IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
February 27, 2020
Mr. Bennet (for himself and Mr. King) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration
To amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to support State and local governments making a transition to ranked choice voting.
This Act may be cited as the
Voter Choice Act.
Assistance for transition to ranked choice voting
Title V of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21121 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:
Ranked Choice Voting Program
Ranked choice voting program
Definition of ranked choice voting system
For purposes of this subtitle, the term ranked choice voting system means a set of election methods which allow each voter to rank contest options in order of the voter's preference, in which votes are counted in rounds using a series of runoff tabulations to defeat contest options with the fewest votes, and which elects a winner with a majority of final round votes in a single-winner contest and provides proportional representation in multi-winner contests.
The Commission shall establish a program under which the Commission—
provides technical assistance to State and local governments that are considering whether to make, or that are in the process of making, a transition to a ranked choice voting system for Federal, State, or local elections; and
awards grants to States and local government to support the transition to a ranked choice voting system, including through the acquisition of voting equipment and tabulation software, appropriate ballot design, the development and publication of educational materials, and voter outreach.
Rules for grants
Selection of grant recipients
To the extent possible, the Commission shall award grants under subsection (b)(2) to areas that represent a diversity of jurisdictions with respect to geography, population characteristics, and population density.
The amount of any grant awarded under subsection (b)(2) shall not exceed 50 percent of the cost of the activities covered by the grant.
Authorization of appropriations
In addition to any funds authorized to be appropriated to the Commission under section 210, there are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subtitle $40,000,000 for fiscal year 2020.
Availability of funds
Amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization under this section shall remain available, without fiscal year limitation, until expended.
Section 202(6) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 20922) is amended by striking
the Help America Vote College Program under title V and inserting
the programs under title V.
Title V of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21121 et seq.) is amended by striking the matter preceding section 501 and inserting the following:
Election Assistance programs
Help America Vote College Program
Section 503 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21123) is amended by striking
title and inserting
The table of sections of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 is amended—
by striking the item relating to title V and inserting the following:
Title V—Election Assistance Programs
Subtitle A—Help America Vote College Program
by inserting after the item relating to section 503 the following:
Subtitle B—Ranked Choice Voting Program
Sec. 511. Ranked choice voting program.
Sec. 512. Authorization of appropriations.