be limited to, the Native American Voting Rights Act (NAVRA) and the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA).

C

Findings Relating to District of Columbia Statehood

2201.

Findings relating to District of Columbia statehood

Congress finds the following:

(1)

District of Columbia residents deserve full congressional voting rights and self-government, which only statehood can provide.

(2)

The 700,000 residents of the District of Columbia pay more Federal taxes per capita than residents of any State in the country, yet do not have full and equal representation in Congress and self-government.

(3)

Since the founding of the United States, the residents of the District of Columbia have always carried all the obligations of citizenship, including serving in all of the Nation’s wars and paying Federal taxes, all without voting representation on the floor in either Chamber of Congress or freedom from congressional interference in purely local matters.

(4)

There are no constitutional, historical, financial, or economic reasons why the 700,000 Americans who live in the District of Columbia should not be granted statehood.

(5)

The District of Columbia has a larger population than two States, Wyoming and Vermont, and is close to the population of the seven States that have a population of under one million fully represented residents.

(6)

The District of Columbia government has one of the strongest fiscal positions of any jurisdiction in the United States, with a $14,600,000,000 budget and a $2,700,000,000 general fund balance, or surplus.

(7)

The District of Columbia’s total personal income is higher than that of seven States, its per capita personal consumption expenditures is higher than those of any State, and its total personal consumption expenditures is greater than those of seven States.

(8)

Congress has authority under article IV, section 3, clause 1, which gives Congress power to admit new States to the Union, and Article I, Section 8, Clause 17, which grants Congress power over the seat of the Federal Government, to admit the new State carved out of the residential areas of the Federal seat of Government, while maintaining as the Federal seat of Government the United States Capitol Complex, the principal Federal monuments, Federal buildings and grounds, the National Mall, the White House and other Federal property.

D

Findings Relating to Territorial Voting Rights

2301.

Findings relating to territorial voting rights

Congress finds the following:

(1)

The right to vote is one of the most powerful instruments residents of the territories of the United States have to ensure that their voices are heard.

(2)

These Americans have played an important part in the American democracy for more than 120 years.

(3)

Political participation and the right to vote are among the highest concerns of territorial residents in part because they were not always afforded these rights.

(4)

Voter participation in the territories consistently ranks higher than many communities on the mainland.

(5)

Territorial residents serve and die, on a per capita basis, at a higher rate in every United States war and conflict since WWI, as an expression of their commitment to American democratic principles and patriotism.

E

Redistricting Reform

2400.

Short title; finding of constitutional authority

(a)

Short title

This subtitle may be cited as the Redistricting Reform Act of 2019.

(b)

Finding of Constitutional authority

Congress finds that it has the authority to establish the terms and conditions States must follow in carrying out Congressional redistricting after an apportionment of Members of the House of Representatives because—

(1)

the authority granted to Congress under article I, section 4 of the Constitution of the United States gives Congress the power to enact laws governing the time, place, and manner of elections for Members of the House of Representatives; and

(2)

the authority granted to Congress under section 5 of the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution gives Congress the power to enact laws to enforce section 2 of such amendment, which requires Representatives to be apportioned among the several States according to their number.

1

Requirements for Congressional Redistricting

2401.

Limit on congressional redistricting after an apportionment

The Act entitled An Act for the relief of Doctor Ricardo Vallejo Samala and to provide for congressional redistricting, approved December 14, 1967 (2 U.S.C. 2c), is amended by adding at the end the following: A State which has been redistricted in the manner provided by law after an apportionment under section 22(a) of the Act entitled An Act to provide for the fifteenth and subsequent decennial censuses and to provide for an apportionment of Representatives in Congress, approved June 18, 1929 (2 U.S.C. 2a), may not be redistricted again until after the next apportionment of Representatives under such section, unless a court requires the State to conduct such subsequent redistricting to comply with the Constitution or to enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10301 et seq.)..

2402.

Requiring congressional redistricting to be conducted through plan of independent State commission

(a)

Use of Plan Required

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any Congressional redistricting conducted by a State shall be conducted in accordance with—

(1)

the redistricting plan developed and enacted into law by the independent redistricting commission established in the State, in accordance with part 2; or

(2)

if a plan developed by such commission is not enacted into law, the redistricting plan developed and enacted into law by a 3-judge court of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, in accordance with section 2421.

(b)

Conforming amendment

Section 22(c) of the Act entitled An Act to provide for the fifteenth and subsequent decennial censuses and to provide for an apportionment of Representatives in Congress, approved June 18, 1929 (2 U.S.C. 2a(c)), is amended by striking in the manner provided by the law thereof and inserting: in the manner provided by the Redistricting Reform Act of 2019.

2

Independent Redistricting Commissions

2411.

Independent redistricting commission

(a)

Appointment of members

(1)

In general

The nonpartisan agency established or designated by a State under section 2414(a) shall establish an independent redistricting commission for the State, which shall consist of 15 members appointed by the agency as follows:

(A)

The agency shall first appoint 6 members as follows:

(i)

The agency shall appoint 2 members on a random basis from the majority category of the approved selection pool (as described in section 2412(b)(1)(A)).

(ii)

The agency shall appoint 2 members on a random basis from the minority category of the approved selection pool (as described in section 2412(b)(1)(B)).

(iii)

The agency shall appoint 2 members on a random basis from the independent category of the approved selection pool (as described in section 2412(b)(1)(C)).

(B)

The members appointed by the agency under subparagraph (A) shall then appoint 9 members as follows:

(i)

The members shall appoint 3 members on a random basis from the majority category of the approved selection pool (as described in section 2412(b)(1)(A)).

(ii)

The members shall appoint 3 members on a random basis from the minority category of the approved selection pool (as described in section 2412(b)(1)(B)).

(iii)

The members shall appoint 3 members on a random basis from the independent category of the approved selection pool (as described in section 2412(b)(1)(C)).

(2)

Appointment of alternates to serve in case of vacancies

(A)

Members appointed by agency

At the time the agency appoints the members of the independent redistricting commission under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) from each of the categories referred to in such subparagraph, the agency shall, on a random basis, designate 2 other individuals from such category to serve as alternate members who may be appointed to fill vacancies in the commission in accordance with paragraph (3).

(B)

Members appointed by first members

At the time the members appointed by the agency appoint the other members of the independent redistricting commission under subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) from each of the categories referred to in such subparagraph, the members shall, on a random basis, designate 2 other individuals from such category to serve as alternate members who may be appointed to fill vacancies in the commission in accordance with paragraph (3).

(3)

Vacancy

(A)

Members appointed by agency

If a vacancy occurs in the commission with respect to a member who was appointed by the nonpartisan agency under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) from one of the categories referred to in such subparagraph, the agency shall fill the vacancy by appointing, on a random basis, one of the 2 alternates from such category who was designated under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2). At the time the agency appoints an alternate to fill a vacancy under the previous sentence, the agency shall designate, on a random basis, another individual from the same category to serve as an alternate member, in accordance with subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2).

