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


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 4, 2019 (Reported by House Committee).


IB

Union Calendar No. 5

116th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1

[Report No. 116–15, Part I]

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

March 4, 2019

Additional sponsors: Ms. Adams, Mr. Allred, Ms. Barragán, Mrs. Beatty, Mr. Beyer, Mr. Bishop of Georgia, Mr. Blumenauer, Ms. Bonamici, Mr. Brendan F. Boyle of Pennsylvania, Mr. Brown of Maryland, Ms. Brownley of California, Mrs. Bustos, Mr. Butterfield, Mr. Carbajal, Mr. Cárdenas, Mr. Cartwright, Mr. Case, Mr. Casten of Illinois, Ms. Castor of Florida, Ms. Judy Chu of California, Mr. Cicilline, Mr. Cisneros, Ms. Clark of Massachusetts, Ms. Clarke of New York, Mr. Clay, Mr. Clyburn, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Connolly, Mr. Cooper, Mr. Correa, Mr. Courtney, Mr. Cox of California, Mrs. Craig, Mr. Crist, Mr. Crow, Mr. Cummings, Ms. Davids of Kansas, Mr. Danny K. Davis of Illinois, Mrs. Davis of California, Ms. Dean, Mr. DeFazio, Ms. DeGette, Ms. DeLauro, Ms. DelBene, Mr. Delgado, Mrs. Demings, Mr. DeSaulnier, Mr. Deutch, Mrs. Dingell, Mr. Michael F. Doyle of Pennsylvania, Mr. Engel, Ms. Escobar, Ms. Eshoo, Mr. Espaillat, Mr. Evans, Mrs. Fletcher, Ms. Frankel, Ms. Gabbard, Mr. Gallego, Mr. Garamendi, Ms. Garcia of Texas, Mr. García of Illinois, Mr. Golden, Mr. Gomez, Mr. Green of Texas, Mr. Grijalva, Ms. Haaland, Mr. Harder of California, Mr. Hastings, Mrs. Hayes, Mr. Heck, Mr. Higgins of New York, Ms. Hill of California, Mr. Himes, Mr. Horsford, Ms. Houlahan, Mr. Hoyer, Mr. Huffman, Ms. Jackson Lee, Ms. Jayapal, Mr. Jeffries, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. Keating, Ms. Kelly of Illinois, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Khanna, Mr. Kildee, Mr. Kilmer, Mr. Kim, Mr. Kind, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, Mr. Krishnamoorthi, Ms. Kuster of New Hampshire, Mr. Lamb, Mr. Langevin, Mr. Larsen of Washington, Mr. Larson of Connecticut, Mrs. Lawrence, Mr. Lawson of Florida, Ms. Lee of California, Mrs. Lee of Nevada, Mr. Levin of Michigan, Mr. Levin of California, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Ted Lieu of California, Mr. Loebsack, Ms. Lofgren, Mr. Lowenthal, Mrs. Lowey, Mr. Luján, Mr. Lynch, Mr. Malinowski, Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, Mr. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, Ms. Matsui, Ms. McCollum, Mr. McEachin, Mr. McGovern, Mr. McNerney, Mr. Meeks, Ms. Meng, Mr. Morelle, Mr. Moulton, Ms. Mucarsel-Powell, Mr. Nadler, Mrs. Napolitano, Mr. Neal, Mr. Neguse, Mr. Norcross, Ms. Norton, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Ms. Omar, Mr. Pallone, Mr. Panetta, Mr. Pappas, Mr. Pascrell, Mr. Payne, Mr. Peters, Mr. Phillips, Ms. Pingree, Mr. Pocan, Ms. Porter, Ms. Pressley, Mr. Price of North Carolina, Mr. Quigley, Mr. Raskin, Miss Rice of New York, Mr. Rose of New York, Mr. Rouda, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mr. Ruppersberger, Mr. Rush, Mr. Ryan, Ms. Sánchez, Ms. Scanlon, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Schiff, Mr. Schneider, Ms. Schrier, Mr. Scott of Virginia, Mr. Serrano, Ms. Sewell of Alabama, Ms. Shalala, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Sires, Mr. Smith of Washington, Mr. Soto, Ms. Spanberger, Ms. Speier, Mr. Stanton, Mr. Suozzi, Mr. Swalwell of California, Mr. Takano, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Mr. Thompson of California, Ms. Titus, Ms. Tlaib, Mr. Tonko, Mrs. Torres of California, Mrs. Trahan, Mr. Trone, Ms. Underwood, Mr. Vargas, Mr. Veasey, Mr. Vela, Ms. Velázquez, Ms. Wasserman Schultz, Mrs. Watson Coleman, Ms. Waters, Mr. Welch, Ms. Wild, Ms. Wilson of Florida, Mr. Yarmuth, Mr. Castro of Texas, Mr. Carson of Indiana, Mr. Bera, Ms. Slotkin, Ms. Fudge, Ms. Johnson of Texas, Mr. Perlmutter, Mr. David Scott of Georgia, Mr. Ruiz, Ms. Moore, Mr. Foster, Mr. Cleaver, Mrs. McBath, Ms. Blunt Rochester, Mr. Aguilar, Ms. Bass, Mr. O'Halleran, Mr. Gottheimer, Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Costa, Mr. Lipinski, Ms. Wexton, Ms. Kendra S. Horn of Oklahoma, Mr. Doggett, Ms. Finkenauer, Mrs. Axne, Mr. Visclosky, Mrs. Luria, Mr. Van Drew, Mr. Peterson, Ms. Sherrill, Ms. Stevens, Mrs. Murphy, Mr. Brindisi, Mr. Schrader, Mr. Gonzalez of Texas, Mr. McAdams, Ms. Torres Small of New Mexico, Mr. Sablan, Mr. Cuellar, and Mr. Richmond


March 4, 2019

Reported from the Committee on House Administration with an amendment

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic

March 4, 2019

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 discharged; committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on January 3, 2019


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. [Reserved].

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

Subtitle C—Prohibiting Voter Caging

Sec. 1201. [Reserved].

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

Subtitle D—[Reserved]

Subtitle E—[Reserved]

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. [Reserved].

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 institutions of higher education.

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

Sec. 1903. [Reserved].

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

Sec. 1905. [Reserved].

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—[Reserved]

Subtitle B—[Reserved]

Subtitle C—[Reserved]

Subtitle D—[Reserved]

Subtitle E—[Reserved]

Subtitle F—Saving Eligible Voters From Voter Purging

Sec. 2501. Short title.

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

Subtitle G—No Effect on Authority of States to Provide Greater Opportunities for Voting

Sec. 2601. No effect on authority of States to provide greater opportunities for voting.

Subtitle H—Severability

Sec. 2701. 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—[Reserved]

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—[Reserved]

Subtitle F—[Reserved]

Subtitle G—[Reserved]

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.

Sec. 5207. Use of Freedom From Influence Fund as source of payments.

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.

Sec. 5218. Use of Freedom From Influence Fund as source of payments.

Part 3—Effective Date

Sec. 5221. Effective date.

Subtitle D—Personal Use Services as Authorized Campaign Expenditures

Sec. 5301. Short title; findings; purpose.

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. Restrictions on ex parte communications.

Sec. 6008. 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—[Reserved]

Title VIII—[Reserved]

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. [Reserved].

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—[Reserved]

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. [Reserved].

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

Subtitle C—Prohibiting Voter Caging

Sec. 1201. [Reserved].

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

Subtitle D—[Reserved]

Subtitle E—[Reserved]

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. [Reserved].

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 institutions of higher education.

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

Sec. 1903. [Reserved].

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

Sec. 1905. [Reserved].

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 and correction of existing registration information

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

Not later than 7 days after 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 provided the official with an electronic mail address, 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)

Accessibility of services

A state shall ensure that the services made available under this section are made available to individuals with disabilities to the same extent as services are made available to all other individuals.

(h)

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.

(i)

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

Not later than 7 days after 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 E–Mail 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 for Federal office 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 substantially 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)

not later than 120 days after a contributing agency has transmitted such information with respect to the individual, 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, 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)

Special rule for institutions of higher education

(A)

Special rule

For purposes of this part, each institution of higher education described in subparagraph (B) shall be treated as a contributing agency in the State in which it is located, except that—

(i)

the institution shall be treated as a contributing agency only if, in its normal course of operations, the institution requests each student registering for enrollment in a course of study, including enrollment in a program of distance education, as defined in section 103(7) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1003(7)), to affirm whether or not the student is a United States citizen; and

(ii)

if the institution is treated as a contributing agency in a State pursuant to clause (i), the institution shall serve as a contributing agency only with respect to students, including students enrolled in a program of distance education, as defined in section 103(7) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1003(7)), who reside in the State.

(B)

Institutions described

An institution described in this subparagraph is an institution of higher education which has a program participation agreement in effect with the Secretary of Education under section 487 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1094) and which is located in a State to which section 4(b) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20503(b)) does not apply.

(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 or State 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 subsections (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), including in electronic form and through electronic methods, all records of changes to voter records, including removals, the reasons for 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)

not later than 45 days after the deadline for public notice and comment, 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 not later than 45 days after the deadline for public notice and comment. 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 (3) and (4). 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 (3) and (4) 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 (or, in the case of a State in which an individual is automatically registered to vote at the time the individual applies for benefits or services with a Permanent Dividend Fund of the State, provides the appropriate official of such Fund) 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, in addition to any other conditions imposed under this Act on the authority of the State to remove the name of the voter from such a list, 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 (D) of section 8(c)(2) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20507(c)(2)), as redesignated by subsection (a)(1), 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.

[Reserved]

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 within the deadline for the election which is applicable under Federal law;

(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.

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.

[Reserved]

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

[Reserved]

E

[Reserved]

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 2020 or any succeeding year.

(B)

Delay for jurisdictions using certain paper record printers or certain systems using or producing voter-verifiable paper records in 2018

(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 2020 were a reference to 2022, 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-verified 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 2018; 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 2020 or any succeeding year were a reference to elections for Federal office occurring held in 2022 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

(1)

Requirement

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 (subject to the requirements of paragraph (2)).

(2)

Due process requirements

(A)

Notice and opportunity to cure discrepancy

If an individual submits an absentee ballot and the appropriate State or local election official determines that a discrepancy exists between the signature on such ballot and the signature of such individual on the official list of registered voters in the State, such election official, prior to making a final determination as to the validity of such ballot, shall make a good faith effort to immediately notify such individual by mail, telephone, and (if available) electronic mail that—

(i)

a discrepancy exists between the signature on such ballot and the signature of such individual on the official list of registered voters in the State;

(ii)

such individual may provide the official with information to cure such discrepancy, either in person, by telephone, or by electronic methods; and

(iii)

if such discrepancy is not cured prior to the expiration of the 7-day period which begins on the date of the election, such ballot will not be counted.

(B)

Other requirements

An election official may not make a determination that a discrepancy exists between the signature on an absentee ballot and the signature of the individual who submits the ballot on the official list of registered voters in the State unless—

(i)

at least 2 election officials make the determination; and

(ii)

each official who makes the determination has received training in procedures used to verify signatures.

(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 received by 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.

.

(d)

Development of biometric verification

(1)

Development of standards

The National Institute of Standards, in consultation with the Election Assistance Commission, shall develop standards for the use of biometric methods which could be used voluntarily in place of the signature verification requirements of section 307(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (as added by subsection (a)) for purposes of verifying the identification of an individual voting by absentee ballot in elections for Federal office.

(2)

Public notice and comment

The National Institute of Standards shall solicit comments from the public in the development of standards under paragraph (1).

(3)

Deadline

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the National Institute of Standards shall publish the standards developed under paragraph (1).

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.

[Reserved]

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—

(A)

such official recuses himself or herself from all of the official’s responsibilities for the administration of such election; and

(B)

the official who assumes responsibility for supervising the administration of the election does not report directly to such official.

(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 institutions of higher education

(a)

Treatment of certain institutions as voter registration agencies under National Voter Registration Act of 1993

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 which has a program participation agreement in effect with the Secretary of Education under section 487 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1094), other than an institution which is treated as a contributing agency under the Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2019.

; 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, including enrollment in a program of distance education, as defined in section 103(7) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1003(7)), after assistance,.

(b)

Responsibilities of institutions under Higher Education Act of 1965

(1)

In general

Section 487(a)(23) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1094(a)(23)) is amended to read as follows:

(23)
(A)
(i)

The institution will ensure that an appropriate staff person or office is designated publicly as a Campus Vote Coordinator and will ensure that such person’s or office’s contact information is included on the institution’s website.

(ii)

Not fewer than twice during each calendar year (beginning with 2020), the Campus Vote Coordinator shall transmit electronically to each student enrolled in the institution (including students enrolled in distance education programs) a message containing the following information:

(I)

Information on the location of polling places in the jurisdiction in which the institution is located, together with information on available methods of transportation to and from such polling places.

(II)

A referral to a government-affiliated website or online platform which provides centralized voter registration information for all States, including access to applicable voter registration forms and information to assist individuals who are not registered to vote in registering to vote.

(III)

Any additional voter registration and voting information the Coordinator considers appropriate, in consultation with the appropriate State election official.

(iii)

In addition to transmitting the message described in clause (ii) not fewer than twice during each calendar year, the Campus Vote Coordinator shall transmit the message under such clause not fewer than 30 days prior to the deadline for registering to vote for any election for Federal, State, or local office in the State.

(B)

If the institution in its normal course of operations requests each student registering for enrollment in a course of study, including students registering for enrollment in a program of distance education, to affirm whether or not the student is a United States citizen, the institution will comply with the applicable requirements for a contributing agency under the Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2019.

