skip to main content

S. 2747: Freedom to Vote Act


The text of the bill below is as of Sep 15, 2021 (Placed on Calendar in the Senate).


II

Calendar No. 125

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 2747

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

September 14, 2021

(for herself, Mr. Kaine, Mr. King, Mr. Manchin, Mr. Merkley, Mr. Padilla, Mr. Tester, and Mr. Warnock) introduced the following bill; which was read the first time

September 15, 2021

Read the second time and placed on the calendar

A BILL

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

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Freedom to Vote Act.

2.

Organization of Act into divisions; table of contents

(a)

Divisions

This Act is organized into divisions as follows:

(1)

Division A—Voter Access.

(2)

Division B—Election Integrity.

(3)

Division C—Civic Participation and Empowerment.

(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.

Sec. 3. Findings of general constitutional authority.

Sec. 4. Standards for judicial review.

DIVISION A—Voter Access

TITLE I—Election Modernization and Administration

Sec. 1000. Short title; statement of policy.

Subtitle A—Voter Registration Modernization

Sec. 1000A. Short title.

PART 1—Automatic Voter Registration

Sec. 1001. Short title; findings and purpose.

Sec. 1002. Automatic registration of eligible individuals.

Sec. 1003. Voter protection and security in automatic registration.

Sec. 1004. Payments and grants.

Sec. 1005. Miscellaneous provisions.

Sec. 1006. Definitions.

Sec. 1007. Effective date.

PART 2—Election Day as Legal Public Holiday

Sec. 1011. Election day as legal public holiday.

PART 3—Promoting Internet Registration

Sec. 1021. Requiring availability of internet for voter registration.

Sec. 1022. Use of internet to update registration information.

Sec. 1023. Provision of election information by electronic mail to individuals registered to vote.

Sec. 1024. Clarification of requirement regarding necessary information to show eligibility to vote.

Sec. 1025. Prohibiting State from requiring applicants to provide more than last 4 digits of social security number.

Sec. 1026. Application of rules to certain exempt States.

Sec. 1027. Report on data collection relating to online voter registration systems.

Sec. 1028. Permitting voter registration application form to serve as application for absentee ballot.

Sec. 1029. Effective date.

PART 4—Same Day Voter Registration

Sec. 1031. Same day registration.

Sec. 1032. Ensuring pre-election registration deadlines are consistent with timing of legal public holidays.

PART 5—Streamline Voter Registration Information, Access, and Privacy

Sec. 1041. Authorizing the dissemination of voter registration information displays following naturalization ceremonies.

Sec. 1042. Inclusion of voter registration information with certain leases and vouchers for federally assisted rental housing and mortgage applications.

Sec. 1043. Acceptance of voter registration applications from individuals under 18 years of age.

Sec. 1044. Requiring states to establish and operate voter privacy programs.

PART 6—Funding Support to States for Compliance

Sec. 1051. Availability of requirements payments under HAVA to cover costs of compliance with new requirements.

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. Establishment and maintenance of State accessible election websites.

Sec. 1103. Protections for in-person voting for individuals with disabilities and older individuals.

Sec. 1104. Protections for individuals subject to guardianship.

Sec. 1105. Expansion and reauthorization of grant program to assure voting access for individuals with disabilities.

Sec. 1106. Funding for protection and advocacy systems.

Sec. 1107. Pilot programs for enabling individuals with disabilities to register to vote privately and independently at residences.

Sec. 1108. GAO analysis and report on voting access for individuals with disabilities.

Subtitle C—Early Voting

Sec. 1201. Early voting.

Subtitle D—Voting by Mail

Sec. 1301. Voting by mail.

Sec. 1302. Balloting materials tracking program.

Sec. 1303. Election mail and delivery improvements.

Sec. 1304. Carriage of election mail.

Sec. 1305. Requiring States to provide secured drop boxes for voted ballots in elections for Federal office.

Subtitle E—Absent Uniformed Services Voters and Overseas Voters

Sec. 1401. Pre-election reports on availability and transmission of absentee ballots.