(B)

Members appointed by first members

If a vacancy occurs in the commission with respect to a member who was appointed by the first members of the commission under subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) from one of the categories referred to in such subparagraph, the first members shall fill the vacancy by appointing, on a random basis, one of the 2 alternates from such category who was designated under subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2). At the time the first members appoint an alternate to fill a vacancy under the previous sentence, the first members shall designate, on a random basis, another individual from the same category to serve as an alternate member, in accordance with subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2).

(4)

Special rules for appointment of members appointed by first members

The appointment of any of the 9 members of the independent redistricting commission who are appointed by the first members of the commission pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1), as well as the appointment of alternates for such members pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) and the appointment of members to fill vacancies with respect to such members pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (3), shall require the affirmative vote of at least 4 of the members appointed by the nonpartisan agency under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1), including at least one member from each of the categories referred to in such subparagraph. The 9 members appointed pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1), as well as the alternates appointed pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) and the members appointed to fill vacancies pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (3), shall be selected, if necessary, to ensure that the commission as a whole reflects the demographic and geographic diversity of the State, including racial and language minorities protected under the Voting Rights Act, and that such minorities are provided with a meaningful opportunity to participate in the development and enactment of the State’s redistricting plan.

(b)

Procedures for Conducting Commission Business

(1)

Chair

Members of an independent redistricting commission established under this section shall select by majority vote one member who was appointed from the independent category of the approved selection pool described in section 2412(b)(1)(C) to serve as chair of the commission. The commission may not take any action to develop a redistricting plan for the State under section 2413 until the appointment of the commission’s chair.

(2)

Requiring majority approval for actions

The independent redistricting commission of a State may not publish and disseminate any draft or final redistricting plan, or take any other action, without the approval of at least—

(A)

a majority of the whole membership of the commission; and

(B)

at least one member of the commission appointed from each of the categories of the approved selection pool described in section 2412(b)(1).

(3)

Quorum

A majority of the members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.

(c)

Staff; Contractors

(1)

Staff

The independent redistricting commission of a State may appoint and set the pay of such staff as it considers appropriate, subject to State law.

(2)

Contractors

The independent redistricting commission of a State may enter into such contracts with vendors as it considers appropriate, subject to State law, except that any such contract shall be valid only if approved by the vote of a majority of the members of the commission, including at least one member appointed from each of the categories of the approved selection pool described in section 2412(b)(1).

(3)

Goal of impartiality

The commission shall take such steps as it considers appropriate to ensure that any staff appointed under this subsection, and any vendor with whom the commission enters into a contract under this subsection, will work in an impartial manner, and may require any person who applies for an appointment to a staff position or for a vendor’s contract with the commission to provide information on the person’s history of political activity (including donations to candidates, political committees, and political parties) as a condition of the appointment or the contract.

(d)

Termination

(1)

In general

The independent redistricting commission of a State shall terminate on the earlier of—

(A)

June 14 of the following year ending in the numeral zero; or

(B)

the day on which the nonpartisan agency established or designated by a State under section 2414(a) has, in accordance with section 2412(b)(1), submitted a selection pool to the Select Committee on Redistricting for the State established under section 2414(b).

(2)

Preservation of records

The State shall ensure that the records of the independent redistricting commission are retained in the appropriate State archive in such manner as may be necessary to enable the State to respond to any civil action brought with respect to Congressional redistricting in the State.

2412.

Establishment of selection pool of individuals eligible to serve as members of commission

(a)

Criteria for Eligibility

(1)

In general

An individual is eligible to serve as a member of an independent redistricting commission if the individual meets each of the following criteria:

(A)

As of the date of appointment, the individual is registered to vote in elections for Federal office held in the State.

(B)

During the 3-year period ending on the date of the individual’s appointment, the individual has been continuously registered to vote with the same political party, or has not been registered to vote with any political party.

(C)

The individual submits to the nonpartisan agency established or designated by a State under section 2413, at such time and in such form as the agency may require, an application for inclusion in the selection pool under this section, and includes with the application a written statement containing the following information and assurances:

(i)

A statement of the political party with which the individual is affiliated, if any.

(ii)

An assurance that the individual shall commit to carrying out the individual’s duties under this subtitle in an honest, independent, and impartial fashion, and to upholding public confidence in the integrity of the redistricting process.

(iii)

An assurance that, during the covered periods described in paragraph (3), the individual has not taken and will not take any action which would disqualify the individual from serving as a member of the commission under paragraph (2).

(2)

Disqualifications

An individual is not eligible to serve as a member of the commission if any of the following applies during any of the covered periods described in paragraph (3):

(A)

The individual or (in the case of the covered periods described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (3)) an immediate family member of the individual holds public office or is a candidate for election for public office.

(B)

The individual or (in the case of the covered periods described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (3)) an immediate family member of the individual serves as an officer of a political party or as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a campaign committee of a candidate for public office.

(C)

The individual or (in the case of the covered periods described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (3)) an immediate family member of the individual holds a position as a registered lobbyist under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) or an equivalent State or local law.

(D)

The individual or (in the case of the covered periods described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (3)) an immediate family member of the individual is an employee of an elected public official, a contractor with the legislature of the State, or a donor to the campaign of any candidate for public office (other than a donor who, during any of such covered periods, gives an aggregate amount of $20,000 or less to the campaigns of all candidates for all public offices).

(3)

Covered periods described

In this subsection, the term covered period means, with respect to the appointment of an individual to the commission, any of the following:

(A)

The 5-year period ending on the date of the individual’s appointment.

(B)

The period beginning on the date of the individual’s appointment and ending on August 14 of the next year ending in the numeral one.

(C)

The 5-year period beginning on the day after the last day of the period described in subparagraph (B).

(4)

Immediate family member defined

In this subsection, the term immediate family member means, with respect to an individual, a father, stepfather, mother, stepmother, son, stepson, daughter, stepdaughter, brother, stepbrother, sister, stepsister, husband, wife, father-in-law, or mother-in-law.

(b)

Development and Submission of Selection Pool

(1)

In general

Not later than June 15 of each year ending in the numeral zero, the nonpartisan agency established or designated by a State under section 2414(a) shall develop and submit to the Select Committee on Redistricting for the State established under section 2414(b) a selection pool of 36 individuals who are eligible to serve as members of the independent redistricting commission of the State under this subtitle, consisting of individuals in the following categories:

(A)

A majority category, consisting of 12 individuals who are affiliated with the political party with the largest percentage of the registered voters in the State who are affiliated with a political party (as determined with respect to the most recent Statewide election for Federal office held in the State for which such information is available).

(B)

A minority category, consisting of 12 individuals who are affiliated with the political party with the second largest percentage of the registered voters in the State who are affiliated with a political party (as so determined).