(C)

If the institution is not described in subparagraph (B), the institution will comply with the requirements for a voter registration agency in the State in which it is located in accordance with section 7 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20506).

(D)

This paragraph applies only with respect to an institution which is located in a State to which section 4(b) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20503(b)) does not apply.

.

(2)

Effective date

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

(c)

Grants to institutions demonstrating excellence in student voter registration

(1)

Grants authorized

The Secretary of Education may award competitive grants to public and private nonprofit institutions of higher education that are subject to the requirements of section 487(a)(23) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1094(a)(23)), as amended by subsection (a) and that the Secretary determines have demonstrated excellence in registering students to vote in elections for public office beyond meeting the minimum requirements of such section.

(2)

Eligibility

An institution of higher education is eligible to receive a grant under this subsection if the institution submits to the Secretary of Education, at such time and in such form as the Secretary may require, an application containing such information and assurances as the Secretary may require to make the determination described in paragraph (1), including information and assurances that the institution carried out activities to promote voter registration by students, such as the following:

(A)

Sponsoring large on-campus voter mobilization efforts.

(B)

Engaging the surrounding community in nonpartisan voter registration and get out the vote efforts.

(C)

Creating a website for students with centralized information about voter registration and election dates.

(D)

Inviting candidates to speak on campus.

(E)

Offering rides to students to the polls to increase voter education, registration, and mobilization.

(3)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2020 and each succeeding fiscal year such sums as may be necessary to award grants under this subsection.

(d)

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.

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.

[Reserved]

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 identity 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)

Development of pre-printed version of statement by Commission

The Commission shall develop 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 for use by election officials in States which are subject to paragraph (1).

(3)

Providing pre-printed copy of statement

A State which is subject to paragraph (1) shall—

(A)

make copies of the pre-printed version of the statement described in paragraph (1)(A) which is prepared by the Commission available at polling places for election officials to distribute to individuals who desire to vote in person; and

(B)

include a copy of such pre-printed version of the statement with each blank absentee or other ballot transmitted to an individual who desires to vote by mail.

(b)

Requiring use of ballot in same manner as individuals presenting identification

An individual who presents or submits a sworn written statement in accordance with subsection (a)(1) shall be permitted to cast a 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.

.

(e)

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.

[Reserved]

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 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 title 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.

(c)

No effect on authority of States to provide greater opportunities for voting

Nothing in this title or the amendments made by this title may be construed to prohibit any State from enacting any law which provides greater opportunities for individuals to register to vote and to vote in elections for Federal office than are provided by this title and the amendments made by this title.

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—[Reserved]

Subtitle B—[Reserved]

Subtitle C—[Reserved]

Subtitle D—[Reserved]

Subtitle E—[Reserved]

Subtitle F—Saving Eligible Voters From Voter Purging

Sec. 2501. Short title.

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

Subtitle G—No Effect on Authority of States to Provide Greater Opportunities for Voting

Sec. 2601. No effect on authority of States to provide greater opportunities for voting.

Subtitle H—Severability

Sec. 2701. Severability.

A

[Reserved]

B

[Reserved]

C

[Reserved]

D

[Reserved]

E

[Reserved]

F

Saving Eligible 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

(1)

Requiring verification

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, a State may not remove the name of 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.

(2)

Factors not considered as objective and reliable evidence of ineligibility

For purposes of paragraph (2), the following factors, or any combination thereof, shall not be treated as objective and reliable evidence of a registrant’s ineligibility to vote:

(A)

The failure of the registrant to vote in any election.

(B)

The failure of the registrant to respond to any notice sent under section 8(d), unless the notice has been returned as undeliverable.

(C)

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)

Notice after removal

(1)

Notice to individual removed

(A)

In general

Not later than 48 hours after a State removes the name of a registrant from the official list of eligible voters for any reason (other than the death of the registrant), the State shall send notice of the removal to the former registrant, and shall include in the notice the grounds for the removal and information how the former registrant may contest the removal, including a telephone number for the appropriate election official., and how to contest the removal or be reinstated, including a contact phone number.

(B)

Exceptions

Subparagraph (A) does not apply in the case of a registrant—

(i)

who sends written confirmation to the State that the registrant is no longer eligible to vote in the registrar’s jurisdiction in which the registrant was registered; or

(ii)

who is removed from the official list of eligible voters by reason of the death of the registrant.

(2)

Public notice

Not later than 48 hours after conducting any general program to remove the names of ineligible voters from the official list of eligible voters (as described in section 8(a)(4)), the State shall disseminate a public notice through such methods as may be reasonable to reach the general public (including by publishing the notice in a newspaper of wide circulation or posting the notice on the websites of the appropriate election officials) that list maintenance is taking place and that registrants should check their registration status to ensure no errors or mistakes have been made. The State shall ensure that the public notice disseminated under this paragraph is in a format that is reasonably convenient and accessible to voters with disabilities, including voters who have low vision or are blind.

.

(b)

Conditions for transmission of notices of removal

Section 8(d) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20507(d)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(4)

A State may not transmit a notice to a registrant under this subsection unless the State obtains objective and reliable evidence (in accordance with the standards for such evidence which are described in section 8A(a)(2)) that the registrant has changed residence to a place outside the registrar’s jurisdiction in which the registrant is registered.

.

(c)

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.

(d)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

G

No Effect on Authority of States to Provide Greater Opportunities for Voting

2601.

No effect on authority of States to provide greater opportunities for voting

Nothing in this title or the amendments made by this title may be construed to prohibit any State from enacting any law which provides greater opportunities for individuals to register to vote and to vote in elections for Federal office than are provided by this title and the amendments made by this title.

H

Severability

2701.

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—[Reserved]

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.

(d)

Ability of replacement systems to administer ranked choice elections

To the greatest extent practicable, an eligible State which receives a grant to replace a voting system under this section shall ensure that the replacement system is capable of administering a system of ranked choice voting under which each voter shall rank the candidates for the office in the order of the voter’s preference.

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 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 1061(a)(2), is further 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 2002 (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

[Reserved]

B

Security Measures

3101.

Election infrastructure designation

Subparagraph (J) of section 2001(3) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 601(3)) is amended by inserting , including election infrastructure before the period at the end.

3102.

Timely threat information

Subsection (d) of section 201 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 121) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(24)

To provide timely threat information regarding election infrastructure to the chief State election official of the State with respect to which such information pertains.

.

3103.

Security clearance assistance for election officials

In order to promote the timely sharing of information on threats to election infrastructure, the Secretary may—

(1)

help expedite a security clearance for the chief State election official and other appropriate State personnel involved in the administration of elections, as designated by the chief State election official;

(2)

sponsor a security clearance for the chief State election official and other appropriate State personnel involved in the administration of elections, as designated by the chief State election official; and

(3)

facilitate the issuance of a temporary clearance to the chief State election official and other appropriate State personnel involved in the administration of elections, as designated by the chief State election official, if the Secretary determines classified information to be timely and relevant to the election infrastructure of the State at issue.

3104.

Security risk and vulnerability assessments

(a)

In general

Paragraph (6) of section 2209(c) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 659(c)) is amended by inserting (including by carrying out a security risk and vulnerability assessment) after risk management support.

(b)

Prioritization to enhance election security

(1)

In general

Not later than 90 days after receiving a written request from a chief State election official, the Secretary shall, to the extent practicable, commence a security risk and vulnerability assessment (pursuant to paragraph (6) of section 227(c) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, as amended by subsection (a)) on election infrastructure in the State at issue.

(2)

Notification

If the Secretary, upon receipt of a request described in paragraph (1), determines that a security risk and vulnerability assessment cannot be commenced within 90 days, the Secretary shall expeditiously notify the chief State election official who submitted such request.

3105.

Annual reports

(a)

Reports on assistance and assessments

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act and annually thereafter through 2026, the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees—

(1)

efforts to carry out section 203 during the prior year, including specific information on which States were helped, how many officials have been helped in each State, how many security clearances have been sponsored in each State, and how many temporary clearances have been issued in each State; and

(2)

efforts to carry out section 205 during the prior year, including specific information on which States were helped, the dates on which the Secretary received a request for a security risk and vulnerability assessment pursuant to such section, the dates on which the Secretary commenced each such request, and the dates on which the Secretary transmitted a notification in accordance with subsection (b)(2) of such section.

(b)

Reports on foreign threats

Not later than 90 days after the end of each fiscal year (beginning with fiscal year 2019), the Secretary and the Director of National Intelligence, in coordination with the heads of appropriate offices of the Federal government, shall submit a joint report to the appropriate congressional committees on foreign threats to elections in the United States, including physical and cybersecurity threats.

(c)

Information from States

For purposes of preparing the reports required under this section, the Secretary shall solicit and consider information and comments from States and election agencies, except that the provision of such information and comments by a State or election agency shall be voluntary and at the discretion of the State or agency.

C

Enhancing Protections for United States Democratic Institutions

3201.

National strategy to protect United States democratic institutions

(a)

In general

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President, acting through the Secretary, in consultation with the Chairman, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Education, the Director of National Intelligence, the Chairman of the Federal Election Commission, and the heads of any other appropriate Federal agencies, shall issue a national strategy to protect against cyber attacks, influence operations, disinformation campaigns, and other activities that could undermine the security and integrity of United States democratic institutions.

(b)

Considerations

The national strategy required under subsection (a) shall include consideration of the following:

(1)

The threat of a foreign state actor, foreign terrorist organization (as designated pursuant to section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1189)), or a domestic actor carrying out a cyber attack, influence operation, disinformation campaign, or other activity aimed at undermining the security and integrity of United States democratic institutions.

(2)

The extent to which United States democratic institutions are vulnerable to a cyber attack, influence operation, disinformation campaign, or other activity aimed at undermining the security and integrity of such democratic institutions.

(3)

Potential consequences, such as an erosion of public trust or an undermining of the rule of law, that could result from a successful cyber attack, influence operation, disinformation campaign, or other activity aimed at undermining the security and integrity of United States democratic institutions.

(4)

Lessons learned from other Western governments the institutions of which were subject to a cyber attack, influence operation, disinformation campaign, or other activity aimed at undermining the security and integrity of such institutions, as well as actions that could be taken by the United States Government to bolster collaboration with foreign partners to detect, deter, prevent, and counter such activities.

(5)

Potential impacts such as an erosion of public trust in democratic institutions as could be associated with a successful cyber breach or other activity negatively-affecting election infrastructure.

(6)

Roles and responsibilities of the Secretary, the Chairman, and the heads of other Federal entities and non-Federal entities, including chief State election officials and representatives of multi-state information sharing and analysis center.

(7)

Any findings, conclusions, and recommendations to strengthen protections for United States democratic institutions that have been agreed to by a majority of Commission members on the National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions, authorized pursuant to section 32002.

(c)

Implementation plan

Not later than 90 days after the issuance of the national strategy required under subsection (a), the President, acting through the Secretary, in coordination with the Chairman, shall issue an implementation plan for Federal efforts to implement such strategy that includes the following:

(1)

Strategic objectives and corresponding tasks.

(2)

Projected timelines and costs for the tasks referred to in paragraph (1).

(3)

Metrics to evaluate performance of such tasks.

(d)

Classification

The national strategy required under subsection (a) shall be in unclassified form but may contain a classified annex.

3202.

National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions

(a)

Establishment

There is established within the legislative branch the National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions (hereafter in this section referred to as the Commission).

(b)

Purpose

The purpose of the Commission is to counter efforts to undermine democratic institutions within the United States.

(c)

Composition

(1)

Membership

The Commission shall be composed of 10 members appointed for the life of the Commission as follows:

(A)

One member shall be appointed by the Secretary.

(B)

One member shall be appointed by the Chairman.

(C)

2 members shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, in consultation with the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Administration.

(D)

2 members shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, in consultation with the ranking minority member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary, and the ranking minority member of the Committee on Rules and Administration.

(E)

2 members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in consultation with the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, the Chairman of the Committee on House Administration, and the Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary.

(F)

2 members shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, in consultation with the ranking minority member of the Committee on Homeland Security, the ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary, and the ranking minority member of the Committee on House Administration.

(2)

Qualifications

Individuals shall be selected for appointment to the Commission solely on the basis of their professional qualifications, achievements, public stature, experience, and expertise in relevant fields, including, but not limited to cybersecurity, national security, and the Constitution of the United States.

(3)

No compensation for service

Members shall not receive compensation for service on the Commission, but shall receive travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in accordance with chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code.

(4)

Deadline for appointment

All members of the Commission shall be appointed no later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(5)

Vacancies

A vacancy on the Commission shall not affect its powers and shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made. The appointment of the replacement member shall be made not later than 60 days after the date on which the vacancy occurs.

(d)

Chair and Vice Chair

The Commission shall elect a Chair and Vice Chair from among its members.

(e)

Quorum and meetings

(1)

Quorum

The Commission shall meet and begin the operations of the Commission not later than 30 days after the date on which all members have been appointed or, if such meeting cannot be mutually agreed upon, on a date designated by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro Tempore of the Senate. Each subsequent meeting shall occur upon the call of the Chair or a majority of its members. A majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number may hold meetings.

(2)

Authority of individuals to act for Commission

Any member of the Commission may, if authorized by the Commission, take any action that the Commission is authorized to take under this section.

(f)

Powers

(1)

Hearings and evidence

The Commission (or, on the authority of the Commission, any subcommittee or member thereof) may, for the purpose of carrying out this section, hold hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths as the Commission considers advisable to carry out its duties.

