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H.R. 8189 (116th): To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to prohibit a State from counting a ballot cast in an election for Federal office which is received by the State after the date of the election.


The text of the bill below is as of Sep 8, 2020 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.

Summary of this bill

Context

During the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented number of people will vote by mail. Different states have different rules for whether the ballot has to arrive by Election Day, or merely has to be postmarked by Election Day (or the day before), even if it actually arrives up to several days afterwards. And although the stereotype is that blue states are more lenient with their vote-by-mail laws and red states are stricter, this is not always the case.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 18 states (plus the District of Columbia) allow a mail-in ballot to arrive after Election Day, including such red states as Alaska, Kansas, …


I

116th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 8189

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 8, 2020

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

A BILL

To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to prohibit a State from counting a ballot cast in an election for Federal office which is received by the State after the date of the election.

1.

Prohibiting counting ballots received after date of election

(a)

Prohibition

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.

Prohibiting counting of ballots received after date of election

(a)

Prohibition

A State may not count a ballot cast in an election for Federal office which is received by the State after the date of the election. For purposes of this subsection, a ballot shall be considered to be received by the State after the date of the election if the ballot is not received by the appropriate State or local election official prior to 12:01 a.m. on the day after the date of the election.

(b)

Exception for absent uniformed services voters and overseas citizens

Subsection (a) does not apply with respect to any 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.).

(c)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2020 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

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(b)

Conforming amendment relating to enforcement

Section 401 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21111) is amended by striking and 303 and inserting 303, and 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. Prohibiting counting of ballots received after date of election.

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