(C)

An independent category, consisting of 12 individuals who are not affiliated with either of the political parties described in subparagraph (A) or subparagraph (B).

(2)

Factors taken into account in developing pool

In selecting individuals for the selection pool under this subsection, the nonpartisan agency shall—

(A)

to the maximum extent practicable, ensure that the pool reflects the representative demographic groups (including races, ethnicities, and genders) and geographic regions of the State; and

(B)

take into consideration the analytical skills of the individuals selected in relevant fields (including mapping, data management, law, community outreach, demography, and the geography of the State) and their ability to work on an impartial basis.

(3)

Determination of political party affiliation of individuals in selection pool

For purposes of this section, an individual shall be considered to be affiliated with a political party on the basis of the information the individual provides in the application submitted under subsection (a)(1)(D).

(4)

Encouraging residents to apply for inclusion in pool

The nonpartisan agency shall take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that residents of the State across various geographic regions and demographic groups are aware of the opportunity to serve on the independent redistricting commission, including publicizing the role of the panel and using newspapers, broadcast media, and online sources, including ethnic media, to encourage individuals to apply for inclusion in the selection pool developed under this subsection.

(5)

Report on establishment of selection pool

At the time the nonpartisan agency submits the selection pool to the Select Committee on Redistricting under paragraph (1), it shall publish a report describing the process by which the pool was developed, and shall include in the report a description of how the individuals in the pool meet the eligibility criteria of subsection (a) and of how the pool reflects the factors the agency is required to take into consideration under paragraph (2).

(6)

Action by Select Committee

(A)

In general

Not later than 14 days after receiving the selection pool from the nonpartisan agency under paragraph (1), the Select Committee on Redistricting shall—

(i)

approve the pool as submitted by the nonpartisan agency, in which case the pool shall be considered the approved selection pool for purposes of section 2411(a)(1); or

(ii)

reject the pool, in which case the nonpartisan agency shall develop and submit a replacement selection pool in accordance with subsection (c).

(B)

Inaction deemed rejection

If the Select Committee on Redistricting fails to approve or reject the pool within the deadline set forth in subparagraph (A), the Select Committee shall be deemed to have rejected the pool for purposes of such subparagraph.

(c)

Development of Replacement Selection Pool

(1)

In general

If the Select Committee on Redistricting rejects the selection pool submitted by the nonpartisan agency under subsection (b), not later than 14 days after the rejection, the nonpartisan agency shall develop and submit to the Select Committee a replacement selection pool, under the same terms and conditions that applied to the development and submission of the selection pool under paragraphs (1) through (5) of subsection (b). The replacement pool submitted under this paragraph may include individuals who were included in the rejected selection pool submitted under subsection (b), so long as at least one of the individuals in the replacement pool was not included in such rejected pool.

(2)

Action by Select Committee

(A)

In general

Not later than 14 days after receiving the replacement selection pool from the nonpartisan agency under paragraph (1), the Select Committee on Redistricting shall—

(i)

approve the pool as submitted by the nonpartisan agency, in which case the pool shall be considered the approved selection pool for purposes of section 2411(a)(1); or

(ii)

reject the pool, in which case the nonpartisan agency shall develop and submit a second replacement selection pool in accordance with subsection (d).

(B)

Inaction deemed rejection

If the Select Committee on Redistricting fails to approve or reject the pool within the deadline set forth in subparagraph (A), the Select Committee shall be deemed to have rejected the pool for purposes of such subparagraph.

(d)

Development of Second Replacement Selection Pool

(1)

In general

If the Select Committee on Redistricting rejects the replacement selection pool submitted by the nonpartisan agency under subsection (c), not later than 14 days after the rejection, the nonpartisan agency shall develop and submit to the Select Committee a second replacement selection pool, under the same terms and conditions that applied to the development and submission of the selection pool under paragraphs (1) through (5) of subsection (b). The second replacement selection pool submitted under this paragraph may include individuals who were included in the rejected selection pool submitted under subsection (b) or the rejected replacement selection pool submitted under subsection (c), so long as at least one of the individuals in the replacement pool was not included in either such rejected pool.

(2)

Action by Select Committee

(A)

In general

Not later than 14 days after receiving the second replacement selection pool from the nonpartisan agency under paragraph (1), the Select Committee on Redistricting shall—

(i)

approve the pool as submitted by the nonpartisan agency, in which case the pool shall be considered the approved selection pool for purposes of section 2411(a)(1); or

(ii)

reject the pool, in which case—

(I)

the nonpartisan agency shall not develop or submit any other selection pool for purposes of this subtitle; and

(II)

the United States District Court for the District of Columbia shall develop and enact the redistricting plan for the State, in accordance with section 2421.

(B)

Inaction deemed rejection

If the Select Committee on Redistricting fails to approve or reject the pool within the deadline set forth in subparagraph (A), the Select Committee shall be deemed to have rejected the pool for purposes of such subparagraph.

2413.

Criteria for redistricting plan by independent commission; public notice and input

(a)

Development of redistricting plan

(1)

Criteria

In developing a redistricting plan of a State, the independent redistricting commission of a State shall establish single-member congressional districts using the following criteria as set forth in the following order of priority:

(A)

Districts shall comply with the United States Constitution, including the requirement that they equalize total population.

(B)

Districts shall comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10301 et seq.) and all applicable Federal laws.

(C)

Districts shall provide racial, ethnic, and language minorities with an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and to elect candidates of choice and shall not dilute or diminish their ability to elect candidates of choice whether alone or in coalition with others.

(D)

Districts shall minimize the division of communities of interest, neighborhoods, and political subdivisions to the extent practicable. A community of interest is defined as an area with recognized similarities of interests, including but not limited to ethnic, economic, social, cultural, geographic or historic identities. The term communities of interest may, in circumstances, include political subdivisions such as counties, municipalities, or school districts, but shall not include common relationships with political parties, officeholders, or political candidates.

(2)

No favoring or disfavoring of political parties

The redistricting plan developed by the independent redistricting commission shall not, when considered on a Statewide basis, unduly favor or disfavor any political party.

(3)

Factors prohibited from consideration

In developing the redistricting plan for the State, the independent redistricting commission may not take into consideration any of the following factors, except to the extent necessary to comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965:

(A)

The political party affiliation or voting history of the population of a district.

(B)

The residence of any Member of the House of Representatives or candidate.

(b)

Public notice and input

(1)

Use of open and transparent process

The independent redistricting commission of a State shall hold each of its meetings in public, shall solicit and take into consideration comments from the public throughout the process of developing the redistricting plan for the State, and shall carry out its duties in an open and transparent manner which provides for the widest public dissemination reasonably possible of its proposed and final redistricting plans.

(2)

Website

The commission shall maintain a public internet site which is not affiliated with or maintained by the office of any elected official and which includes the following features:

(A)

General information on the commission and its members, including contact information.