(2)

Contracting

The Commission may, to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts, enter into contracts to enable the Commission to discharge its duties under this section.

(g)

Assistance from Federal agencies

(1)

General Services Administration

The Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission on a reimbursable basis administrative support and other services for the performance of the Commission’s functions.

(2)

Other departments and agencies

In addition to the assistance provided under paragraph (1), the Department of Homeland Security, the Election Assistance Commission, and other appropriate departments and agencies of the United States shall provide to the Commission such services, funds, facilities, and staff as they may determine advisable and as may be authorized by law.

(h)

Public meetings

Any public meetings of the Commission shall be conducted in a manner consistent with the protection of information provided to or developed for or by the Commission as required by any applicable statute, regulation, or Executive order.

(i)

Security clearances

(1)

In general

The heads of appropriate departments and agencies of the executive branch shall cooperate with the Commission to expeditiously provide Commission members and staff with appropriate security clearances to the extent possible under applicable procedures and requirements.

(2)

Preferences

In appointing staff, obtaining detailees, and entering into contracts for the provision of services for the Commission, the Commission shall give preference to individuals otherwise who have active security clearances.

(j)

Reports

(1)

Interim reports

At any time prior to the submission of the final report under paragraph (2), the Commission may submit interim reports to the President and Congress such findings, conclusions, and recommendations to strengthen protections for democratic institutions in the United States as have been agreed to by a majority of the members of the Commission.

(2)

Final report

Not later than 18 months after the date of the first meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall submit to the President and Congress a final report containing such findings, conclusions, and recommendations to strengthen protections for democratic institutions in the United States as have been agreed to by a majority of the members of the Commission.

(k)

Termination

(1)

In general

The Commission shall terminate upon the expiration of the 60-day period which begins on the date on which the Commission submits the final report required under subsection (j)(2).

(2)

Administrative activities prior to termination

During the 60-day period described in paragraph (2), the Commission may carry out such administrative activities as may be required to conclude its work, including providing testimony to committees of Congress concerning the final report and disseminating the final report.

D

Promoting Cybersecurity Through Improvements in Election Administration

3301.

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

(a)

Requiring testing of existing voting systems

(1)

In general

Section 231(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 20971(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(3)

Testing to ensure compliance with guidelines

(A)

Testing

Not later than 9 months before the date of each regularly scheduled general election for Federal office, the Commission shall provide for the testing by accredited laboratories under this section of the voting system hardware and software which was certified for use in the most recent such election, on the basis of the most recent voting system guidelines applicable to such hardware or software (including election cybersecurity guidelines) issued under this Act.

(B)

Decertification of hardware or software failing to meet guidelines

If, on the basis of the testing described in subparagraph (A), the Commission determines that any voting system hardware or software does not meet the most recent guidelines applicable to such hardware or software issued under this Act, the Commission shall decertify such hardware or software.

.

(2)

Effective date

The amendment made by paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2020 and each succeeding regularly scheduled general election for Federal office.

(b)

Issuance of cybersecurity guidelines by Technical Guidelines Development Committee

Section 221(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 20961(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(3)

Election cybersecurity guidelines

Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this paragraph, the Development Committee shall issue election cybersecurity guidelines, including standards and best practices for procuring, maintaining, testing, operating, and updating election systems to prevent and deter cybersecurity incidents.

.

3302.

Treatment of electronic poll books as part of voting systems

(a)

Inclusion in definition of voting system

Section 301(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081(b)) is amended—

(1)

in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking this section and inserting this Act;

(2)

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

(3)

by redesignating paragraph (2) as paragraph (3); and

(4)

by inserting after paragraph (1) the following new paragraph:

(2)

any electronic poll book used with respect to the election; and

.

(b)

Definition

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

(1)

by redesignating subsections (c) and (d) as subsections (d) and (e); and

(2)

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

(c)

Electronic poll book defined

In this Act, the term electronic poll book means the total combination of mechanical, electromechanical, or electronic equipment (including the software, firmware, and documentation required to program, control, and support the equipment) that is used—

(1)

to retain the list of registered voters at a polling location, or vote center, or other location at which voters cast votes in an election for Federal office; and

(2)

to identify registered voters who are eligible to vote in an election.

.

(c)

Effective date

Section 301(e) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21081(e)), as redesignated by subsection (b), is amended by striking the period at the end and inserting the following: , or, with respect to any requirements relating to electronic poll books, on and after January 1, 2020..

3303.

Pre-election reports on voting system usage

(a)

Requiring States to submit reports

Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 301 the following new section:

301A.

Pre-election reports on voting system usage

(a)

Requiring States to submit reports

Not later than 120 days before the date of each regularly scheduled general election for Federal office, the chief State election official of a State shall submit a report to the Commission containing a detailed voting system usage plan for each jurisdiction in the State which will administer the election, including a detailed plan for the usage of electronic poll books and other equipment and components of such system.

(b)

Effective date

Subsection (a) shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2020 and each succeeding regularly scheduled general election for Federal office.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents of such Act is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 301 the following new item:

Sec. 301A. Pre-election reports on voting system usage.

.

3304.

Streamlining collection of election information

Section 202 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 20922) is amended—

(1)

by striking The Commission and inserting (a) In general.—The Commission; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(b)

Waiver of certain requirements

Subchapter I of chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code, shall not apply to the collection of information for purposes of maintaining the clearinghouse described in paragraph (1) of subsection (a).

.

E

Preventing Election Hacking

3401.

Short title

This subtitle may be cited as the Prevent Election Hacking Act of 2019.

3402.

Election Security Bug Bounty Program

(a)

Establishment

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish a program to be known as the Election Security Bug Bounty Program (hereafter in this subtitle referred to as the Program) to improve the cybersecurity of the systems used to administer elections for Federal office by facilitating and encouraging assessments by independent technical experts, in cooperation with State and local election officials and election service providers, to identify and report election cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

(b)

Voluntary participation by election officials and election service providers

(1)

No requirement to participate in program

Participation in the Program shall be entirely voluntary for State and local election officials and election service providers.

(2)

Encouraging participation and input from election officials

In developing the Program, the Secretary shall solicit input from, and encourage participation by, State and local election officials.

(c)

Activities funded

In establishing and carrying out the Program, the Secretary shall—

(1)

establish a process for State and local election officials and election service providers to voluntarily participate in the Program;

(2)

designate appropriate information systems to be included in the Program;

(3)

provide compensation to eligible individuals, organizations, and companies for reports of previously unidentified security vulnerabilities within the information systems designated under subparagraph (A) and establish criteria for individuals, organizations, and companies to be considered eligible for such compensation in compliance with Federal laws;

(4)

consult with the Attorney General on how to ensure that approved individuals, organizations, or companies that comply with the requirements of the Program are protected from prosecution under section 1030 of title 18, United States Code, and similar provisions of law, and from liability under civil actions for specific activities authorized under the Program;

(5)

consult with the Secretary of Defense and the heads of other departments and agencies that have implemented programs to provide compensation for reports of previously undisclosed vulnerabilities in information systems, regarding lessons that may be applied from such programs;

(6)

develop an expeditious process by which an individual, organization, or company can register with the Department, submit to a background check as determined by the Department, and receive a determination as to eligibility for participation in the Program; and

(7)

engage qualified interested persons, including representatives of private entities, about the structure of the Program and, to the extent practicable, establish a recurring competition for independent technical experts to assess election systems for the purpose of identifying and reporting election cybersecurity vulnerabilities;

(d)

Use of service providers

The Secretary may award competitive contracts as necessary to manage the Program.

3403.

Definitions

In this subtitle, the following definitions apply:

(1)

The terms election and Federal office have the meanings given such terms in section 301 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30101).

(2)

The term election cybersecurity vulnerability means any security vulnerability (as defined in section 102 of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (6 U.S.C. 1501)) that affects an election system.

(3)

The term election service provider means any person providing, supporting, or maintaining an election system on behalf of a State or local election official, such as a contractor or vendor.

(4)

The term election system means any information system (as defined in section 3502 of title 44, United States Code) which is part of an election infrastructure.

(5)

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Homeland Security, or, upon designation by the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security of the Department of Homeland Security, or a Senate-confirmed official that reports to the Director.

(6)

The term State means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands.

(7)

The term voting system has the meaning given such term in section 301(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081(b)).

F

Miscellaneous Provisions

3501.

Definitions

Except as provided in section 3404, in this title, the following definitions apply:

(1)

The term Chairman means the chair of the Election Assistance Commission.

(2)

The term appropriate congressional committees means the Committees on Homeland Security and House Administration of the House of Representatives and the Committees on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Rules and Administration of the Senate.

(3)

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.

(4)

The term Commission means the Election Assistance Commission.

(5)

The term democratic institutions means the diverse range of institutions that are essential to ensuring an independent judiciary, free and fair elections, and rule of law.

(6)

The term election agency means any component of a State, or any component of a unit of local government in a State, which is responsible for the administration of elections for Federal office in the State.

(7)

The term election infrastructure means storage facilities, polling places, and centralized vote tabulation locations used to support the administration of elections for public office, as well as related information and communications technology, including voter registration databases, voting machines, electronic mail and other communications systems (including electronic mail and other systems of vendors who have entered into contracts with election agencies to support the administration of elections, manage the election process, and report and display election results), and other systems used to manage the election process and to report and display election results on behalf of an election agency.

(8)

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Homeland Security.

(9)

The term State has the meaning given such term in section 901 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21141).

3502.

Initial report on adequacy of resources available for implementation

Not later than 120 days after enactment of this Act, the Chairman and the Secretary shall submit a report to the appropriate committees of Congress, including the Committees on Homeland Security and House Administration of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate, analyzing the adequacy of the funding, resources, and personnel available to carry out this title and the amendments made by this title.

G

Severability

3601.

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.

B

Campaign Finance

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—[Reserved]

Subtitle F—[Reserved]

Subtitle G—[Reserved]

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.

A

Findings Relating to Illicit Money Undermining Our Democracy

4001.

Findings relating to illicit money undermining our democracy

Congress finds the following:

(1)

Criminals, terrorists, and corrupt government officials frequently abuse anonymously held Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), also known as shell companies, to hide, move, and launder the dirty money derived from illicit activities such as trafficking, bribery, exploitation, and embezzlement. Ownership and control of the finances that run through shell companies are obscured to regulators and law enforcement because little information is required and collected when establishing these entities.

(2)

The public release of the Panama Papers in 2016 and the Paradise Papers in 2017 revealed that these shell companies often purchase and sell United States real estate. United States anti-money laundering laws do not apply to cash transactions involving real estate effectively concealing the beneficiaries and transactions from regulators and law enforcement.

(3)

Congress should curb the use of anonymous shell companies for illicit purposes by requiring United States companies to disclose their beneficial owners, strengthening anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism finance laws.

(4)

Congress should examine the money laundering and terrorist financing risks in the real estate market, including the role of anonymous parties, and review legislation to address any vulnerabilities identified in this sector.

(5)

Congress should examine the methods by which corruption flourishes and the means to detect and deter the financial misconduct that fuels this driver of global instability. Congress should monitor government efforts to enforce United States anti-corruption laws and regulations.

B

DISCLOSE Act

4100.

Short title

This subtitle may be cited as the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act of 2019 or the DISCLOSE Act of 2019.

1

Regulation of Certain Political Spending

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

(a)

Application of ban

(1)

In general

Section 319(b) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30121(b)) is amended—

(A)

by striking or at the end of paragraph (1);

(B)

by striking the period at the end of paragraph (2) and inserting ; or; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(3)

except as provided under subsection (c), any corporation, limited liability corporation, or partnership which is not a foreign national described in paragraph (1) and—

(A)

in which a foreign national described in paragraph (1) or (2) directly or indirectly owns or controls—

(i)

5 percent or more of the voting shares, if the foreign national is a foreign country, a foreign government official, or a corporation principally owned or controlled by a foreign country or foreign government official; or

(ii)

20 percent or more of the voting shares, if the foreign national is not described in clause (i);

(B)

in which two or more foreign nationals described in paragraph (1) or (2), each of whom owns or controls at least 5 percent of the voting shares, directly or indirectly own or control 50 percent or more of the voting shares;

(C)

over which one or more foreign nationals described in paragraph (1) or (2) has the power to direct, dictate, or control the decisionmaking process of the corporation, limited liability corporation, or partnership with respect to its interests in the United States; or

(D)

over which one or more foreign nationals described in paragraph (1) or (2) has the power to direct, dictate, or control the decisionmaking process of the corporation, limited liability corporation, or partnership with respect to activities in connection with a Federal, State, or local election, including—

(i)

the making of a contribution, donation, expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication (within the meaning of section 304(f)(3)); or

(ii)

the administration of a political committee established or maintained by the corporation.

.

(2)

Activities of corporate PACs of domestic subsidiaries

Section 319 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30121) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(c)

Activities of corporate PACs of domestic subsidiaries

Notwithstanding subsection (a), a foreign national described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of subsection (b)(3) which is a domestic corporation whose principal place of business is within the United States may establish, administer and solicit contributions to a separate segregated fund pursuant to section 316(b)(2)(C) so long as—

(1)

the foreign national parent corporation of such domestic corporation does not directly or indirectly finance the establishment, administration, or solicitation activities of the fund; and

(2)

the fund is in compliance with complies with the requirements of section 316(b)(8).

.