Sec. 1402. Enforcement.

Sec. 1403. Transmission requirements; repeal of waiver provision.

Sec. 1404. Use of single absentee ballot application for subsequent elections.

Sec. 1405. Extending guarantee of residency for voting purposes to family members of absent military personnel.

Sec. 1406. Technical clarifications to conform to Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act amendments related to the federal write-in absentee ballot.

Sec. 1407. Treatment of post card registration requests.

Sec. 1408. Presidential designee report on voter disenfranchisement.

Sec. 1409. Effective date.

Subtitle F—Enhancement of Enforcement

Sec. 1501. Enhancement of enforcement of Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Subtitle G—Promoting Voter Access Through Election Administration Modernization Improvements

PART 1—Promoting Voter Access

Sec. 1601. Minimum notification requirements for voters affected by polling place changes.

Sec. 1602. Accommodations for voters residing in Indian lands.

Sec. 1603. Applicability to Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Sec. 1604. Elimination of 14-day time period between general election and runoff election for Federal elections in the Virgin Islands and Guam.

Sec. 1605. Application of Federal election administration laws to territories of the United States.

Sec. 1606. Application of Federal voter protection laws to territories of the United States.

Sec. 1607. Ensuring equitable and efficient operation of polling places.

Sec. 1608. Prohibiting States from restricting curbside voting.

PART 2—Improvements in Operation of Election Assistance Commission

Sec. 1611. Reauthorization of Election Assistance Commission.

Sec. 1612. Recommendations to improve operations of Election Assistance Commission.

Sec. 1613. Repeal of exemption of Election Assistance Commission from certain government contracting requirements.

PART 3—Miscellaneous Provisions

Sec. 1621. Definition of election for Federal office.

Sec. 1622. No effect on other laws.

Sec. 1623. Clarification of exemption for States without voter registration.

Sec. 1624. Clarification of exemption for States which do not collect telephone information.

Subtitle H—Democracy Restoration

Sec. 1701. Short title.

Sec. 1702. Findings.

Sec. 1703. Rights of citizens.

Sec. 1704. Enforcement.

Sec. 1705. Notification of restoration of voting rights.

Sec. 1706. Definitions.

Sec. 1707. Relation to other laws.

Sec. 1708. Federal prison funds.

Sec. 1709. Effective date.

Subtitle I—Voter Identification and Allowable Alternatives

Sec. 1801. Requirements for voter identification.

Subtitle J—Voter List Maintenance Procedures

PART 1—Voter Caging Prohibited

Sec. 1901. Voter caging prohibited.

PART 2—Saving Eligible Voters From Voter Purging

Sec. 1911. Conditions for removal of voters from list of registered voters.

Subtitle K—Severability

Sec. 1921. Severability.

DIVISION B—Election Integrity

TITLE II—Prohibiting Interference With Voter Registration

Sec. 2001. Prohibiting hindering, interfering with, or preventing voter registration.

Sec. 2002. Establishment of best practices.

TITLE III—Preventing Election Subversion

Subtitle A—Restrictions on Removal of Election Administrators

Sec. 3001. Restrictions on removal of local election administrators in administration of elections for Federal office.

Subtitle B—Increased Protections for Election Workers

Sec. 3101. Harassment of election workers prohibited.

Sec. 3102. Protection of election workers.

Subtitle C—Prohibiting Deceptive Practices and Preventing Voter Intimidation

Sec. 3201. Short title.

Sec. 3202. Prohibition on deceptive practices in Federal elections.

Sec. 3203. Corrective action.

Sec. 3204. Reports to Congress.

Sec. 3205. Private rights of action by election officials.

Sec. 3206. Making intimidation of tabulation, canvas, and certification efforts a crime.

Subtitle D—Protection of Election Records & Election Infrastructure

Sec. 3301. Strengthen protections for Federal election records.

Sec. 3302. Penalties; inspection; nondisclosure; jurisdiction.

Sec. 3303. Judicial review to ensure compliance.