(B)

An updated schedule of commission hearings and activities, including deadlines for the submission of comments.

(C)

All draft redistricting plans developed by the commission under subsection (c) and the final redistricting plan developed under subsection (d).

(D)

Live streaming of commission hearings and an archive of previous meetings and other commission records.

(E)

A method by which members of the public may submit comments directly to the commission.

(F)

Access to the demographic data used by the commission to develop the proposed redistricting plans, together with any software used to draw maps of proposed districts.

(3)

Public comment period

The commission shall solicit, accept, and consider comments from the public with respect to its duties, activities, and procedures at any time during the period—

(A)

which begins on January 1 of the year ending in the numeral one; and

(B)

which ends 7 days before the date of the meeting at which the commission shall vote on approving the final redistricting plan for enactment into law under subsection (d)(2).

(4)

Meetings and hearings in various geographic locations

To the greatest extent practicable, the commission shall hold its meetings and hearings in various geographic regions and locations throughout the State.

(c)

Development and Publication of Preliminary Redistricting Plan

(1)

In general

Prior to developing and publishing a final redistricting plan under subsection (d), the independent redistricting commission of a State shall develop and publish a preliminary redistricting plan.

(2)

Minimum public hearings prior to development

(A)

3 hearings required

Prior to developing a preliminary redistricting plan under this subsection, the commission shall hold not fewer than 3 public hearings at which members of the public may provide input and comments regarding the potential contents of redistricting plans for the State and the process by which the commission will develop the preliminary plan under this subsection.

(B)

Minimum period for notice prior to hearings

The commission shall notify the public through the website maintained under subsection (b)(2), as well as through publication of notice in newspapers of general circulation throughout the State, of the date, time, and location of each of the hearings held under this paragraph not fewer than 14 days prior to the date of the hearing.

(3)

Publication of preliminary plan

(A)

In general

The commission shall post the preliminary redistricting plan developed under this subsection, together with a report that includes the commission’s responses to any public comments received under subsection (b)(3), on the website maintained under subsection (b)(2), and shall provide for the publication of each such plan in newspapers of general circulation throughout the State.

(B)

Minimum period for notice prior to publication

Not fewer than 14 days prior to the date on which the commission posts and publishes the preliminary plan under this paragraph, the commission shall notify the public through the website maintained under subsection (b)(2), as well as through publication of notice in newspapers of general circulation throughout the State, of the pending publication of the plan.

(4)

Minimum period for public comment after publication of plan

The commission shall accept and consider comments from the public with respect to the preliminary redistricting plan published under paragraph (3) for not fewer than 30 days after the date on which the plan is published.

(5)

Post-publication hearings

(A)

3 hearings required

After posting and publishing the preliminary redistricting plan under paragraph (3), the commission shall hold not fewer than 3 public hearings at which members of the public may provide input and comments regarding the preliminary plan.

(B)

Minimum period for notice prior to hearings

The commission shall notify the public through the website maintained under subsection (b)(2), as well as through publication of notice in newspapers of general circulation throughout the State, of the date, time, and location of each of the hearings held under this paragraph not fewer than 14 days prior to the date of the hearing.

(6)

Permitting multiple preliminary plans

At the option of the commission, after developing and publishing the preliminary redistricting plan under this subsection, the commission may develop and publish subsequent preliminary redistricting plans, so long as the process for the development and publication of each such subsequent plan meets the requirements set forth in this subsection for the development and publication of the first preliminary redistricting plan.

(d)

Process for Enactment of Final Redistricting Plan

(1)

In general

After taking into consideration comments from the public on any preliminary redistricting plan developed and published under subsection (c), the independent redistricting commission of a State shall develop and publish a final redistricting plan for the State.

(2)

Meeting; final vote

Not later than August 15 of each year ending in the numeral one, the commission shall hold a public hearing at which the members of the commission shall vote on approving the final plan for enactment into law.

(3)

Publication of plan and accompanying materials

Not fewer than 14 days before the date of the meeting under paragraph (2), the commission shall provide the following information to the public through the website maintained under subsection (b)(2), as well as through newspapers of general circulation throughout the State:

(A)

The final redistricting plan, including all relevant maps.

(B)

A report by the commission to accompany the plan which provides the background for the plan and the commission’s reasons for selecting the plan as the final redistricting plan, including responses to the public comments received on any preliminary redistricting plan developed and published under subsection (c).

(C)

Any dissenting or additional views with respect to the plan of individual members of the commission.

(4)

Enactment

The final redistricting plan developed and published under this subsection shall be deemed to be enacted into law if—

(A)

the plan is approved by a majority of the whole membership of the commission; and

(B)

at least one member of the commission appointed from each of the categories of the approved selection pool described in section 2412(b)(1) approves the plan.

(e)

Deadline

The independent redistricting commission of a State shall approve a final redistricting plan for the State not later than August 15 of each year ending in the numeral one.

2414.

Establishment of related entities

(a)

Establishment or Designation of Nonpartisan Agency of State Legislature

(1)

In general

Each State shall establish a nonpartisan agency in the legislative branch of the State government to appoint the members of the independent redistricting commission for the State in accordance with section 2411.

(2)

Nonpartisanship described

For purposes of this subsection, an agency shall be considered to be nonpartisan if under law the agency—

(A)

is required to provide services on a nonpartisan basis;

(B)

is required to maintain impartiality; and

(C)

is prohibited from advocating for the adoption or rejection of any legislative proposal.

(3)

Designation of existing agency

At its option, a State may designate an existing agency in the legislative branch of its government to appoint the members of the independent redistricting commission plan for the State under this subtitle, so long as the agency meets the requirements for nonpartisanship under this subsection.

(4)

Termination of agency specifically established for redistricting

If a State does not designate an existing agency under paragraph (3) but instead establishes a new agency to serve as the nonpartisan agency under this section, the new agency shall terminate upon the enactment into law of the redistricting plan for the State.

(5)

Deadline

The State shall meet the requirements of this subsection not later than each August 15 of a year ending in the numeral nine.

(b)

Establishment of Select Committee on Redistricting

(1)

In general

Each State shall appoint a Select Committee on Redistricting to approve or disapprove a selection pool developed by the independent redistricting commission for the State under section 2412.

(2)

Appointment

The Select Committee on Redistricting for a State under this subsection shall consist of the following members:

(A)

1 member of the upper house of the State legislature, who shall be appointed by the leader of the party with the greatest number of seats in the upper house.

(B)

1 member of the upper house of the State legislature, who shall be appointed by the leader of the party with the second greatest number of seats in the upper house.

(C)

1 member of the lower house of the State legislature, who shall be appointed by the leader of the party with the greatest number of seats in the lower house.

(D)

1 member of the lower house of the State legislature, who shall be appointed by the leader of the party with the second greatest number of seats in the lower house.