(b)

Certification of Compliance

Section 319 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30121), as amended by subsection (a)(2), is further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(d)

Certification of compliance required prior To carrying out activity

Prior to the making in connection with an election for Federal office of any contribution, donation, expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication by a corporation, limited liability corporation, or partnership during a year, the chief executive officer of the corporation, limited liability corporation, or partnership (or, if the corporation, limited liability corporation, or partnership does not have a chief executive officer, the highest ranking official of the corporation, limited liability corporation, or partnership), shall file a certification with the Commission, under penalty of perjury, that the corporation, limited liability corporation, or partnership is not prohibited from carrying out such activity under subsection (b)(3), unless the chief executive officer has previously filed such a certification during that calendar year.

.

(c)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall take effect upon the expiration of the 180-day period which begins on the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall take effect without regard to whether or not the Federal Election Commission has promulgated regulations to carry out such amendments.

4102.

Clarification of application of foreign money ban to certain disbursements and activities

(a)

Application to disbursements to Super PACs

Section 319(a)(1)(A) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30121(a)(1)(A)) is amended by striking the semicolon and inserting the following: , including any disbursement to a political committee which accepts donations or contributions that do not comply with the limitations, prohibitions, and reporting requirements of this Act (or any disbursement to or on behalf of any account of a political committee which is established for the purpose of accepting such donations or contributions);.

(b)

Conditions under which corporate PACs may make contributions and expenditures

Section 316(b) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30118(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(8)

A separate segregated fund established by a corporation may not make a contribution or expenditure during a year unless the fund has certified to the Commission the following during the year:

(A)

Each individual who manages the fund, and who is responsible for exercising decisionmaking authority for the fund, is a citizen of the United States or is lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States.

(B)

No foreign national under section 319 participates in any way in the decisionmaking processes of the fund with regard to contributions or expenditures under this Act.

(C)

The fund does not solicit or accept recommendations from any foreign national under section 319 with respect to the contributions or expenditures made by the fund.

(D)

Any member of the board of directors of the corporation who is a foreign national under section 319 abstains from voting on matters concerning the fund or its activities.

.

2

Reporting of Campaign-Related Disbursements

4111.

Reporting of campaign-related disbursements

(a)

Disclosure requirements for corporations, labor organizations, and certain other entities

(1)

In general

Section 324 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30126) is amended to read as follows:

324.

Disclosure of campaign-related disbursements by covered organizations

(a)

Disclosure statement

(1)

In general

Any covered organization that makes campaign-related disbursements aggregating more than $10,000 in an election reporting cycle shall, not later than 24 hours after each disclosure date, file a statement with the Commission made under penalty of perjury that contains the information described in paragraph (2)—

(A)

in the case of the first statement filed under this subsection, for the period beginning on the first day of the election reporting cycle (or, if earlier, the period beginning one year before the first such disclosure date) and ending on the first such disclosure date; and

(B)

in the case of any subsequent statement filed under this subsection, for the period beginning on the previous disclosure date and ending on such disclosure date.

(2)

Information described

The information described in this paragraph is as follows:

(A)

The name of the covered organization and the principal place of business of such organization and, in the case of a covered organization that is a corporation (other than a business concern that is an issuer of a class of securities registered under section 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78l) or that is required to file reports under section 15(d) of that Act (15 U.S.C. 78o(d))) or an entity described in subsection (e)(2), a list of the beneficial owners (as defined in paragraph (4)(A)) of the entity that—

(i)

identifies each beneficial owner by name and current residential or business street address; and

(ii)

if any beneficial owner exercises control over the entity through another legal entity, such as a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or trust, identifies each such other legal entity and each such beneficial owner who will use that other entity to exercise control over the entity.

(B)

The amount of each campaign-related disbursement made by such organization during the period covered by the statement of more than $1,000, and the name and address of the person to whom the disbursement was made.

(C)

In the case of a campaign-related disbursement that is not a covered transfer, the election to which the campaign-related disbursement pertains and if the disbursement is made for a public communication, the name of any candidate identified in such communication and whether such communication is in support of or in opposition to a candidate.

(D)

A certification by the chief executive officer or person who is the head of the covered organization that the campaign-related disbursement is not made in cooperation, consultation, or concert with or at the request or suggestion of a candidate, authorized committee, or agent of a candidate, political party, or agent of a political party.

(E)
(i)

If the covered organization makes campaign-related disbursements using exclusively funds in a segregated bank account consisting of funds that were paid directly to such account by persons other than the covered organization that controls the account, for each such payment to the account—

(I)

the name and address of each person who made such payment during the period covered by the statement;

(II)

the date and amount of such payment; and

(III)

the aggregate amount of all such payments made by the person during the period beginning on the first day of the election reporting cycle (or, if earlier, the period beginning one year before the disclosure date) and ending on the disclosure date,

but only if such payment was made by a person who made payments to the account in an aggregate amount of $10,000 or more during the period beginning on the first day of the election reporting cycle (or, if earlier, the period beginning one year before the disclosure date) and ending on the disclosure date.
(ii)

In any calendar year after 2020, section 315(c)(1)(B) shall apply to the amount described in clause (i) in the same manner as such section applies to the limitations established under subsections (a)(1)(A), (a)(1)(B), (a)(3), and (h) of such section, except that for purposes of applying such section to the amounts described in subsection (b), the base period shall be 2020.

(F)
(i)

If the covered organization makes campaign-related disbursements using funds other than funds in a segregated bank account described in subparagraph (E), for each payment to the covered organization—

(I)

the name and address of each person who made such payment during the period covered by the statement;

(II)

the date and amount of such payment; and

(III)

the aggregate amount of all such payments made by the person during the period beginning on the first day of the election reporting cycle (or, if earlier, the period beginning one year before the disclosure date) and ending on the disclosure date,

but only if such payment was made by a person who made payments to the covered organization in an aggregate amount of $10,000 or more during the period beginning on the first day of the election reporting cycle (or, if earlier, the period beginning one year before the disclosure date) and ending on the disclosure date.
(ii)

In any calendar year after 2020, section 315(c)(1)(B) shall apply to the amount described in clause (i) in the same manner as such section applies to the limitations established under subsections (a)(1)(A), (a)(1)(B), (a)(3), and (h) of such section, except that for purposes of applying such section to the amounts described in subsection (b), the base period shall be 2020.

(G)

Such other information as required in rules established by the Commission to promote the purposes of this section.

(3)

Exceptions

(A)

Amounts received in ordinary course of business

The requirement to include in a statement filed under paragraph (1) the information described in paragraph (2) shall not apply to amounts received by the covered organization in commercial transactions in the ordinary course of any trade or business conducted by the covered organization or in the form of investments (other than investments by the principal shareholder in a limited liability corporation) in the covered organization. For purposes of this subparagraph, amounts received by a covered organization as remittances from an employee to the employee’s collective bargaining representative shall be treated as amounts received in commercial transactions in the ordinary course of the business conducted by the covered organization.

(B)

Donor restriction on use of funds

The requirement to include in a statement submitted under paragraph (1) the information described in subparagraph (F) of paragraph (2) shall not apply if—

(i)

the person described in such subparagraph prohibited, in writing, the use of the payment made by such person for campaign-related disbursements; and

(ii)

the covered organization agreed to follow the prohibition and deposited the payment in an account which is segregated from any account used to make campaign-related disbursements.

(C)

Threat of harassment or reprisal

The requirement to include any information relating to the name or address of any person (other than a candidate) in a statement submitted under paragraph (1) shall not apply if the inclusion of the information would subject the person to serious threats, harassment, or reprisals.

(4)

Other definitions

For purposes of this section:

(A)

Beneficial owner defined

(i)

In general

Except as provided in clause (ii), the term beneficial owner means, with respect to any entity, a natural person who, directly or indirectly—

(I)

exercises substantial control over an entity through ownership, voting rights, agreement, or otherwise; or

(II)

has a substantial interest in or receives substantial economic benefits from the assets of an entity.

(ii)

Exceptions

The term beneficial owner shall not include—

(I)

a minor child;

(II)

a person acting as a nominee, intermediary, custodian, or agent on behalf of another person;

(III)

a person acting solely as an employee of an entity and whose control over or economic benefits from the entity derives solely from the employment status of the person;

(IV)

a person whose only interest in an entity is through a right of inheritance, unless the person also meets the requirements of clause (i); or

(V)

a creditor of an entity, unless the creditor also meets the requirements of clause (i).

(iii)

Anti-abuse rule

The exceptions under clause (ii) shall not apply if used for the purpose of evading, circumventing, or abusing the provisions of clause (i) or paragraph (2)(A).

(B)

Disclosure date

The term disclosure date means—

(i)

the first date during any election reporting cycle by which a person has made campaign-related disbursements aggregating more than $10,000; and

(ii)

any other date during such election reporting cycle by which a person has made campaign-related disbursements aggregating more than $10,000 since the most recent disclosure date for such election reporting cycle.

(C)

Election reporting cycle

The term election reporting cycle means the 2-year period beginning on the date of the most recent general election for Federal office.

(D)

Payment

The term payment includes any contribution, donation, transfer, payment of dues, or other payment.

(b)

Coordination with other provisions

(1)

Other reports filed with the Commission

Information included in a statement filed under this section may be excluded from statements and reports filed under section 304.

(2)

Treatment as separate segregated fund

A segregated bank account referred to in subsection (a)(2)(E) may be treated as a separate segregated fund for purposes of section 527(f)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(c)

Filing

Statements required to be filed under subsection (a) shall be subject to the requirements of section 304(d) to the same extent and in the same manner as if such reports had been required under subsection (c) or (g) of section 304.

(d)

Campaign-Related disbursement defined

(1)

In general

In this section, the term campaign-related disbursement means a disbursement by a covered organization for any of the following:

(A)

An independent expenditure which expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate for election for Federal office, or is the functional equivalent of express advocacy because, when taken as a whole, it can be interpreted by a reasonable person only as advocating the election or defeat of a candidate for election for Federal office.

(B)

Any public communication which refers to a clearly identified candidate for election for Federal office and which promotes or supports the election of a candidate for that office, or attacks or opposes the election of a candidate for that office, without regard to whether the communication expressly advocates a vote for or against a candidate for that office.

(C)

An electioneering communication, as defined in section 304(f)(3).

(D)

A covered transfer.

(2)

Intent not required

A disbursement for an item described in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (D) of paragraph (1) shall be treated as a campaign-related disbursement regardless of the intent of the person making the disbursement.

(e)

Covered organization defined

In this section, the term covered organization means any of the following:

(1)

A corporation (other than an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986).

(2)

A limited liability corporation that is not otherwise treated as a corporation for purposes of this Act (other than an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986).

(3)

An organization described in section 501(c) of such Code and exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code (other than an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of such Code).

(4)

A labor organization (as defined in section 316(b)).

(5)

Any political organization under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, other than a political committee under this Act (except as provided in paragraph (6)).

(6)

A political committee with an account that accepts donations or contributions that do not comply with the contribution limits or source prohibitions under this Act, but only with respect to such accounts.

(f)

Covered transfer defined

(1)

In general

In this section, the term covered transfer means any transfer or payment of funds by a covered organization to another person if the covered organization—

(A)

designates, requests, or suggests that the amounts be used for—

(i)

campaign-related disbursements (other than covered transfers); or

(ii)

making a transfer to another person for the purpose of making or paying for such campaign-related disbursements;

(B)

made such transfer or payment in response to a solicitation or other request for a donation or payment for—

(i)

the making of or paying for campaign-related disbursements (other than covered transfers); or

(ii)

making a transfer to another person for the purpose of making or paying for such campaign-related disbursements;

(C)

engaged in discussions with the recipient of the transfer or payment regarding—

(i)

the making of or paying for campaign-related disbursements (other than covered transfers); or

(ii)

donating or transferring any amount of such transfer or payment to another person for the purpose of making or paying for such campaign-related disbursements;

(D)

made campaign-related disbursements (other than a covered transfer) in an aggregate amount of $50,000 or more during the 2-year period ending on the date of the transfer or payment, or knew or had reason to know that the person receiving the transfer or payment made such disbursements in such an aggregate amount during that 2-year period; or

(E)

knew or had reason to know that the person receiving the transfer or payment would make campaign-related disbursements in an aggregate amount of $50,000 or more during the 2-year period beginning on the date of the transfer or payment.

(2)

Exclusions

The term covered transfer does not include any of the following:

(A)

A disbursement made by a covered organization in a commercial transaction in the ordinary course of any trade or business conducted by the covered organization or in the form of investments made by the covered organization.

(B)

A disbursement made by a covered organization if—

(i)

the covered organization prohibited, in writing, the use of such disbursement for campaign-related disbursements; and

(ii)

the recipient of the disbursement agreed to follow the prohibition and deposited the disbursement in an account which is segregated from any account used to make campaign-related disbursements.

(3)

Special rule regarding transfers among affiliates

(A)

Special rule

A transfer of an amount by one covered organization to another covered organization which is treated as a transfer between affiliates under subparagraph (C) shall be considered a covered transfer by the covered organization which transfers the amount only if the aggregate amount transferred during the year by such covered organization to that same covered organization is equal to or greater than $50,000.

(B)

Determination of amount of certain payments among affiliates

In determining the amount of a transfer between affiliates for purposes of subparagraph (A), to the extent that the transfer consists of funds attributable to dues, fees, or assessments which are paid by individuals on a regular, periodic basis in accordance with a per-individual calculation which is made on a regular basis, the transfer shall be attributed to the individuals paying the dues, fees, or assessments and shall not be attributed to the covered organization.