Subtitle E—Judicial Protection of the Right to Vote and Non-partisan Vote Tabulation

Sec. 3401. Undue burdens on the ability to vote in elections for federal office prohibited.

Sec. 3402. Judicial review.

Sec. 3403. Definitions.

Sec. 3404. Rules of construction.

Sec. 3405. Severability.

Sec. 3406. Effective date.

Subtitle F—Poll Worker Recruitment and Training

Sec. 3501. Grants to States for poll worker recruitment and training.

Sec. 3502. State defined.

Subtitle G—Preventing Poll Observer Interference

Sec. 3601. Protections for voters on Election Day.

Subtitle H—Preventing Restrictions on Food and Beverages

Sec. 3701. Findings.

Sec. 3702. Prohibiting restrictions on donations of food and beverages at polling stations.

Subtitle I—Establishing Duty to Report Foreign Election Interference

Sec. 3801. Findings relating to illicit money undermining our democracy.

Sec. 3802. Federal campaign reporting of foreign contacts.

Sec. 3803. Federal campaign foreign contact reporting compliance system.

Sec. 3804. Criminal penalties.

Sec. 3805. Report to congressional intelligence committees.

Sec. 3806. Rule of construction.

Subtitle J—Promoting Accuracy, Integrity, and Security Through Voter-Verifiable Permanent Paper Ballot

Sec. 3901. Short title.

Sec. 3902. Paper ballot and manual counting requirements.

Sec. 3903. Accessibility and ballot verification for individuals with disabilities.

Sec. 3904. Durability and readability requirements for ballots.

Sec. 3905. Study and report on optimal ballot design.

Sec. 3906. Ballot marking device cybersecurity requirements.

Sec. 3907. Effective date for new requirements.

Sec. 3908. Grants for obtaining compliant paper ballot voting systems and carrying out voting system security improvements.

Subtitle K—Provisional Ballots

Sec. 3911. Requirements for counting provisional ballots; establishment of uniform and nondiscriminatory standards.

TITLE IV—Voting System Security

Sec. 4001. Post-election audit requirement.

Sec. 4002. Election infrastructure designation.

Sec. 4003. Guidelines and certification for electronic poll books and remote ballot marking systems.

Sec. 4004. Pre-election reports on voting system usage.

Sec. 4005. Use of voting machines manufactured in the United States.

Sec. 4006. Severability.

DIVISION C—Civic Participation and Empowerment

TITLE V—Nonpartisan Redistricting Reform

Sec. 5001. Finding of constitutional authority.

Sec. 5002. Ban on mid-decade redistricting.

Sec. 5003. Criteria for redistricting.

Sec. 5004. Development of plan.

Sec. 5005. Failure by State to enact plan.

Sec. 5006. Civil enforcement.

Sec. 5007. No effect on elections for State and local office.

Sec. 5008. Effective date.

TITLE VI—Campaign Finance Transparency

Subtitle A—DISCLOSE Act

Sec. 6001. Short title.

PART 1—Closing Loopholes Allowing Spending by Foreign Nationals in Elections

Sec. 6002. Clarification of application of foreign money ban to certain disbursements and activities.

Sec. 6003. Audit and report on illicit foreign money in Federal elections.

Sec. 6004. Prohibition on contributions and donations by foreign nationals in connection with ballot initiatives and referenda.

Sec. 6005. Disbursements and activities subject to foreign money ban.

Sec. 6006. Prohibiting establishment of corporation to conceal election contributions and donations by foreign nationals.

PART 2—Reporting of Campaign-Related Disbursements

Sec. 6011. Reporting of campaign-related disbursements.

Sec. 6012. Reporting of Federal judicial nomination disbursements.

Sec. 6013. Coordination with FinCEN.

Sec. 6014. Application of foreign money ban to disbursements for campaign-related disbursements consisting of covered transfers.

Sec. 6015. Effective date.

PART 3—Other Administrative Reforms

Sec. 6021. Petition for certiorari.

Sec. 6022. Judicial review of actions related to campaign finance laws.

Subtitle B—Honest Ads

Sec. 6101. Short title.