(3)

Special rule for States with unicameral legislature

In the case of a State with a unicameral legislature, the Select Committee on Redistricting for the State under this subsection shall consist of the following members:

(A)

2 members of the State legislature appointed by the leader of the party with the greatest number of seats in the legislature.

(B)

2 members of the State legislature appointed by the leader of the party with the second greatest number of seats in legislature.

(4)

Deadline

The State shall meet the requirements of this subsection not later than each January 15 of a year ending in the numeral zero.

3

Role of Courts in Development of Redistricting Plans

2421.

Enactment of plan developed by 3-judge court

(a)

Development of Plan

If any of the triggering events described in subsection (c) occur with respect to a State—

(1)

not later than December 15 of the year in which the triggering event occurs, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, acting through a 3-judge court convened pursuant to section 2284 of title 28, United States Code, shall develop and publish the congressional redistricting plan for the State; and

(2)

the plan developed and published by the Court under this subsection shall be deemed to be enacted on the date on which the Court publishes the plan.

(b)

Procedures for Development of Plan

(1)

Criteria

It is the sense of Congress that, in developing a redistricting plan for a State under this section, the Court should adhere to the same terms and conditions that applied (or that would have applied, as the case may be) to the development of a plan by the independent redistricting commission of the State under section 2413(a).

(2)

Access to information and records of commission

The Court shall have access to any information, data, software, or other records and material that was used (or that would have been used, as the case may be) by the independent redistricting commission of the State in carrying out its duties under this subtitle.

(c)

Triggering Events Described

The triggering events described in this subsection are as follows:

(1)

The failure of the State to establish or designate a nonpartisan agency of the State legislature under section 2414(a) prior to the expiration of the deadline set forth in section 2414(a)(5).

(2)

The failure of the State to appoint a Select Committee on Redistricting under section 2414(b) prior to the expiration of the deadline set forth in section 2414(b)(4).

(3)

The failure of the Select Committee on Redistricting to approve any selection pool under section 2412 prior to the expiration of the deadline set forth for the approval of the second replacement selection pool in section 2412(d)(2).

(4)

The failure of the independent redistricting commission of the State to approve a final redistricting plan for the State prior to the expiration of the deadline set forth in section 2413(e).

2422.

Special rule for redistricting conducted under order of Federal court

If a Federal court requires a State to conduct redistricting subsequent to an apportionment of Representatives in the State in order to comply with the Constitution or to enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965, section 2413 shall apply with respect to the redistricting, except that the court may revise any of the deadlines set forth in such section if the court determines that a revision is appropriate in order to provide for a timely enactment of a new redistricting plan for the State.

4

Administrative and Miscellaneous Provisions

2431.

Payments to States for carrying out redistricting

(a)

Authorization of payments

Subject to subsection (d), not later than 30 days after a State receives a State apportionment notice, the Election Assistance Commission shall make a payment to the State in an amount equal to the product of—

(1)

the number of Representatives to which the State is entitled, as provided under the notice; and

(2)

$150,000.

(b)

Use of funds

A State shall use the payment made under this section to establish and operate the State’s independent redistricting commission, to implement the State redistricting plan, and to otherwise carry out Congressional redistricting in the State.

(c)

No payment to states with single member

The Election Assistance Commission shall not make a payment under this section to any State which is not entitled to more than one Representative under its State apportionment notice.

(d)

Requiring Submission of Selection Pool as Condition of Payment

The Election Assistance Commission may not make a payment to a State under this section until the State certifies to the Commission that the nonpartisan agency established or designated by a State under section 2414(a) has, in accordance with section 2412(b)(1), submitted a selection pool to the Select Committee on Redistricting for the State established under section 2414(b).

(e)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for payments under this section.

2432.

Civil enforcement

(a)

Civil Enforcement

(1)

Actions by Attorney General

The Attorney General may bring a civil action in an appropriate district court for such relief as may be appropriate to carry out this subtitle.

(2)

Availability of private right of action

Any citizen of a State who is aggrieved by the failure of the State redistricting plan which is enacted into law under section 2413 to meet the requirements for such a plan under this subtitle may bring a civil action in an appropriate district court for such relief as may be appropriate to remedy the failure, so long as the individual brings the action during the 45-day period which begins on the date on which the plan is enacted into law.

(b)

Expedited Consideration

In any action brought forth under this section, the following rules shall apply:

(1)

The action shall be filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and shall be heard by a 3-judge court convened pursuant to section 2284 of title 28, United States Code.

(2)

The 3-judge court shall consolidate actions brought for relief under subsection (b)(1) with respect to the same State redistricting plan.

(3)

A copy of the complaint shall be delivered promptly to the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate.

(4)

A final decision in the action shall be reviewable only by appeal directly to the Supreme Court of the United States. Such appeal shall be taken by the filing of a notice of appeal within 10 days, and the filing of a jurisdictional statement within 30 days, of the entry of the final decision.

(5)

It shall be the duty of the district court and the Supreme Court of the United States to advance on the docket and to expedite to the greatest possible extent the disposition of the action and appeal.

(c)

Attorney’s Fees

In a civil action under this section, the court may allow the prevailing party (other than the United States) reasonable attorney fees, including litigation expenses, and costs.

(d)

Relation to Other Laws

(1)

Rights and remedies additional to other rights and remedies

The rights and remedies established by this section are in addition to all other rights and remedies provided by law, and neither the rights and remedies established by this section nor any other provision of this subtitle shall supersede, restrict, or limit the application of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10301 et seq.).

(2)

Voting Rights Act of 1965

Nothing in this subtitle authorizes or requires conduct that is prohibited by the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10301 et seq.).

2433.

State apportionment notice defined

In this subtitle, the State apportionment notice means, with respect to a State, the notice sent to the State from the Clerk of the House of Representatives under section 22(b) of the Act entitled An Act to provide for the fifteenth and subsequent decennial censuses and to provide for an apportionment of Representatives in Congress, approved June 18, 1929 (2 U.S.C. 2a), of the number of Representatives to which the State is entitled.

2434.

No effect on elections for State and local office

Nothing in this subtitle or in any amendment made by this subtitle may be construed to affect the manner in which a State carries out elections for State or local office, including the process by which a State establishes the districts used in such elections.

2435.

Effective date

This subtitle and the amendments made by this subtitle shall apply with respect to redistricting carried out pursuant to the decennial census conducted during 2020 or any succeeding decennial census.

F

Saving Voters From Voter Purging

2501.

Short title

This subtitle may be cited as the Stop Automatically Voiding Eligible Voters Off Their Enlisted Rolls in States Act or the Save Voters Act.

2502.

Conditions for removal of voters from list of registered voters

(a)

Conditions described

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20501 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 8 the following new section:

8A.

Conditions for removal of voters from official list of registered voters

(a)

Verification on basis of objective and reliable evidence of ineligibility

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, a State may not remove any registrant from the official list of voters eligible to vote in elections for Federal office in the State unless the State verifies, on the basis of objective and reliable evidence, that the registrant is ineligible to vote in such elections on any of the grounds described in paragraph (3) or paragraph (4) of section 8(a).