(C)

Description of transfers between affiliates

A transfer of amounts from one covered organization to another covered organization shall be treated as a transfer between affiliates if—

(i)

one of the organizations is an affiliate of the other organization; or

(ii)

each of the organizations is an affiliate of the same organization,

except that the transfer shall not be treated as a transfer between affiliates if one of the organizations is established for the purpose of making campaign-related disbursements.
(D)

Determination of affiliate status

For purposes of subparagraph (C), a covered organization is an affiliate of another covered organization if—

(i)

the governing instrument of the organization requires it to be bound by decisions of the other organization;

(ii)

the governing board of the organization includes persons who are specifically designated representatives of the other organization or are members of the governing board, officers, or paid executive staff members of the other organization, or whose service on the governing board is contingent upon the approval of the other organization; or

(iii)

the organization is chartered by the other organization.

(E)

Coverage of transfers to affiliated section 501(c)(3) organizations

This paragraph shall apply with respect to an amount transferred by a covered organization to an organization described in paragraph (3) of section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from tax under section 501(a) of such Code in the same manner as this paragraph applies to an amount transferred by a covered organization to another covered organization.

(g)

No effect on other reporting requirements

Nothing in this section shall be construed to waive or otherwise affect any other requirement of this Act which relates to the reporting of campaign-related disbursements.

.

(2)

Conforming amendment

Section 304(f)(6) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30104) is amended by striking Any requirement and inserting Except as provided in section 324(b), any requirement.

(b)

Coordination with FinCEN

(1)

In general

The Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Department of the Treasury shall provide the Federal Election Commission with such information as necessary to assist in administering and enforcing section 324 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as added by this section.

(2)

Report

Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Chairman of the Federal Election Commission, in consultation with the Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Department of the Treasury, shall submit to Congress a report with recommendations for providing further legislative authority to assist in the administration and enforcement of such section 324.

4112.

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

Section 319(a)(1)(A) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30121(a)(1)(A)), as amended by section 4102, is amended by striking the semicolon and inserting the following: , and any disbursement, other than an disbursement described in section 324(a)(3)(A), to another person who made a campaign-related disbursement consisting of a covered transfer (as described in section 324) during the 2-year period ending on the date of the disbursement;.

4113.

Effective date

The amendments made by this part shall apply with respect to disbursements made on or after January 1, 2020, and shall take effect without regard to whether or not the Federal Election Commission has promulgated regulations to carry out such amendments.

3

Other Administrative Reforms

4121.

Petition for certiorari

Section 307(a)(6) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30107(a)(6)) is amended by inserting (including a proceeding before the Supreme Court on certiorari) after appeal.

4122.

Judicial review of actions related to campaign finance laws

(a)

In general

Title IV of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30141 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 406 the following new section:

407.

Judicial review

(a)

In general

Notwithstanding section 373(f), if any action is brought for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge the constitutionality of any provision of this Act or of chapter 95 or 96 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or is brought to with respect to any action of the Commission under chapter 95 or 96 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, the following rules shall apply:

(1)

The action shall be filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and an appeal from the decision of the district court may be taken to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

(2)

In the case of an action relating to declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge the constitutionality of a provision—

(A)

a copy of the complaint shall be delivered promptly to the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate; and

(B)

it shall be the duty of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 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.

(b)

Intervention by Members of Congress

In any action in which the constitutionality of any provision of this Act or chapter 95 or 96 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is raised, any Member of the House of Representatives (including a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to the Congress) or Senate shall have the right to intervene either in support of or opposition to the position of a party to the case regarding the constitutionality of the provision. To avoid duplication of efforts and reduce the burdens placed on the parties to the action, the court in any such action may make such orders as it considers necessary, including orders to require interveners taking similar positions to file joint papers or to be represented by a single attorney at oral argument.

(c)

Challenge by Members of Congress

Any Member of Congress may bring an action, subject to the special rules described in subsection (a), for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge the constitutionality of any provision of this Act or chapter 95 or 96 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

.

(b)

Conforming amendments

(1)

In general

(A)

Section 9011 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended to read as follows:

9011.

Judicial review

For provisions relating to judicial review of certifications, determinations, and actions by the Commission under this chapter, see section 407 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

.

(B)

Section 9041 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended to read as follows:

9041.

Judicial review

For provisions relating to judicial review of actions by the Commission under this chapter, see section 407 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

.

(C)

Section 403 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 30110 note) is repealed.

(c)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply to actions brought on or after January 1, 2019.

C

Honest Ads

4201.

Short title

This subtitle may be cited as the Honest Ads Act.

4202.

Purpose

The purpose of this subtitle is to enhance the integrity of American democracy and national security by improving disclosure requirements for online political advertisements in order to uphold the Supreme Court’s well-established standard that the electorate bears the right to be fully informed.

4203.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

On January 6, 2017, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence published a report titled Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections, noting that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election . . . . Moscow’s influence campaign followed a Russian messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operation—such as cyber activity—with overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or trolls.

(2)

On November 24, 2016, The Washington Post reported findings from 2 teams of independent researchers that concluded Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment . . . as part of a broadly effective strategy of sowing distrust in U.S. democracy and its leaders..

(3)

Findings from a 2017 study on the manipulation of public opinion through social media conducted by the Computational Propaganda Research Project at the Oxford Internet Institute found that the Kremlin is using pro-Russian bots to manipulate public discourse to a highly targeted audience. With a sample of nearly 1,300,000 tweets, researchers found that in the 2016 election’s 3 decisive States, propaganda constituted 40 percent of the sampled election-related tweets that went to Pennsylvanians, 34 percent to Michigan voters, and 30 percent to those in Wisconsin. In other swing States, the figure reached 42 percent in Missouri, 41 percent in Florida, 40 percent in North Carolina, 38 percent in Colorado, and 35 percent in Ohio.

(4)

On September 6, 2017, the nation’s largest social media platform disclosed that between June 2015 and May 2017, Russian entities purchased $100,000 in political advertisements, publishing roughly 3,000 ads linked to fake accounts associated with the Internet Research Agency, a pro-Kremlin organization. According to the company, the ads purchased focused on amplifying divisive social and political messages . . ..

(5)

In 2002, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act became law, establishing disclosure requirements for political advertisements distributed from a television or radio broadcast station or provider of cable or satellite television. In 2003, the Supreme Court upheld regulations on electioneering communications established under the Act, noting that such requirements provide the electorate with information and insure that the voters are fully informed about the person or group who is speaking..

(6)

According to a study from Borrell Associates, in 2016, $1,415,000,000 was spent on online advertising, more than quadruple the amount in 2012.

(7)

The reach of a few large internet platforms—larger than any broadcast, satellite, or cable provider—has greatly facilitated the scope and effectiveness of disinformation campaigns. For instance, the largest platform has over 210,000,000 Americans users—over 160,000,000 of them on a daily basis. By contrast, the largest cable television provider has 22,430,000 subscribers, while the largest satellite television provider has 21,000,000 subscribers. And the most-watched television broadcast in United States history had 118,000,000 viewers.

(8)

The public nature of broadcast television, radio, and satellite ensures a level of publicity for any political advertisement. These communications are accessible to the press, fact-checkers, and political opponents; this creates strong disincentives for a candidate to disseminate materially false, inflammatory, or contradictory messages to the public. Social media platforms, in contrast, can target portions of the electorate with direct, ephemeral advertisements often on the basis of private information the platform has on individuals, enabling political advertisements that are contradictory, racially or socially inflammatory, or materially false.

(9)

According to comScore, 2 companies own 8 of the 10 most popular smartphone applications as of June 2017, including the most popular social media and email services—which deliver information and news to users without requiring proactivity by the user. Those same 2 companies accounted for 99 percent of revenue growth from digital advertising in 2016, including 77 percent of gross spending. 79 percent of online Americans—representing 68 percent of all Americans—use the single largest social network, while 66 percent of these users are most likely to get their news from that site.

(10)

In its 2006 rulemaking, the Federal Election Commission noted that only 18 percent of all Americans cited the internet as their leading source of news about the 2004 Presidential election; by contrast, the Pew Research Center found that 65 percent of Americans identified an internet-based source as their leading source of information for the 2016 election.

(11)

The Federal Election Commission, the independent Federal agency charged with protecting the integrity of the Federal campaign finance process by providing transparency and administering campaign finance laws, has failed to take action to address online political advertisements.

(12)

In testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence titled, Disinformation: A Primer in Russian Active Measures and Influence Campaigns, multiple expert witnesses testified that while the disinformation tactics of foreign adversaries have not necessarily changed, social media services now provide platform[s] practically purpose-built for active measures[.] Similarly, as Gen. Keith B. Alexander (RET.), the former Director of the National Security Agency, testified, during the Cold War if the Soviet Union sought to manipulate information flow, it would have to do so principally through its own propaganda outlets or through active measures that would generate specific news: planting of leaflets, inciting of violence, creation of other false materials and narratives. But the news itself was hard to manipulate because it would have required actual control of the organs of media, which took long-term efforts to penetrate. Today, however, because the clear majority of the information on social media sites is uncurated and there is a rapid proliferation of information sources and other sites that can reinforce information, there is an increasing likelihood that the information available to average consumers may be inaccurate (whether intentionally or otherwise) and may be more easily manipulable than in prior eras..

(13)

Current regulations on political advertisements do not provide sufficient transparency to uphold the public’s right to be fully informed about political advertisements made online.

4204.

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

the dramatic increase in digital political advertisements, and the growing centrality of online platforms in the lives of Americans, requires the Congress and the Federal Election Commission to take meaningful action to ensure that laws and regulations provide the accountability and transparency that is fundamental to our democracy;.

(2)

free and fair elections require both transparency and accountability which give the public a right to know the true sources of funding for political advertisements in order to make informed political choices and hold elected officials accountable; and

(3)

transparency of funding for political advertisements is essential to enforce other campaign finance laws, including the prohibition on campaign spending by foreign nationals.

4205.

Expansion of definition of public communication

(a)

In general

Paragraph (22) of section 301 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30101(22)) is amended by striking or satellite communication and inserting satellite, paid internet, or paid digital communication.

(b)

Treatment of contributions and expenditures

Section 301 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30101) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (8)(B)—

(A)

in clause (v), by striking on broadcasting stations, or in newspapers, magazines, or similar types of general public political advertising and inserting in any public communication;

(B)

in clause (ix), by striking broadcasting, newspaper, magazine, billboard, direct mail, or similar type of general public communication or political advertising and inserting public communication; and

(C)

in clause (x), by striking but not including the use of broadcasting, newspapers, magazines, billboards, direct mail, or similar types of general public communication or political advertising and inserting but not including use in any public communication; and

(2)

in paragraph (9)(B)—

(A)

by amending clause (i) to read as follows:

(i)

any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station or any print, online, or digital newspaper, magazine, blog, publication, or periodical, unless such broadcasting, print, online, or digital facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate;

; and

(B)

in clause (iv), by striking on broadcasting stations, or in newspapers, magazines, or similar types of general public political advertising and inserting in any public communication.

(c)

Disclosure and disclaimer statements

Subsection (a) of section 318 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30120) is amended—

(1)

by striking financing any communication through any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, outdoor advertising facility, mailing, or any other type of general public political advertising and inserting financing any public communication; and

(2)

by striking solicits any contribution through any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, outdoor advertising facility, mailing, or any other type of general public political advertising and inserting solicits any contribution through any public communication.

4206.

Expansion of definition of electioneering communication

(a)

Expansion to online communications

(1)

Application to qualified Internet and digital communications

(A)

In general

Subparagraph (A) of section 304(f)(3) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30104(f)(3)(A)) is amended by striking or satellite communication each place it appears in clauses (i) and (ii) and inserting satellite, or qualified internet or digital communication.

(B)

Qualified Internet or digital communication

Paragraph (3) of section 304(f) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30104(f)) is amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(D)

Qualified Internet or digital communication

The term qualified internet or digital communication means any communication which is placed or promoted for a fee on an online platform (as defined in subsection (j)(3)).

.

(2)

Nonapplication of relevant electorate to online communications

Section 304(f)(3)(A)(i)(III) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30104(f)(3)(A)(i)(III)) is amended by inserting any broadcast, cable, or satellite before communication.

(3)

News exemption

Section 304(f)(3)(B)(i) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30104(f)(3)(B)(i)) is amended to read as follows:

(i)

a communication appearing in a news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station or any online or digital newspaper, magazine, blog, publication, or periodical, unless such broadcasting, online, or digital facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate;

.

(b)

Effective date

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

4207.

Application of disclaimer statements to online communications

(a)

Clear and conspicuous manner requirement

Subsection (a) of section 318 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30120(a)) is amended—

(1)

by striking shall clearly state each place it appears in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) and inserting shall state in a clear and conspicuous manner; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following flush sentence: For purposes of this section, a communication does not make a statement in a clear and conspicuous manner if it is difficult to read or hear or if the placement is easily overlooked..

(b)

Special rules for qualified Internet or digital communications

(1)

In general

Section 318 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30120) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(e)

Special rules for qualified Internet or digital communications

(1)

Special rules with respect to statements

In the case of any qualified internet or digital communication (as defined in section 304(f)(3)(D)) which is disseminated through a medium in which the provision of all of the information specified in this section is not possible, the communication shall, in a clear and conspicuous manner—

(A)

state the name of the person who paid for the communication; and

(B)

provide a means for the recipient of the communication to obtain the remainder of the information required under this section with minimal effort and without receiving or viewing any additional material other than such required information.

(2)

Safe harbor for determining clear and conspicuous manner

A statement in qualified internet or digital communication (as defined in section 304(f)(3)(D)) shall be considered to be made in a clear and conspicuous manner as provided in subsection (a) if the communication meets the following requirements:

(A)

Text or graphic communications

In the case of a text or graphic communication, the statement—

(i)

appears in letters at least as large as the majority of the text in the communication; and

(ii)

meets the requirements of paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (c).