Sec. 6102. Purpose.

Sec. 6103. Findings.

Sec. 6104. Sense of Congress.

Sec. 6105. Expansion of definition of public communication.

Sec. 6106. Expansion of definition of electioneering communication.

Sec. 6107. Application of disclaimer statements to online communications.

Sec. 6108. Political record requirements for online platforms.

Sec. 6109. Preventing contributions, expenditures, independent expenditures, and disbursements for electioneering communications by foreign nationals in the form of online advertising.

Sec. 6110. Requiring online platforms to display notices identifying sponsors of political advertisements and to ensure notices continue to be present when advertisements are shared.

Subtitle C—Spotlight Act

Sec. 6201. Short title.

Sec. 6202. Inclusion of contributor information on annual returns of certain organizations.

TITLE VII—Campaign Finance Oversight

Subtitle A—Stopping Super PAC–Candidate Coordination

Sec. 7001. Short title.

Sec. 7002. Clarification of treatment of coordinated expenditures as contributions to candidates.

Sec. 7003. Clarification of ban on fundraising for super PACs by Federal candidates and officeholders.

Subtitle B—Restoring Integrity to America’s Elections

Sec. 7101. Short title.

Sec. 7102. Revision to enforcement process.

Sec. 7103. Acting general counsel.

Sec. 7104. Permitting appearance at hearings on requests for advisory opinions by persons opposing the requests.

Sec. 7105. Permanent extension of administrative penalty authority.

Sec. 7106. Restrictions on ex parte communications.

Sec. 7107. Clarifying authority of FEC attorneys to represent FEC in Supreme Court.

Sec. 7108. Requiring forms to permit use of accent marks.

Sec. 7109. Extension of the statutes of limitations for offenses under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

Sec. 7110. Effective date; transition.

TITLE VIII—Citizen Empowerment

Subtitle A—Funding to Promote Democracy

PART 1—Payments and Allocations to States

Sec. 8001. State Democracy Promotion Program.

Sec. 8002. State plan.

Sec. 8003. Prohibiting reduction in access to participation in elections.

Sec. 8004. Amount of State allocation.

Sec. 8005. Procedures for disbursements of payments and allocations.

Sec. 8006. Office of State Democracy Promotion.

PART 2—State Election Assistance and Innovation Trust Fund

Sec. 8011. State Election Assistance and Innovation Trust Fund.

Sec. 8012. Uses of Fund.

Sec. 8013. Assessments against fines and penalties.

Sec. 8014. Transfer of balance of Presidential Election Campaign Fund.

PART 3—General Provisions

Sec. 8021. Definitions.

Sec. 8022. Rule of construction regarding calculation of deadlines.

Subtitle B—Elections for House of Representatives

Sec. 8101. Short title.

PART 1—Optional Democracy Credit Program

Sec. 8102. Establishment of program.

Sec. 8103. Credit program described.

Sec. 8104. Reports.

Sec. 8105. Election cycle defined.

PART 2—Optional Small Dollar Financing of Elections for House of Representatives

Sec. 8111. Benefits and eligibility requirements for candidates.

Sec. 8112. Contributions and expenditures by multicandidate and political party committees on behalf of participating candidates.

Sec. 8113. Prohibiting use of contributions by participating candidates for purposes other than campaign for election.

Sec. 8114. Deadline for regulations.

Subtitle C—Personal Use Services as Authorized Campaign Expenditures

Sec. 8201. Short title; findings; purpose.

Sec. 8202. Treatment of payments for child care and other personal use services as authorized campaign expenditure.

Subtitle D—Empowering Small Dollar Donations

Sec. 8301. Permitting political party committees to provide enhanced support for candidates through use of separate small dollar accounts.

Subtitle E—Severability

Sec. 8401. Severability.

3.