(b)

Factors not considered as objective and reliable evidence of ineligibility

For purposes of subsection (a), the following factors, or any combination thereof, shall not be treated as objective and reliable evidence of a registrant’s ineligibility to vote:

(1)

The failure of the registrant to vote in any election.

(2)

The failure of the registrant to respond to any notice sent under section 8(d).

(3)

The failure of the registrant to take any other action with respect to voting in any election or with respect to the registrant’s status as a registrant.

.

(b)

Conforming amendments

(1)

National Voter Registration Act of 1993

Section 8(a) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20507(a)) is amended—

(A)

in paragraph (3), by striking provide and inserting subject to section 8A, provide; and

(B)

in paragraph (4), by striking conduct and inserting subject to section 8A, conduct.

(2)

Help America Vote Act of 2002

Section 303(a)(4)(A) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21083(a)(4)(A)) is amended by striking , registrants and inserting , and subject to section 8A of such Act, registrants.

(c)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

G

Severability

2601.

Severability

If any provision of this title or amendment made by this title, or the application of a provision or amendment to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this title and amendments made by this title, and the application of the provisions and amendment to any person or circumstance, shall not be affected by the holding.

III

Election Security

Sec. 3000. Short title; sense of Congress.

Subtitle A—Financial Support for Election Infrastructure

Part 1—Voting System Security Improvement Grants

Sec. 3001. Grants for obtaining compliant paper ballot voting systems and carrying out voting system security improvements.

Sec. 3002. Coordination of voting system security activities with use of requirements payments and election administration requirements under Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Sec. 3003. Incorporation of definitions.

Part 2—Grants for Risk-Limiting Audits of Results of Elections

Sec. 3011. Grants to States for conducting risk-limiting audits of results of elections.

Sec. 3012. GAO analysis of effects of audits.

Part 3—Election Infrastructure Innovation Grant Program

Sec. 3021. Election infrastructure innovation grant program.

Subtitle B—Security Measures

Sec. 3101. Election infrastructure designation.

Sec. 3102. Timely threat information.

Sec. 3103. Security clearance assistance for election officials.

Sec. 3104. Security risk and vulnerability assessments.

Sec. 3105. Annual reports.

Subtitle C—Enhancing Protections for United States Democratic Institutions

Sec. 3201. National strategy to protect United States democratic institutions.

Sec. 3202. National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions.

Subtitle D—Promoting Cybersecurity Through Improvements in Election Administration

Sec. 3301. Testing of existing voting systems to ensure compliance with election cybersecurity guidelines and other guidelines.

Sec. 3302. Treatment of electronic poll books as part of voting systems.

Sec. 3303. Pre-election reports on voting system usage.

Sec. 3304. Streamlining collection of election information.

Subtitle E—Preventing Election Hacking

Sec. 3401. Short title.

Sec. 3402. Election Security Bug Bounty Program.

Sec. 3403. Definitions.

Subtitle F—Miscellaneous Provisions

Sec. 3501. Definitions.

Sec. 3502. Initial report on adequacy of resources available for implementation.

Subtitle G—Severability

Sec. 3601. Severability.

3000.

Short title; sense of Congress

(a)

Short title

This title may be cited as the Election Security Act.

(b)

Sense of Congress on need To improve election infrastructure security

It is the sense of Congress that, in light of the lessons learned from Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, the Federal Government should intensify its efforts to improve the security of election infrastructure in the United States, including through the use of individual, durable, paper ballots marked by the voter by hand.

A

Financial Support for Election Infrastructure

1

Voting System Security Improvement Grants

3001.

Grants for obtaining compliant paper ballot voting systems and carrying out voting system security improvements

(a)

Availability of grants

Subtitle D of title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21001 et seq.), as amended by section 1906(a), is amended by adding at the end the following new part:

8

Grants for Obtaining Compliant Paper Ballot Voting Systems and Carrying Out Voting System Security Improvements

298.

Grants for obtaining compliant paper ballot voting systems and carrying out voting system security improvements

(a)

Availability and use of grant

The Commission shall make a grant to each eligible State—

(1)

to replace a voting system—

(A)

which does not meet the requirements which are first imposed on the State pursuant to the amendments made by the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2019 with a voting system which does meet such requirements, for use in the regularly scheduled general elections for Federal office held in November 2020, or

(B)

which does meet such requirements but which is not in compliance with the most recent voluntary voting system guidelines issued by the Commission prior to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2020 with another system which does meet such requirements and is in compliance with such guidelines; and

(2)

to carry out voting system security improvements described in section 298A with respect to the regularly scheduled general elections for Federal office held in November 2020 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

(b)

Amount of grant

The amount of a grant made to a State under this section shall be such amount as the Commission determines to be appropriate, except that such amount may not be less than the product of $1 and the average of the number of individuals who cast votes in any of the two most recent regularly scheduled general elections for Federal office held in the State.

(c)

Pro rata reductions

If the amount of funds appropriated for grants under this part is insufficient to ensure that each State receives the amount of the grant calculated under subsection (b), the Commission shall make such pro rata reductions in such amounts as may be necessary to ensure that the entire amount appropriated under this part is distributed to the States.

298A.

Voting system security improvements described

(a)

Permitted uses

A voting system security improvement described in this section is any of the following:

(1)

The acquisition of goods and services from qualified election infrastructure vendors by purchase, lease, or such other arrangements as may be appropriate.

(2)

Cyber and risk mitigation training.

(3)

A security risk and vulnerability assessment of the State’s election infrastructure which is carried out by a provider of cybersecurity services under a contract entered into between the chief State election official and the provider.

(4)

The maintenance of election infrastructure, including addressing risks and vulnerabilities which are identified under either of the security risk and vulnerability assessments described in paragraph (3), except that none of the funds provided under this part may be used to renovate or replace a building or facility which is used primarily for purposes other than the administration of elections for public office.

(5)

Providing increased technical support for any information technology infrastructure that the chief State election official deems to be part of the State’s election infrastructure or designates as critical to the operation of the State’s election infrastructure.

(6)

Enhancing the cybersecurity and operations of the information technology infrastructure described in paragraph (4).

(7)

Enhancing the cybersecurity of voter registration systems.

(b)

Qualified election infrastructure vendors described

(1)

In general

For purposes of this part, a qualified election infrastructure vendor is any person who provides, supports, or maintains, or who seeks to provide, support, or maintain, election infrastructure on behalf of a State, unit of local government, or election agency (as defined in section 3501 of the Election Security Act) who meets the criteria described in paragraph (2).

(2)

Criteria

The criteria described in this paragraph are such criteria as the Chairman, in coordination with the Secretary of Homeland Security, shall establish and publish, and shall include each of the following requirements:

(A)

The vendor must be owned and controlled by a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.