(B)

Audio communications

In the case of an audio communication, the statement is spoken in a clearly audible and intelligible manner at the beginning or end of the communication and lasts at least 3 seconds.

(C)

Video communications

In the case of a video communication which also includes audio, the statement—

(i)

is included at either the beginning or the end of the communication; and

(ii)

is made both in—

(I)

a written format that meets the requirements of subparagraph (A) and appears for at least 4 seconds; and

(II)

an audible format that meets the requirements of subparagraph (B).

(D)

Other communications

In the case of any other type of communication, the statement is at least as clear and conspicuous as the statement specified in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C).

.

(2)

Nonapplication of certain exceptions

The exceptions provided in section 110.11(f)(1)(i) and (ii) of title 11, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor to such rules, shall have no application to qualified internet or digital communications (as defined in section 304(f)(3)(D) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971).

(c)

Modification of additional requirements for certain communications

Section 318(d) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30120(d)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1)(A)—

(A)

by striking which is transmitted through radio and inserting which is in an audio format; and

(B)

by striking By radio in the heading and inserting Audio format;

(2)

in paragraph (1)(B)—

(A)

by striking which is transmitted through television and inserting which is in video format; and

(B)

by striking By television in the heading and inserting Video format; and

(3)

in paragraph (2)—

(A)

by striking transmitted through radio or television and inserting made in audio or video format; and

(B)

by striking through television in the second sentence and inserting in video format.

4208.

Political record requirements for online platforms

(a)

In general

Section 304 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30104) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(j)

Disclosure of certain online advertisements

(1)

In general

(A)

Requirements for online platforms

An online platform shall maintain, and make available for online public inspection in machine readable format, a complete record of any request to purchase on such online platform a qualified political advertisement which is made by a person whose aggregate requests to purchase qualified political advertisements on such online platform during the calendar year exceeds $500.

(B)

Requirements for advertisers

Any person who requests to purchase a qualified political advertisement on an online platform shall provide the online platform with such information as is necessary for the online platform to comply with the requirements of subparagraph (A).

(2)

Contents of record

A record maintained under paragraph (1)(A) shall contain—

(A)

a digital copy of the qualified political advertisement;

(B)

a description of the audience targeted by the advertisement, the number of views generated from the advertisement, and the date and time that the advertisement is first displayed and last displayed; and

(C)

information regarding—

(i)

the average rate charged for the advertisement;

(ii)

the name of the candidate to which the advertisement refers and the office to which the candidate is seeking election, the election to which the advertisement refers, or the national legislative issue to which the advertisement refers (as applicable);

(iii)

in the case of a request made by, or on behalf of, a candidate, the name of the candidate, the authorized committee of the candidate, and the treasurer of such committee; and

(iv)

in the case of any request not described in clause (iii), the name of the person purchasing the advertisement, the name and address of a contact person for such person, and a list of the chief executive officers or members of the executive committee or of the board of directors of such person.

(3)

Online platform

For purposes of this subsection, the term online platform means any public-facing website, web application, or digital application (including a social network, ad network, or search engine) which—

(A)

sells qualified political advertisements; and

(B)

has 50,000,000 or more unique monthly United States visitors or users for a majority of months during the preceding 12 months.

(4)

Qualified political advertisement

For purposes of this subsection, the term qualified political advertisement means any advertisement (including search engine marketing, display advertisements, video advertisements, native advertisements, and sponsorships) that—

(A)

is made by or on behalf of a candidate; or

(B)

communicates a message relating to any political matter of national importance, including—

(i)

a candidate;

(ii)

any election to Federal office; or

(iii)

a national legislative issue of public importance.

(5)

Time to maintain file

The information required under this subsection shall be made available as soon as possible and shall be retained by the online platform for a period of not less than 4 years.

(6)

Safe harbor for platforms making best efforts to identify requests which are subject to record maintenance requirements

In accordance with rules established by the Commission, if an online platform shows that the platform used best efforts to determine whether or not a request to purchase a qualified political advertisement was subject to the requirements of this subsection, the online platform shall not be considered to be in violation of such requirements.

(7)

Penalties

For penalties for failure by online platforms, and persons requesting to purchase a qualified political advertisement on online platforms, to comply with the requirements of this subsection, see section 309.

.

(b)

Rulemaking

Not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Federal Election Commission shall establish rules—

(1)

requiring common data formats for the record required to be maintained under section 304(j) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (as added by subsection (a)) so that all online platforms submit and maintain data online in a common, machine-readable and publicly accessible format; and

(2)

establishing search interface requirements relating to such record, including searches by candidate name, issue, purchaser, and date; and

(3)

establishing the criteria for the safe harbor exception provided under paragraph (6) of section 304(j) of such Act (as added by subsection (a)).

(c)

Reporting

Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, and biannually thereafter, the Chairman of the Federal Election Commission shall submit a report to Congress on—

(1)

matters relating to compliance with and the enforcement of the requirements of section 304(j) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as added by subsection (a);

(2)

recommendations for any modifications to such section to assist in carrying out its purposes; and

(3)

identifying ways to bring transparency and accountability to political advertisements distributed online for free.

4209.

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

Section 319 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30121), as amended by section 4101(a)(2) and section 4101(b), is further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(e)

Responsibilities of broadcast stations, providers of cable and satellite television, and online platforms

Each television or radio broadcast station, provider of cable or satellite television, or online platform (as defined in section 304(j)(3)) shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that communications described in section 318(a) and made available by such station, provider, or platform are not purchased by a foreign national, directly or indirectly.

.

D

Stand By Every Ad

4301.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Stand By Every Ad Act.

4302.

Stand By Every Ad

(a)

Expanded disclaimer requirements for certain communications

Section 318 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30120), as amended by section 4207(b)(1), is further amended—

(1)

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

(2)

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

(e)

Expanded disclaimer requirements for communications not authorized by candidates or committees

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (6), any communication described in paragraph (3) of subsection (a) which is transmitted in an audio or video format (including an Internet or digital communication), or which is an Internet or digital communication transmitted in a text or graphic format, shall include, in addition to the requirements of paragraph (3) of subsection (a), the following:

(A)

The individual disclosure statement described in paragraph (2)(A) (if the person paying for the communication is an individual) or the organizational disclosure statement described in paragraph (2)(B) (if the person paying for the communication is not an individual).

(B)

If the communication is transmitted in a video format, or is an Internet or digital communication which is transmitted in a text or graphic format, and is paid for in whole or in part with a payment which is treated as a campaign-related disbursement under section 324—

(i)

the Top Five Funders list (if applicable); or

(ii)

in the case of a communication which, as determined on the basis of criteria established in regulations issued by the Commission, is of such short duration that including the Top Five Funders list in the communication would constitute a hardship to the person paying for the communication by requiring a disproportionate amount of the content of the communication to consist of the Top Five Funders list, the name of a website which contains the Top Five Funders list (if applicable) or, in the case of an Internet or digital communication, a hyperlink to such website.

(C)

If the communication is transmitted in an audio format and is paid for in whole or in part with a payment which is treated as a campaign-related disbursement under section 324—

(i)

the Top Two Funders list (if applicable); or

(ii)

in the case of a communication which, as determined on the basis of criteria established in regulations issued by the Commission, is of such short duration that including the Top Two Funders list in the communication would constitute a hardship to the person paying for the communication by requiring a disproportionate amount of the content of the communication to consist of the Top Two Funders list, the name of a website which contains the Top Two Funders list (if applicable).

(2)

Disclosure statements described

(A)

Individual disclosure statements

The individual disclosure statement described in this subparagraph is the following: I am ________, and I approve this message., with the blank filled in with the name of the applicable individual.

(B)

Organizational disclosure statements

The organizational disclosure statement described in this subparagraph is the following: I am ________, the ________ of ________, and ________ approves this message., with—

(i)

the first blank to be filled in with the name of the applicable individual;

(ii)

the second blank to be filled in with the title of the applicable individual; and

(iii)

the third and fourth blank each to be filled in with the name of the organization or other person paying for the communication.

(3)

Method of conveyance of statement

(A)

Communications in text or graphic format

In the case of a communication to which this subsection applies which is transmitted in a text or graphic format, the disclosure statements required under paragraph (1) shall appear in letters at least as large as the majority of the text in the communication.

(B)

Communications transmitted in audio format

In the case of a communication to which this subsection applies which is transmitted in an audio format, the disclosure statements required under paragraph (1) shall be made by audio by the applicable individual in a clear and conspicuous manner.

(C)

Communications transmitted in video format

In the case of a communication to which this subsection applies which is transmitted in a video format, the information required under paragraph (1)—

(i)

shall appear in writing at the end of the communication or in a crawl along the bottom of the communication in a clear and conspicuous manner, with a reasonable degree of color contrast between the background and the printed statement, for a period of at least 6 seconds; and

(ii)

shall also be conveyed by an unobscured, full-screen view of the applicable individual or by the applicable individual making the statement in voice-over accompanied by a clearly identifiable photograph or similar image of the individual, except in the case of a Top Five Funders list.

(4)

Applicable individual defined

The term applicable individual means, with respect to a communication to which this subsection applies—

(A)

if the communication is paid for by an individual, the individual involved;

(B)

if the communication is paid for by a corporation, the chief executive officer of the corporation (or, if the corporation does not have a chief executive officer, the highest ranking official of the corporation);

(C)

if the communication is paid for by a labor organization, the highest ranking officer of the labor organization; and

(D)

if the communication is paid for by any other person, the highest ranking official of such person.

(5)

Top Five Funders list and Top Two Funders list defined

(A)

Top Five Funders list

The term Top Five Funders list means, with respect to a communication which is paid for in whole or in part with a campaign-related disbursement (as defined in section 324), a list of the five persons who, during the 12-month period ending on the date of the disbursement, provided the largest payments of any type in an aggregate amount equal to or exceeding $10,000 to the person who is paying for the communication and the amount of the payments each such person provided. If two or more people provided the fifth largest of such payments, the person paying for the communication shall select one of those persons to be included on the Top Five Funders list.

(B)

Top Two Funders list

The term Top Two Funders list means, with respect to a communication which is paid for in whole or in part with a campaign-related disbursement (as defined in section 324), a list of the persons who, during the 12-month period ending on the date of the disbursement, provided the largest and the second largest payments of any type in an aggregate amount equal to or exceeding $10,000 to the person who is paying for the communication and the amount of the payments each such person provided. If two or more persons provided the second largest of such payments, the person paying for the communication shall select one of those persons to be included on the Top Two Funders list.

(C)

Exclusion of certain payments

For purposes of subparagraphs (A) and (B), in determining the amount of payments made by a person to a person paying for a communication, there shall be excluded the following:

(i)

Any amounts provided in the ordinary course of any trade or business conducted by the person paying for the communication or in the form of investments in the person paying for the communication.

(ii)

Any payment which the person prohibited, in writing, from being used for campaign-related disbursements, but only if the person paying for the communication agreed to follow the prohibition and deposited the payment in an account which is segregated from any account used to make campaign-related disbursements.

(6)

Special rules for certain communications

(A)

Exception for communications paid for by political parties and certain political committees

This subsection does not apply to any communication to which subsection (d)(2) applies.

(B)

Treatment of video communications lasting 10 seconds or less

In the case of a communication to which this subsection applies which is transmitted in a video format, or is an Internet or digital communication which is transmitted in a text or graphic format, the communication shall meet the following requirements:

(i)

The communication shall include the individual disclosure statement described in paragraph (2)(A) (if the person paying for the communication is an individual) or the organizational disclosure statement described in paragraph (2)(B) (if the person paying for the communication is not an individual).

(ii)

The statement described in clause (i) shall appear in writing at the end of the communication, or in a crawl along the bottom of the communication, in a clear and conspicuous manner, with a reasonable degree of color contrast between the background and the printed statement, for a period of at least 4 seconds.

(iii)

The communication shall include, in a clear and conspicuous manner, a website address with a landing page which will provide all of the information described in paragraph (1) with respect to the communication. Such address shall appear for the full duration of the communication.

(iv)

To the extent that the format in which the communication is made permits the use of a hyperlink, the communication shall include a hyperlink to the website address described in clause (iii).

.

(b)

Application of expanded requirements to public communications consisting of campaign-Related disbursements

Section 318(a) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30120(a)) is amended by striking for the purpose of financing communications expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate and inserting for a campaign-related disbursement, as defined in section 324, consisting of a public communication.

(c)

Exception for communications paid for by political parties and certain political committees

Section 318(d)(2) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30120(d)(2)) is amended—

(1)

in the heading, by striking others and inserting certain political committees;

(2)

by striking Any communication and inserting (A) Any communication;

(3)

by inserting which (except to the extent provided in subparagraph (B)) is paid for by a political committee (including a political committee of a political party) and after subsection (a);

(4)

by striking or other person each place it appears; and

(5)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(B)
(i)

This paragraph does not apply to a communication paid for in whole or in part during a calendar year with a campaign-related disbursement, but only if the covered organization making the campaign-related disbursement made campaign-related disbursements (as defined in section 324) aggregating more than $10,000 during such calendar year.

(ii)

For purposes of clause (i), in determining the amount of campaign-related disbursements made by a covered organization during a year, there shall be excluded the following:

(I)

Any amounts received by the covered organization in the ordinary course of any trade or business conducted by the covered organization or in the form of investments in the covered organization.

(II)

Any amounts received by the covered organization from a person who prohibited, in writing, the organization from using such amounts for campaign-related disbursements, but only if the covered organization agreed to follow the prohibition and deposited the amounts in an account which is segregated from any account used to make campaign-related disbursements.