Findings of general constitutional authority

Congress finds that the Constitution of the United States grants explicit and broad authority to protect the right to vote, to regulate elections for Federal office, to prevent and remedy discrimination in voting, and to defend the Nation’s democratic process. Congress enacts the Freedom to Vote Act pursuant to this broad authority, including but not limited to the following:

(1)

Congress finds that it has broad authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of congressional elections under the Elections Clause of the Constitution, article I, section 4, clause 1. The Supreme Court has affirmed that the substantive scope of the Elections Clause is broad; that Times, Places, and Manner are comprehensive words which embrace authority to provide for a complete code for congressional elections; and [t]he power of Congress over the Times, Places and Manner of congressional elections is paramount, and may be exercised at any time, and to any extent which it deems expedient; and so far as it is exercised, and no farther, the regulations effected supersede those of the State which are inconsistent therewith. Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, 570 U.S. 1, 8–9 (2013) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). Indeed, Congress has plenary and paramount jurisdiction over the whole subject of congressional elections, Ex parte Siebold, 100 U.S. (10 Otto) 371, 388 (1879), and this power may be exercised as and when Congress sees fit, and so far as it extends and conflicts with the regulations of the State, necessarily supersedes them. Id. at 384. Among other things, Congress finds that the Elections Clause was intended to vindicate the people’s right to equality of representation in the House. Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1, 16 (1964), and to address partisan gerrymandering, Rucho v. Common Cause, 139 S. Ct. 2484 (2019).

(2)

Congress also finds that it has both the authority and responsibility, as the legislative body for the United States, to fulfill the promise of article IV, section 4, of the Constitution, which states: The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government[.]. Congress finds that its authority and responsibility to enforce the Guarantee Clause is clear given that Federal courts have not enforced this clause because they understood that its enforcement is committed to Congress by the Constitution.

(3)
(A)

Congress also finds that it has broad authority pursuant to section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to legislate to enforce the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment, including its protections of the right to vote and the democratic process.

(B)

Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to vote, which is of the most fundamental significance under our constitutional structure. Ill. Bd. of Election v. Socialist Workers Party, 440 U.S. 173, 184 (1979); see United States v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299 (1941) (Obviously included within the right to choose, secured by the Constitution, is the right of qualified voters within a state to cast their ballots and have them counted . . .). As the Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed, the right to vote is preservative of all rights, Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S. 356, 370 (1886). Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment also protects the right to vote, granting Congress additional authority to reduce a State’s representation in Congress when the right to vote is abridged or denied.

(C)

As a result, Congress finds that it has the authority pursuant to section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to protect the right to vote. Congress also finds that States and localities have eroded access to the right to vote through restrictions on the right to vote including excessively onerous voter identification requirements, burdensome voter registration procedures, voter purges, limited and unequal access to voting by mail, polling place closures, unequal distribution of election resources, and other impediments.

(D)

Congress also finds that the right of suffrage can be denied by a debasement or dilution of the weight of a citizen’s vote just as effectively as by wholly prohibiting the free exercise of the franchise. Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, 555 (1964). Congress finds that the right of suffrage has been so diluted and debased by means of gerrymandering of districts. Congress finds that it has authority pursuant to section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to remedy this debasement.

(4)
(A)

Congress also finds that it has authority to legislate to eliminate racial discrimination in voting and the democratic process pursuant to both section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which grants equal protection of the laws, and section 2 of the Fifteenth Amendment, which explicitly bars denial or abridgment of the right to vote on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

(B)

Congress finds that racial discrimination in access to voting and the political process persists. Voting restrictions, redistricting, and other electoral practices and processes continue to disproportionately impact communities of color in the United States and do so as a result of both intentional racial discrimination, structural racism, and the ongoing structural socioeconomic effects of historical racial discrimination.

(C)

Recent elections and studies have shown that minority communities wait longer in lines to vote, are more likely to have their mail ballots rejected, continue to face intimidation at the polls, are more likely to be disenfranchised by voter purges, and are disproportionately burdened by excessively onerous voter identification and other voter restrictions. Research shows that communities of color are more likely to face nearly every barrier to voting than their white counterparts.