(B)

The vendor must disclose to the Chairman and the Secretary, and to the chief State election official of any State to which the vendor provides any goods and services with funds provided under this part, of any sourcing outside the United States for parts of the election infrastructure.

(C)

The vendor agrees to ensure that the election infrastructure will be developed and maintained in a manner that is consistent with the cybersecurity best practices issued by the Technical Guidelines Development Committee.

(D)

The vendor agrees to maintain its information technology infrastructure in a manner that is consistent with the cybersecurity best practices issued by the Technical Guidelines Development Committee.

(E)

The vendor agrees to meet the requirements of paragraph (3) with respect to any known or suspected cybersecurity incidents involving any of the goods and services provided by the vendor pursuant to a grant under this part.

(F)

The vendor agrees to permit independent security testing by the Commission (in accordance with section 231(a)) and by the Secretary of the goods and services provided by the vendor pursuant to a grant under this part.

(3)

Cybersecurity incident reporting requirements

(A)

In general

A vendor meets the requirements of this paragraph if, upon becoming aware of the possibility that an election cybersecurity incident has occurred involving any of the goods and services provided by the vendor pursuant to a grant under this part—

(i)

the vendor promptly assesses whether or not such an incident occurred, and submits a notification meeting the requirements of subparagraph (B) to the Secretary and the Chairman of the assessment as soon as practicable (but in no case later than 3 days after the vendor first becomes aware of the possibility that the incident occurred);

(ii)

if the incident involves goods or services provided to an election agency, the vendor submits a notification meeting the requirements of subparagraph (B) to the agency as soon as practicable (but in no case later than 3 days after the vendor first becomes aware of the possibility that the incident occurred), and cooperates with the agency in providing any other necessary notifications relating to the incident; and

(iii)

the vendor provides all necessary updates to any notification submitted under clause (i) or clause (ii).

(B)

Contents of notifications

Each notification submitted under clause (i) or clause (ii) of subparagraph (A) shall contain the following information with respect to any election cybersecurity incident covered by the notification:

(i)

The date, time, and time zone when the election cybersecurity incident began, if known.

(ii)

The date, time, and time zone when the election cybersecurity incident was detected.

(iii)

The date, time, and duration of the election cybersecurity incident.

(iv)

The circumstances of the election cybersecurity incident, including the specific election infrastructure systems believed to have been accessed and information acquired, if any.

(v)

Any planned and implemented technical measures to respond to and recover from the incident.

(vi)

In the case of any notification which is an update to a prior notification, any additional material information relating to the incident, including technical data, as it becomes available.

298B.

Eligibility of States

A State is eligible to receive a grant under this part if the State submits to the Commission, at such time and in such form as the Commission may require, an application containing—

(1)

a description of how the State will use the grant to carry out the activities authorized under this part;

(2)

a certification and assurance that, not later than 5 years after receiving the grant, the State will carry out risk-limiting audits and will carry out voting system security improvements, as described in section 298A; and

(3)

such other information and assurances as the Commission may require.

298C.

Reports to Congress

Not later than 90 days after the end of each fiscal year, the Commission shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees, including the Committees on Homeland Security, House Administration, and the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Committees on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Judiciary, and Rules and Administration of the Senate, on the activities carried out with the funds provided under this part.

298D.

Authorization of appropriations

(a)

Authorization

There are authorized to be appropriated for grants under this part—

(1)

$1,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2019; and

(2)

$175,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2020, 2022, 2024, and 2026.

(b)

Continuing availability of amounts

Any amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of this section shall remain available until expended.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1906(b), is amended by adding at the end of the items relating to subtitle D of title II the following:

Part 8—Grants for Obtaining Compliant Paper Ballot Voting Systems and Carrying Out Voting System Security Improvements

Sec. 298. Grants for obtaining compliant paper ballot voting systems and carrying out voting system security improvements.

Sec. 298A. Voting system security improvements described.

Sec. 298B. Eligibility of States.

Sec. 298C. Reports to Congress.

Sec. 298D. Authorization of appropriations.

.

3002.

Coordination of voting system security activities with use of requirements payments and election administration requirements under Help America Vote Act of 2002

(a)

Duties of Election Assistance Commission

Section 202 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 20922) is amended in the matter preceding paragraph (1) by striking by and inserting and the security of election infrastructure by.

(b)

Membership of Secretary of Homeland Security on Board of Advisors of Election Assistance Commission

Section 214(a) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20944(a)) is amended—

(1)

by striking 37 members and inserting 38 members; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(17)

The Secretary of Homeland Security or the Secretary’s designee.

.

(c)

Representative of Department of Homeland Security on Technical Guidelines Development Committee

Section 221(c)(1) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20961(c)(1)) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subparagraph (E) as subparagraph (F); and

(2)

by inserting after subparagraph (D) the following new subparagraph:

(E)

A representative of the Department of Homeland Security.

.

(d)

Goals of periodic studies of election administration issues; consultation with Secretary of Homeland Security

Section 241(a) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20981(a)) is amended—

(1)

in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking the Commission shall and inserting the Commission, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security (as appropriate), shall;

(2)

by striking and at the end of paragraph (3);

(3)

by redesignating paragraph (4) as paragraph (5); and

(4)

by inserting after paragraph (3) the following new paragraph:

(4)

will be secure against attempts to undermine the integrity of election systems by cyber or other means; and

.

(e)

Requirements payments

(1)

Use of payments for voting system security improvements

Section 251(b) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21001(b)), as amended by section 1905(b)(1), is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(5)

Permitting use of payments for voting system security improvements

A State may use a requirements payment to carry out any of the following activities:

(A)

Cyber and risk mitigation training.

(B)

Providing increased technical support for any information technology infrastructure that the chief State election official deems to be part of the State’s election infrastructure or designates as critical to the operation of the State’s election infrastructure.

(C)

Enhancing the cybersecurity and operations of the information technology infrastructure described in subparagraph (B).

(D)

Enhancing the security of voter registration databases.

.

(2)

Incorporation of election infrastructure protection in State plans for use of payments

Section 254(a)(1) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21004(a)(1)) is amended by striking the period at the end and inserting , including the protection of election infrastructure..

(3)

Composition of committee responsible for developing State plan for use of payments

Section 255 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21005) is amended—

(A)

by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (c); and

(B)

by inserting after subsection (a) the following new subsection:

(b)

Geographic representation

The members of the committee shall be a representative group of individuals from the State’s counties, cities, towns, and Indian tribes, and shall represent the needs of rural as well as urban areas of the State, as the case may be.

.

(f)

Ensuring protection of computerized Statewide voter registration list

Section 303(a)(3) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21083(a)(3)) is amended by striking the period at the end and inserting , as well as other measures to prevent and deter cybersecurity incidents, as identified by the Commission, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Technical Guidelines Development Committee..

3003.