.

4303.

Disclaimer requirements for communications made through prerecorded telephone calls

(a)

Application of requirements

(1)

In general

Section 318(a) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30120(a)), as amended by section 4205(c), is amended by inserting after public communication each place it appears the following: (including a telephone call consisting in substantial part of a prerecorded audio message).

(2)

Application to communications subject to expanded disclaimer requirements

Section 318(e)(1) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30120(e)(1)), as added by section 4302(a), is amended in the matter preceding subparagraph (A) by striking which is transmitted in an audio or video format and inserting which is transmitted in an audio or video format or which consists of a telephone call consisting in substantial part of a prerecorded audio message.

(b)

Treatment as communication transmitted in audio format

(1)

Communications by candidates or authorized persons

Section 318(d) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30120(d)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(3)

Prerecorded telephone calls

Any communication described in paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subsection (a) (other than a communication which is subject to subsection (e)) which is a telephone call consisting in substantial part of a prerecorded audio message shall include, in addition to the requirements of such paragraph, the audio statement required under subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) or the audio statement required under paragraph (2) (whichever is applicable), except that the statement shall be made at the beginning of the telephone call.

.

(2)

Communications subject to expanded disclaimer requirements

Section 318(e)(3) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30120(e)(3)), as added by section 4302(a), is amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(D)

Prerecorded telephone calls

In the case of a communication to which this subsection applies which is a telephone call consisting in substantial part of a prerecorded audio message, the communication shall be considered to be transmitted in an audio format.

.

4304.

No expansion of persons subject to disclaimer requirements on Internet communications

Nothing in this subtitle or the amendments made by this subtitle may be construed to require any person who is not required under section 318 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (as provided under section 110.11 of title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations) to include a disclaimer on communications made by the person through the internet to include any disclaimer on any such communications.

4305.

Effective date

The amendments made by this subtitle shall apply with respect to communications made on or after January 1, 2020, and shall take effect without regard to whether or not the Federal Election Commission has promulgated regulations to carry out such amendments.

E

[Reserved]

F

[Reserved]

G

[Reserved]

H

Limitation and Disclosure Requirements for Presidential Inaugural Committees

4701.

Short title

This subtitle may be cited as the Presidential Inaugural Committee Oversight Act.

4702.

Limitations and disclosure of certain donations to, and disbursements by, Inaugural Committees

(a)

Requirements for Inaugural Committees

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

325.

Inaugural committees

(a)

Prohibited donations

(1)

In general

It shall be unlawful—

(A)

for an Inaugural Committee—

(i)

to solicit, accept, or receive a donation from a person that is not an individual; or

(ii)

to solicit, accept, or receive a donation from a foreign national;

(B)

for a person—

(i)

to make a donation to an Inaugural Committee in the name of another person, or to knowingly authorize his or her name to be used to effect such a donation;

(ii)

to knowingly accept a donation to an Inaugural Committee made by a person in the name of another person; or

(iii)

to convert a donation to an Inaugural Committee to personal use as described in paragraph (2); and

(C)

for a foreign national to, directly or indirectly, make a donation, or make an express or implied promise to make a donation, to an Inaugural Committee.

(2)

Conversion of donation to personal use

For purposes of paragraph (1)(B)(iii), a donation shall be considered to be converted to personal use if any part of the donated amount is used to fulfill a commitment, obligation, or expense of a person that would exist irrespective of the responsibilities of the Inaugural Committee under chapter 5 of title 36, United States Code.

(3)

No effect on disbursement of unused funds to nonprofit organizations

Nothing in this subsection may be construed to prohibit an Inaugural Committee from disbursing unused funds to an organization which is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code.

(b)

Limitation on donations

(1)

In general

It shall be unlawful for an individual to make donations to an Inaugural Committee which, in the aggregate, exceed $50,000.

(2)

Indexing

At the beginning of each Presidential election year (beginning with 2024), the amount described in paragraph (1) shall be increased by the cumulative percent difference determined in section 315(c)(1)(A) since the previous Presidential election year. If any amount after such increase is not a multiple of $1,000, such amount shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of $1,000.

(c)

Disclosure of certain donations and disbursements

(1)

Donations over $1,000

(A)

In general

An Inaugural Committee shall file with the Commission a report disclosing any donation by an individual to the committee in an amount of $1,000 or more not later than 24 hours after the receipt of such donation.

(B)

Contents of report

A report filed under subparagraph (A) shall contain—

(i)

the amount of the donation;

(ii)

the date the donation is received; and

(iii)

the name and address of the individual making the donation.

(2)

Final report

Not later than the date that is 90 days after the date of the Presidential inaugural ceremony, the Inaugural Committee shall file with the Commission a report containing the following information:

(A)

For each donation of money or anything of value made to the committee in an aggregate amount equal to or greater than $200—

(i)

the amount of the donation;

(ii)

the date the donation is received; and

(iii)

the name and address of the individual making the donation.

(B)

The total amount of all disbursements, and all disbursements in the following categories:

(i)

Disbursements made to meet committee operating expenses.

(ii)

Repayment of all loans.

(iii)

Donation refunds and other offsets to donations.

(iv)

Any other disbursements.

(C)

The name and address of each person—

(i)

to whom a disbursement in an aggregate amount or value in excess of $200 is made by the committee to meet a committee operating expense, together with date, amount, and purpose of such operating expense;

(ii)

who receives a loan repayment from the committee, together with the date and amount of such loan repayment;

(iii)

who receives a donation refund or other offset to donations from the committee, together with the date and amount of such disbursement; and

(iv)

to whom any other disbursement in an aggregate amount or value in excess of $200 is made by the committee, together with the date and amount of such disbursement.

(d)

Definitions

For purposes of this section:

(1)
(A)

The term donation includes—

(i)

any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value made by any person to the committee; or

(ii)

the payment by any person of compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to the committee without charge for any purpose.

(B)

The term donation does not include the value of services provided without compensation by any individual who volunteers on behalf of the committee.

(2)

The term foreign national has the meaning given that term by section 319(b).

(3)

The term Inaugural Committee has the meaning given that term by section 501 of title 36, United States Code.

.

(b)

Confirming amendment related to reporting requirements

Section 304 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30104) is amended—

(1)

by striking subsection (h); and

(2)

by redesignating subsection (i) as subsection (h).

(c)

Conforming amendment related to status of committee

Section 510 of title 36, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

510.

Disclosure of and prohibition on certain donations

A committee shall not be considered to be the Inaugural Committee for purposes of this chapter unless the committee agrees to, and meets, the requirements of section 325 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

.

(d)

Effective date

The amendments made by this Act shall apply with respect to Inaugural Committees established under chapter 5 of title 36, United States Code, for inaugurations held in 2021 and any succeeding year.

I

Severability

4801.

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.

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.

Sec. 5207. Use of Freedom From Influence Fund as source of payments.

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.

Sec. 5218. Use of Freedom From Influence Fund as source of payments.

Part 3—Effective Date

Sec. 5221. Effective date.

Subtitle D—Personal Use Services as Authorized Campaign Expenditures

Sec. 5301. Short title; findings; purpose.

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

Subtitle E—Severability

Sec. 5401. Severability.

A

Findings Relating to Citizens United Decision

5001.

Findings relating to Citizens United decision

Congress finds the following:

(1)

The American Republic was founded on the principle that all people are created equal, with rights and responsibilities as citizens to vote, be represented, speak, debate, and participate in self-government on equal terms regardless of wealth. To secure these rights and responsibilities, our Constitution not only protects the equal rights of all Americans but also provides checks and balances to prevent corruption and prevent concentrated power and wealth from undermining effective self-government.

(2)

The Supreme Court’s decisions in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010) and McCutcheon v. FEC, 572 U.S. 185 (2014), as well as other court decisions, erroneously invalidated even-handed rules about the spending of money in local, State, and Federal elections. These flawed decisions have empowered large corporations, extremely wealthy individuals, and special interests to dominate election spending, corrupt our politics, and degrade our democracy through tidal waves of unlimited and anonymous spending. These decisions also stand in contrast to a long history of efforts by Congress and the States to regulate money in politics to protect democracy, and they illustrate a troubling deregulatory trend in campaign finance-related court decisions. Additionally, an unknown amount of foreign money continues to be spent in our political system as subsidiaries of foreign-based corporations and hostile foreign actors sometimes connected to nation-States work to influence our elections.

(3)

The Supreme Court’s misinterpretation of the Constitution to empower monied interests at the expense of the American people in elections has seriously eroded over 100 years of congressional action to promote fairness and protect elections from the toxic influence of money.

(4)

In 1907, Congress passed the Tillman Act in response to the concentration of corporate power in the post-Civil War Gilded Age. The Act prohibited corporations from making contributions in connection with Federal elections, aiming not merely to prevent the subversion of the integrity of the electoral process [but] … to sustain the active, alert responsibility of the individual citizen in a democracy for the wise conduct of government.

(5)

By 1910, Congress began passing disclosure requirements and campaign expenditure limits, and dozens of States passed corrupt practices Acts to prohibit corporate spending in elections. States also enacted campaign spending limits, and some States limited the amount that people could contribute to campaigns.

(6)

In 1947, the Taft-Hartley Act prohibited corporations and unions from making campaign contributions or other expenditures to influence elections. In 1962, a Presidential commission on election spending recommended spending limits and incentives to increase small contributions from more people.

(7)

The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA), as amended in 1974, required disclosure of contributions and expenditures, imposed contribution and expenditure limits for individuals and groups, set spending limits for campaigns, candidates, and groups, implemented a public funding system for Presidential campaigns, and created the Federal Election Commission to oversee and enforce the new rules.

(8)

In the wake of Citizens United and other damaging Federal court decisions, Americans have witnessed an explosion of outside spending in elections. Outside spending increased nearly 900 percent between the 2008 and 2016 Presidential election years. Indeed, the 2018 elections once again made clear the overwhelming political power of wealthy special interests, to the tune of over $5,000,000,000. And as political entities adapt to a post-Citizens United, post-McCutcheon landscape, these trends are getting worse, as evidenced by the experience in the 2018 midterm congressional elections, where outside spending more than doubled from the previous midterm cycle.

(9)

The torrent of money flowing into our political system has a profound effect on the democratic process for everyday Americans, whose voices and policy preferences are increasingly being drowned out by those of wealthy special interests. The more campaign cash from wealthy special interests can flood our elections, the more policies that favor those interests are reflected in the national political agenda. When it comes to policy preferences, our Nation’s wealthiest tend to have fundamentally different views than do average Americans when it comes to issues ranging from unemployment benefits to the minimum wage to health care coverage.

(10)

The Court has tied the hands of Congress and the States, severely restricting them from setting reasonable limits on campaign spending. For example, the Court has held that only the Government’s interest in preventing quid pro quo corruption, like bribery, or the appearance of such corruption, can justify limits on campaign contributions. More broadly, the Court has severely curtailed attempts to reduce the ability of the Nation’s wealthiest and most powerful to skew our democracy in their favor by buying outsized influence in our elections. Because this distortion of the Constitution has prevented truly meaningful regulation or reform of the way we finance elections in America, a constitutional amendment is needed to achieve a democracy for all the people.

(11)

Since the landmark Citizens United decision, 19 States and nearly 800 municipalities, including large cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia, have gone on record supporting a constitutional amendment. Transcending political leanings and geographic location, voters in States and municipalities across the country that have placed amendment questions on the ballot have routinely supported these initiatives by considerably large margins.

(12)

At the same time millions of Americans have signed petitions, marched, called their Members of Congress, written letters to the editor, and otherwise demonstrated their public support for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United that will allow Congress to reign in the outsized influence of unchecked money in politics. Dozens of organizations, representing tens of millions of individuals, have come together in a shared strategy of supporting such an amendment.

(13)

In order to protect the integrity of democracy and the electoral process and to ensure political equality for all, the Constitution should be amended so that Congress and the States may regulate and set limits on the raising and spending of money to influence elections and may distinguish between natural persons and artificial entities, like corporations, that are created by law, including by prohibiting such artificial entities from spending money to influence elections.

B

Congressional Elections

5100.

Short title

This subtitle may be cited as the Government By the People Act of 2019.

1

My Voice Voucher Pilot Program

5101.

Establishment of pilot program

(a)

Establishment

The Federal Election Commission (hereafter in this part referred to as the Commission) shall establish a pilot program under which the Commission shall select 3 eligible States to operate a voucher pilot program which is described in section 5102 during the program operation period.

(b)

Eligibility of States

A State is eligible to be selected to operate a voucher pilot program under this part if, not later than 180 days after the beginning of the program application period, the State submits to the Commission an application containing—

(1)

information and assurances that the State will operate a voucher program which contains the elements described in section 5102(a);

(2)

information and assurances that the State will establish fraud prevention mechanisms described in section 5102(b);

(3)

information and assurances that the State will establish a commission to oversee and implement the program as described in section 5102(c);

(4)

information and assurances that the State will carry out a public information campaign as described in section 5102(d);

(5)

information and assurances that the State will submit reports as required under section 5103; and

(6)

such other information and assurances as the Commission may require.

(c)

Selection of participating States

(1)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the beginning of the program application period, the Commission shall select the 3 States which will operate voucher pilot programs under this part.

(2)

Criteria

In selecting States for the operation of the voucher pilot programs under this part, the Commission shall apply such criteria and metrics as the Commission considers appropriate to determine the ability of a State to operate the program successfully, and shall attempt to select States in a variety of geographic regions and with a variety of political party preferences.