(D)

Congress finds that racial disparities in disenfranchisement due to past felony convictions is particularly stark. In 2020, according to the Sentencing Project, an estimated 5,200,000 Americans could not vote due to a felony conviction. One in 16 African Americans of voting age is disenfranchised, a rate 3.7 times greater than that of non-African Americans. In seven States—Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wyoming—more than one in seven African Americans is disenfranchised, twice the national average for African Americans. Congress finds that felony disenfranchisement was one of the tools of intentional racial discrimination during the Jim Crow era. Congress further finds that current racial disparities in felony disenfranchisement are linked to this history of voter suppression, structural racism in the criminal justice system, and ongoing effects of historical discrimination.

(5)
(A)

Congress finds that it further has the power to protect the right to vote from denial or abridgment on account of sex, age, or ability to pay a poll tax or other tax pursuant to the Nineteenth, Twenty-Fourth, and Twenty-Sixth Amendments.

(B)

Congress finds that electoral practices including voting rights restoration conditions for people with convictions and other restrictions to the franchise burden voters on account of their ability to pay.

(C)

Congress further finds that electoral practices including voting restrictions related to college campuses, age restrictions on mail voting, and similar practices burden the right to vote on account of age.

4.

Standards for judicial review

(a)

In general

For any action brought for declaratory or injunctive relief to challenge, whether facially or as-applied, the constitutionality or lawfulness of any provision of this Act or any amendment made by this Act or any rule or regulation promulgated under this Act, 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. These courts, and the Supreme Court of the United States on a writ of certiorari (if such writ is issued), shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear such actions.

(2)

The party filing the action shall concurrently deliver a copy the complaint to the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate.

(3)

It shall be the duty of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to advance on the docket and to expedite to the greatest possible extent the disposition of the action and appeal.

(b)

Clarifying scope of jurisdiction

If an action at the time of its commencement is not subject to subsection (a), but an amendment, counterclaim, cross-claim, affirmative defense, or any other pleading or motion is filed challenging, whether facially or as-applied, the constitutionality or lawfulness of this Act or any amendment made by this Act or any rule or regulation promulgated under this Act, the district court shall transfer the action to the District Court for the District of Columbia, and the action shall thereafter be conducted pursuant to subsection (a).

(c)

Intervention by Members of Congress

In any action described in subsection (a), 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.

A

Voter Access

I

Election Modernization and Administration

1000.

Short title; statement of policy

(a)

Short title

This title may be cited as the Voter Empowerment Act of 2021.

(b)

Statement of policy

It is the policy of the United States that—

(1)

the ability of all eligible citizens of the United States to access and exercise their constitutional right to vote in a free, fair, and timely manner must be vigilantly enhanced, protected, and maintained; 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 2021.

1

Automatic Voter Registration

1001.

Short title; findings and purpose

(a)

Short title

This part may be cited as the Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2021.

(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 for Federal office 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 to ensure that all eligible citizens are registered to vote in elections for Federal office;

(B)

to enable the State 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.

1002.

Automatic registration of eligible individuals

(a)

In general

The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20504) is amended by inserting after section 5 the following new section:

5A.

Automatic registration by State motor vehicle authority

(a)

Definitions

In this section—

(1)

Applicable agency

The term applicable agency means, with respect to a State, the State motor vehicle authority responsible for motor vehicle driver's licenses under State law.

(2)

Applicable transaction

The term applicable transaction means—

(A)

an application to an applicable agency for a motor vehicle driver's license; and

(B)

any other service or assistance (including for a change of address) provided by an applicable agency.

(3)

Automatic registration

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 the applicable agency to election officials of the State so that, unless the individual affirmatively declines to be registered or to update any voter registration, the individual will be registered to vote in such elections.

(4)

Eligible individual

The term eligible individual means, with respect to an election for Federal office, an individual who is otherwise qualified to vote in that election.

(5)

Register to vote

The term register to vote includes updating an individual's existing voter registration.

(b)

Establishment

(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 section.