Incorporation of definitions

(a)

In general

Section 901 of the Help America Vote Act of 2001 (52 U.S.C. 21141) is amended to read as follows:

901.

Definitions

In this Act, the following definitions apply:

(1)

The term cybersecurity incident has the meaning given the term incident in section 227 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 148).

(2)

The term election infrastructure has the meaning given such term in section 3501 of the Election Security Act.

(3)

The term State means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents of such Act is amended by amending the item relating to section 901 to read as follows:

Sec. 901. Definitions.

.

2

Grants for Risk-Limiting Audits of Results of Elections

3011.

Grants to States for conducting risk-limiting audits of results of elections

(a)

Availability of grants

Subtitle D of title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21001 et seq.), as amended by sections 1906(a) and 3001(a), is amended by adding at the end the following new part:

9

Grants for Conducting Risk-Limiting Audits of Results of Elections

299.

Grants for conducting risk-limiting audits of results of elections

(a)

Availability of grants

The Commission shall make a grant to each eligible State to conduct risk-limiting audits as described in subsection (b) with respect to the regularly scheduled general elections for Federal office held in November 2020 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

(b)

Risk-Limiting audits described

In this part, a risk-limiting audit is a post-election process—

(1)

which is conducted in accordance with rules and procedures established by the chief State election official of the State which meet the requirements of subsection (c); and

(2)

under which, if the reported outcome of the election is incorrect, there is at least a predetermined percentage chance that the audit will replace the incorrect outcome with the correct outcome as determined by a full, hand-to-eye tabulation of all votes validly cast in that election that ascertains voter intent manually and directly from voter-verifiable paper records.

(c)

Requirements for rules and procedures

The rules and procedures established for conducting a risk-limiting audit shall include the following elements:

(1)

Rules for ensuring the security of ballots and documenting that prescribed procedures were followed.

(2)

Rules and procedures for ensuring the accuracy of ballot manifests produced by election agencies.

(3)

Rules and procedures for governing the format of ballot manifests, cast vote records, and other data involved in the audit.

(4)

Methods to ensure that any cast vote records used in the audit are those used by the voting system to tally the election results sent to the chief State election official and made public.

(5)

Procedures for the random selection of ballots to be inspected manually during each audit.

(6)

Rules for the calculations and other methods to be used in the audit and to determine whether and when the audit of an election is complete.

(7)

Procedures and requirements for testing any software used to conduct risk-limiting audits.

(d)

Definitions

In this part, the following definitions apply:

(1)

The term ballot manifest means a record maintained by each election agency that meets each of the following requirements:

(A)

The record is created without reliance on any part of the voting system used to tabulate votes.

(B)

The record functions as a sampling frame for conducting a risk-limiting audit.

(C)

The record contains the following information with respect to the ballots cast and counted in the election:

(i)

The total number of ballots cast and counted by the agency (including undervotes, overvotes, and other invalid votes).

(ii)

The total number of ballots cast in each election administered by the agency (including undervotes, overvotes, and other invalid votes).

(iii)

A precise description of the manner in which the ballots are physically stored, including the total number of physical groups of ballots, the numbering system for each group, a unique label for each group, and the number of ballots in each such group.

(2)

The term incorrect outcome means an outcome that differs from the outcome that would be determined by a full tabulation of all votes validly cast in the election, determining voter intent manually, directly from voter-verifiable paper records.

(3)

The term outcome means the winner of an election, whether a candidate or a position.

(4)

The term reported outcome means the outcome of an election which is determined according to the canvass and which will become the official, certified outcome unless it is revised by an audit, recount, or other legal process.

299A.

Eligibility of States

A State is eligible to receive a grant under this part if the State submits to the Commission, at such time and in such form as the Commission may require, an application containing—

(1)

a certification that, not later than 5 years after receiving the grant, the State will conduct risk-limiting audits of the results of elections for Federal office held in the State as described in section 299;

(2)

a certification that, not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this section, the chief State election official of the State has established or will establish the rules and procedures for conducting the audits which meet the requirements of section 299(c);

(3)

a certification that the audit shall be completed not later than the date on which the State certifies the results of the election;

(4)

a certification that, after completing the audit, the State shall publish a report on the results of the audit, together with such information as necessary to confirm that the audit was conducted properly;

(5)

a certification that, if a risk-limiting audit conducted under this part leads to a full manual tally of an election, State law requires that the State or election agency shall use the results of the full manual tally as the official results of the election; and

(6)

such other information and assurances as the Commission may require.

299B.

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated for grants under this part $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2019, to remain available until expended.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by sections 1906(b) and 3001(b), is further amended by adding at the end of the items relating to subtitle D of title II the following:

Part 9—Grants for Conducting Risk-Limiting Audits of Results of Elections

Sec. 299. Grants for conducting risk-limiting audits of results of elections.

Sec. 299A. Eligibility of States.

Sec. 299B. Authorization of appropriations.

.

3012.

GAO analysis of effects of audits

(a)

Analysis

Not later than 6 months after the first election for Federal office is held after grants are first awarded to States for conducting risk-limiting under part 9 of subtitle D of title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (as added by section 3011) for conducting risk-limiting audits of elections for Federal office, the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct an analysis of the extent to which such audits have improved the administration of such elections and the security of election infrastructure in the States receiving such grants.

(b)

Report

The Comptroller General of the United States shall submit a report on the analysis conducted under subsection (a) to the appropriate congressional committees.

3

Election Infrastructure Innovation Grant Program

3021.

Election infrastructure innovation grant program

(a)

In general

Title III of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 181 et seq.) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating the second section 319 (relating to EMP and GMD mitigation research and development) as section 320; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new section:

321.

Election infrastructure innovation grant program

(a)

Establishment

The Secretary, acting through the Under Secretary for Science and Technology, in coordination with the Chairman of the Election Assistance Commission (established pursuant to the Help America Vote Act of 2002) and in consultation with the Director of the National Science Foundation, shall establish a competitive grant program to award grants to eligible entities, on a competitive basis, for purposes of research and development that are determined to have the potential to significantly to improve the security (including cybersecurity), quality, reliability, accuracy, accessibility, and affordability of election infrastructure.

(b)

Report to Congress

Not later than 90 days after the conclusion of each fiscal year for which grants are awarded under this section, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Homeland Security and the Committee on House Administration of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate a report describing such grants and analyzing the impact, if any, of such grants on the security and operation of election infrastructure.

(c)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $6,250,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2027 for purposes of carrying out this section.

(d)

Eligible entity defined

In this section, the term eligible entity means—

(1)

an institution of higher education (as defined in section 101(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(a)), including an institution of higher education that is a historically Black college or university (which has the meaning given the term “part B institution” in section 322 of such Act (20 U.S.C. 1061)) or other minority-serving institution listed in section 371(a) of such Act (20 U.S.C. 1067q(a));

(2)

an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from tax under section 501(a) of such Code; or

(3)