(3)

No supermajority required for selection

The selection of States by the Commission under this subsection shall require the approval of only half of the Members of the Commission.

(d)

Duties of States during program preparation period

During the program preparation period, each State selected to operate a voucher pilot program under this part shall take such actions as may be necessary to ensure that the State will be ready to operate the program during the program operation period, and shall complete such actions not later than 90 days before the beginning of the program operation period.

(e)

Termination

Each voucher pilot program under this part shall terminate as of the first day after the program operation period.

(f)

Reimbursement of Costs

(1)

Reimbursement

Upon receiving the report submitted by a State under section 5103(a) with respect to an election cycle, the Commission shall transmit a payment to the State in an amount equal to the reasonable costs incurred by the State in operating the voucher pilot program under this part during the cycle.

(2)

Source of funds

Payments to States under the program shall be made using amounts in the Freedom From Influence Fund under section 541 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (as added by section 5111), hereafter referred to as the Fund.

(3)

Mandatory reduction of payments in case of insufficient amounts in Freedom From Influence Fund

(A)

Advance audits by Commission

Not later than 90 days before the first day of each program operation period, the Commission shall—

(i)

audit the Fund to determine whether, after first making payments to participating candidates under title V of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (as added by section 5111), the amounts remaining in the Fund will be sufficient to make payments to States under this part in the amounts provided under this subsection; and

(ii)

submit a report to Congress describing the results of the audit.

(B)

Reductions in amount of payments

(i)

Automatic reduction on pro rata basis

If, on the basis of the audit described in subparagraph (A), the Commission determines that the amount anticipated to be available in the Fund with respect to an election cycle involved is not, or may not be, sufficient to make payments to States under this part in the full amount provided under this subsection, the Commission shall reduce each amount which would otherwise be paid to a State under this subsection by such pro rata amount as may be necessary to ensure that the aggregate amount of payments anticipated to be made with respect to the cycle will not exceed the amount anticipated to be available for such payments in the Fund with respect to such cycle.

(ii)

Restoration of reductions in case of availability of sufficient funds during election cycle

If, after reducing the amounts paid to States with respect to an election cycle under clause (i), the Commission determines that there are sufficient amounts in the Fund to restore the amount by which such payments were reduced (or any portion thereof), to the extent that such amounts are available, the Commission may make a payment on a pro rata basis to each such State with respect to the cycle in the amount by which such State’s payments were reduced under clause (i) (or any portion thereof, as the case may be).

(iii)

No use of amounts from other sources

In any case in which the Commission determines that there are insufficient moneys in the Fund to make payments to States under this part, moneys shall not be made available from any other source for the purpose of making such payments.

(3)

Cap on amount of payment

The aggregate amount of payments made to any State with respect to any program operation period may not exceed $10,000,000. If the State determines that the maximum payment amount under this paragraph with respect to the program operation period involved is not, or may not be, sufficient to cover the reasonable costs incurred by the State in operating the program under this part for such period, the State shall reduce the amount of the voucher provided to each qualified individual by such pro rata amount as may be necessary to ensure that the reasonable costs incurred by the State in operating the program will not exceed the amount paid to the State with respect to such period.

5102.

Voucher program described

(a)

General elements of program

(1)

Elements described

The elements of a voucher pilot program operated by a State under this part are as follows:

(A)

The State shall provide each qualified individual upon the individual’s request with a voucher worth $25 to be known as a My Voice Voucher during the election cycle which will be assigned a routing number and which at the option of the individual will be provided in either paper or electronic form.

(B)

Using the routing number assigned to the My Voice Voucher, the individual may submit the My Voice Voucher in either electronic or paper form to qualified candidates for election for the office of Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress and allocate such portion of the value of the My Voice Voucher in increments of $5 as the individual may select to any such candidate.

(C)

If the candidate transmits the My Voice Voucher to the Commission, the Commission shall pay the candidate the portion of the value of the My Voice Voucher that the individual allocated to the candidate, which shall be considered a contribution by the individual to the candidate for purposes of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

(2)

Designation of qualified individuals

For purposes of paragraph (1)(A), a qualified individual with respect to a State means an individual—

(A)

who is a resident of the State;

(B)

who will be of voting age as of the date of the election for the candidate to whom the individual submits a My Voice Voucher; and

(C)

who is not prohibited under Federal law from making contributions to candidates for election for Federal office.

(3)

Treatment as contribution to candidate

For purposes of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, the submission of a My Voice Voucher to a candidate by an individual shall be treated as a contribution to the candidate by the individual in the amount of the portion of the value of the Voucher that the individual allocated to the candidate.

(b)

Fraud prevention mechanism

In addition to the elements described in subsection (a), a State operating a voucher pilot program under this part shall permit an individual to revoke a My Voice Voucher not later than 2 days after submitting the My Voice Voucher to a candidate.

(c)

Oversight commission

In addition to the elements described in subsection (a), a State operating a voucher pilot program under this part shall establish a commission or designate an existing entity to oversee and implement the program in the State, except that no such commission or entity may be comprised of elected officials.

(d)

Public information campaign

In addition to the elements described in subsection (a), a State operating a voucher pilot program under this part shall carry out a public information campaign to disseminate awareness of the program among qualified individuals.

5103.

Reports

(a)

Preliminary report

Not later than 6 months after the first election cycle of the program operation period, a State which operates a voucher pilot program under this part shall submit a report to the Commission analyzing the operation and effectiveness of the program during the cycle and including such other information as the Commission may require.

(b)

Final report

Not later than 6 months after the end of the program operation period, the State shall submit a final report to the Commission analyzing the operation and effectiveness of the program and including such other information as the Commission may require.

(c)

Report by Commission

Not later than the end of the first election cycle which begins after the program operation period, the Commission shall submit a report to Congress which summarizes and analyzes the results of the voucher pilot program, and shall include in the report such recommendations as the Commission considers appropriate regarding the expansion of the pilot program to all States and territories, along with such other recommendations and other information as the Commission considers appropriate.

5104.

Definitions

(a)

Election cycle

In this part, the term election cycle means the period beginning on the day after the date of the most recent regularly scheduled general election for Federal office and ending on the date of the next regularly scheduled general election for Federal office.

(b)

Definitions relating to periods

In this part, the following definitions apply:

(1)

Program application period

The term program application period means the first election cycle which begins after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2)

Program preparation period

The term program preparation period means the first election cycle which begins after the program application period.

(3)

Program operation period

The term program operation period means the first 2 election cycles which begin after the program preparation period.

2

Small Dollar Financing of Congressional Election Campaigns

5111.

Benefits and eligibility requirements for candidates

The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30101 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

V

Small Dollar Financing of Congressional Election Campaigns

A

Benefits

501.

Benefits for participating candidates

(a)

In general

If a candidate for election to the office of Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress is certified as a participating candidate under this title with respect to an election for such office, the candidate shall be entitled to payments as provided under this title.

(b)

Amount of payment

The amount of a payment made under this title shall be equal to 600 percent of the amount of qualified small dollar contributions received by the candidate since the most recent payment made to the candidate under this title during the election cycle, without regard to whether or not the candidate received any of the contributions before, during, or after the Small Dollar Democracy qualifying period applicable to the candidate under section 511(c).

(c)

Limit on aggregate amount of payments

The aggregate amount of payments made to a participating candidate with respect to an election cycle under this title may not exceed 50 percent of the average of the 20 greatest amounts of disbursements made by the authorized committees of any winning candidate for the office of Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress during the most recent election cycle, rounded to the nearest $100,000.

502.

Procedures for making payments

(a)

In general

The Commission shall make a payment under section 501 to a candidate who is certified as a participating candidate upon receipt from the candidate of a request for a payment which includes—

(1)

a statement of the number and amount of qualified small dollar contributions received by the candidate since the most recent payment made to the candidate under this title during the election cycle;

(2)

a statement of the amount of the payment the candidate anticipates receiving with respect to the request;

(3)

a statement of the total amount of payments the candidate has received under this title as of the date of the statement; and

(4)

such other information and assurances as the Commission may require.

(b)

Restrictions on submission of requests

A candidate may not submit a request under subsection (a) unless each of the following applies:

(1)

The amount of the qualified small dollar contributions in the statement referred to in subsection (a)(1) is equal to or greater than $5,000, unless the request is submitted during the 30-day period which ends on the date of a general election.

(2)

The candidate did not receive a payment under this title during the 7-day period which ends on the date the candidate submits the request.

(c)

Time of payment

The Commission shall, in coordination with the Secretary of the Treasury, take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that the Secretary is able to make payments under this section from the Treasury not later than 2 business days after the receipt of a request submitted under subsection (a).

503.

Use of funds

(a)

Use of funds for authorized campaign expenditures

A candidate shall use payments made under this title, including payments provided with respect to a previous election cycle which are withheld from remittance to the Commission in accordance with section 524(a)(2), only for making direct payments for the receipt of goods and services which constitute authorized expenditures (as determined in accordance with title III) in connection with the election cycle involved.

(b)

Prohibiting use of funds for legal expenses, fines, or penalties

Notwithstanding title III, a candidate may not use payments made under this title for the payment of expenses incurred in connection with any action, claim, or other matter before the Commission or before any court, hearing officer, arbitrator, or other dispute resolution entity, or for the payment of any fine or civil monetary penalty.

504.

Qualified small dollar contributions described

(a)

In general

In this title, the term qualified small dollar contribution means, with respect to a candidate and the authorized committees of a candidate, a contribution that meets the following requirements:

(1)

The contribution is in an amount that is—

(A)

not less than $1; and

(B)

not more than $200.

(2)
(A)

The contribution is made directly by an individual to the candidate or an authorized committee of the candidate and is not—

(i)

forwarded from the individual making the contribution to the candidate or committee by another person; or

(ii)

received by the candidate or committee with the knowledge that the contribution was made at the request, suggestion, or recommendation of another person.

(B)

In this paragraph—

(i)

the term person does not include an individual (other than an individual described in section 304(i)(7) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971), a political committee of a political party, or any political committee which is not a separate segregated fund described in section 316(b) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 and which does not make contributions or independent expenditures, does not engage in lobbying activity under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and is not established by, controlled by, or affiliated with a registered lobbyist under such Act, an agent of a registered lobbyist under such Act, or an organization which retains or employs a registered lobbyist under such Act; and

(ii)

a contribution is not made at the request, suggestion, or recommendation of another person solely on the grounds that the contribution is made in response to information provided to the individual making the contribution by any person, so long as the candidate or authorized committee does not know the identity of the person who provided the information to such individual.

(3)

The individual who makes the contribution does not make contributions to the candidate or the authorized committees of the candidate with respect to the election involved in an aggregate amount that exceeds the amount described in paragraph (1)(B), or any contribution to the candidate or the authorized committees of the candidate with respect to the election involved that otherwise is not a qualified small dollar contribution.

(b)

Treatment of my voice vouchers

Any payment received by a candidate and the authorized committees of a candidate which consists of a My Voice Voucher under the Government By the People Act of 2019 shall be considered a qualified small dollar contribution for purposes of this title, so long as the individual making the payment meets the requirements of paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (a).

(c)

Restriction on subsequent contributions

(1)

Prohibiting donor from making subsequent nonqualified contributions during election cycle

(A)

In general

An individual who makes a qualified small dollar contribution to a candidate or the authorized committees of a candidate with respect to an election may not make any subsequent contribution to such candidate or the authorized committees of such candidate with respect to the election cycle which is not a qualified small dollar contribution.

(B)

Exception for contributions to candidates who voluntarily withdraw from participation during qualifying period

Subparagraph (A) does not apply with respect to a contribution made to a candidate who, during the Small Dollar Democracy qualifying period described in section 511(c), submits a statement to the Commission under section 513(c) to voluntarily withdraw from participating in the program under this title.

(2)

Treatment of subsequent nonqualified contributions

If, notwithstanding the prohibition described in paragraph (1), an individual who makes a qualified small dollar contribution to a candidate or the authorized committees of a candidate with respect to an election makes a subsequent contribution to such candidate or the authorized committees of such candidate with respect to the election which is prohibited under paragraph (1) because it is not a qualified small dollar contribution, the candidate may take one of the following actions:

(A)

Not later than 2 weeks after receiving the contribution, the candidate may return the subsequent contribution to the individual. In the case of a subsequent contribution which is not a qualified small dollar contribution because the contribution fails to meet the requirements of paragraph (3) of subsection (a) (relating to the aggregate amount of contributions made to the candidate or the authorized committees of the candidate by the individual making the contribution), the candidate may return an amount equal to the difference between the amount of the subsequent contribution and the amount described in paragraph (1)(B) of subsection (a).

(B)

The candidate may retain the subsequent contribution, so long as not later than 2 weeks after receiving the subsequent contribution, the candidate remits to the Commission for deposit in the Freedom From Influence Fund under section 541 an amount equal to any payments received by the candidate under this title which are attributable to the qualified small dollar contribution made by the individual involved.

(3)

No effect on ability to make multiple contributions

Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit an individual from making multiple qualified small dollar contributions to any candidate or any number of candidates, so long as each contribution meets each of the requirements of paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (a).

(d)

Notification requirements for candidates

(1)

Notification

Each authorized committee of a candidate who seeks to be a participating candidate under this title shall provide the following information in any materials for the solicitation of contributions, including any internet site through which individuals may make contributions to the committee:

(A)

A statement that if the candidate is certified as a participating candidate under this title, the candidate will receive matching payments in an amount which is based on the total amount of qualified small dollar contributions received.

(B)

A statement that a contribution which meets the requirements set forth in subsection (a) shall be treated as a qualified small dollar contribution under this title.