(2)

Registration of voters based on new agency records

(A)

In general

The chief State election official shall—

(i)

subject to subparagraph (B), ensure that each eligible individual who completes an applicable transaction and does not decline to register to vote is registered to vote—

(I)

in the next upcoming election for Federal office (and subsequent elections for Federal office), if an applicable agency transmits information under subsection (c)(1)(E) with respect to the individual not later than the applicable date; and

(II)

in subsequent elections for Federal office, if an applicable agency transmits such information with respect to such individual after the applicable date; and

(ii)

not later than 60 days after the receipt of such information with respect to an 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.

(B)

Applicable date

For purposes of this subsection, the term “applicable date” means, with respect to any election for Federal office, the later of—

(i)

the date that is 28 days before the date of the election; or

(ii)

the last day of the period provided by State law for registration with respect to such election.

(C)

Clarification

Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the chief State election official from registering an eligible individual to vote for the next upcoming election for Federal office in the State even if an applicable agency transmits information under subsection (c)(1)(E) with respect to the individual after the applicable date.

(3)

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 section on the grounds that the individual is less than 18 years of age at the time an applicable agency receives information with respect to the individual, so long as the individual is at least 16 years of age at such time. Nothing in the previous sentence may be construed to require a State to permit an individual who is under 18 years of age at the time of an election for Federal office to vote in the election.

(c)

Applicable agency responsibilities

(1)

Instructions on automatic registration for agencies collecting citizenship information

(A)

In general

Except as otherwise provided in this section, in the case of any applicable transaction for which applicable agency (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 or enrollment), the applicable agency shall inform each such individual who is a citizen of the United States of the following:

(i)

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.

(ii)

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, the consequences of false registration, and the individual should decline to register if the individual does not meet all those qualifications.

(iii)

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.

(iv)

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.

(B)

Individuals with limited English proficiency

In the case where the individual is a member of a group that constitutes 3 percent or more of the overall population within the State served by the applicable agency as measured by the United States Census and are limited English proficient, the information described in clauses (i) through (iv) of subparagraph (A) shall be provided in a language understood by the individual.

(C)

Clarification on procedures for ineligible voters

An applicable agency shall not provide an individual who did not affirm United States citizenship, or for whom the agency has conclusive documentary evidence obtained through its normal course of operations that the individual is not a United State citizen, the opportunity to register to vote under subparagraph (A).

(D)

Opportunity to decline registration required

Except as otherwise provided in this section, each applicable agency shall ensure that each applicable transaction described in subparagraph (A) with an eligible individual cannot be completed until the individual is given the opportunity to decline to be registered to vote. In the case where the individual is a member of a group that constitutes 3 percent or more of the overall population within the State served by the applicable agency as measured by the United States Census and are limited English proficient, such opportunity shall be given in a language understood by the individual.

(E)

Information transmittal

Not later than 10 days after an applicable transaction with an eligible individual, if the individual did not decline to be registered to vote, the applicable agency shall electronically transmit to the appropriate State election official the following information with respect to the individual:

(i)

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

(ii)

The individual’s date of birth.

(iii)

The individual’s residential address.

(iv)

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

(v)

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

(vi)

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

(vii)

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

(viii)

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.

(F)

Provision of information regarding participation in primary elections

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, if the information transmitted under paragraph (E) with respect to an individual does not include information regarding the individual’s affiliation or enrollment with a political party, the chief State election official shall—

(i)

notify the individual that such affiliation or enrollment is required to participate in primary elections; and

(ii)

provide an opportunity for the individual to update their registration with a party affiliation or enrollment.

(G)

Clarification

Nothing in this section shall be read to require an applicable agency to transmit to an election official the information described in subparagraph (E) for an individual who is ineligible to vote in elections for Federal office in the State, except to the extent required to pre-register citizens between 16 and 18 years of age.

(2)

Alternate procedure for certain other applicable agencies

With each applicable transaction for which an applicable agency in the normal course of its operations does not request individuals to affirm United States citizenship (either directly or as part of the overall application for service or assistance), the applicable agency shall—

(A)

complete the requirements of section 7(a)(6);

(B)

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

(C)

for each individual who wishes to register to vote, transmit that individual’s information in accordance with subsection (c)(1)(E), unless the agency has conclusive documentary evidence obtained through its normal course of operations that the individual is not a United States citizen.

(3)

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

Each applicable agency shall offer each eligible individual, with each applicable transaction, the opportunity to register to vote as prescribed by this section without regard to whether the individual previously declined a registration opportunity.

(d)

Voter protection

(1)

Applicable agencies’ protection of information

Nothing in this section authorizes an applicable agency to collect, retain, transmit, or publicly disclose any of the following, except as necessary to comply with title III of the Civil Rights Act of 1960 (52 U.S.C. 20701 et seq.):

(A)

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

(B)

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

(C)

Any information that an applicable agency transmits pursuant to subsection (c)(1)(E), except in pursuing the agency’s ordinary course of business.

(2)

Election officials’ protection of information

(A)

Public disclosure prohibited

(i)

In general

Subject to clause (ii), with respect to any individual for whom any State election official receives information from an applicable agency, the State election officials shall not publicly disclose any of the following:

(I)

Any information not necessary to voter registration.

(II)

Any voter information otherwise shielded from disclosure under State law or section 8(a).

(III)

Any portion of the individual’s social security number.

(IV)

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

(V)

The individual’s signature.

(VI)

The individual’s telephone number.

(VII)

The individual’s email address.

(ii)

Special rule for individuals registered to vote

The prohibition on public disclosure in clause (i) shall not apply with respect to the telephone number or email address of any individual for whom any State election official receives information from the applicable agency and who, on the basis of such information, is registered to vote in the State under this section.

(e)

Miscellaneous provisions

(1)

Accessibility of registration services

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

(2)

Transmission through secure third party permitted

Nothing in this section or in the Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2021 shall be construed to prevent an applicable agency from contracting with a third party to assist the agency in meeting the information transmittal requirements of this section, so long as the data transmittal complies with the applicable requirements of this section and such Act, including provisions relating privacy and security.

(3)

Nonpartisan, nondiscriminatory provision of services

The services made available by an applicable agencies under this section shall be made in a manner consistent with paragraphs (4), (5), and (6)(C) of section 7(a).

(4)

Notices

Each State may send notices under this section 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 section that require a response must offer the individual notified the opportunity to respond at no cost to the individual.

(5)

Registration at other State offices permitted

Nothing in this section may be construed to prohibit a State from offering voter registration services described in this section at offices of the State other than the State motor vehicle authority.

(f)

Applicability

(1)

In general

This section shall not apply to an exempt State.

(2)

Exempt State defined

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 section, either—

(A)

has no voter registration requirement for any voter in the State with respect to a Federal election; or

(B)

operates a system of automatic registration (as defined in section 1002(a)(2)) at the motor vehicle authority of the State or a Permanent Dividend Fund of the State under which an individual is provided the opportunity to decline registration during the transaction or by way of a notice sent by mail or electronically after the transaction.

.

(b)

Conforming amendments

(1)

Section 4(a) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20503(a)(1)) is amended by redesignating paragraphs (2) and (3) as paragraphs (3) and (4), respectively, and by inserting after paragraph (1) the following new paragraph:

(2)

by application made simultaneously with an application for a motor vehicle driver's license pursuant to section 5A;.

.

(2)

Section 4(b) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20503(b)) is amended—

(A)

by redesignating paragraphs (1) and (2) as subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively, and indenting appropriately;

(B)

by striking States.—This Act and inserting “States.—

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), this Act

; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(2)

Application of automatic registration requirements

Section 5A shall apply to a State described in paragraph (1), unless the State is an exempt State as defined in subsection (f)(2) of such section.

.

(3)

Section 8(a)(1) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20507(a)(1)) is amended by redesignating subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D) as subparagraphs (C), (D), and (E), respectively, and by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following new subparagraph:

(B)

in the case of registration under section 5A, within the period provided in section 5A(b)(2);

.

1003.

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.

(2)

The individual is not eligible to vote in elections for Federal office but was registered to vote due to individual or agency error.

(3)

The individual was automatically registered to vote 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.

(b)

Limits on use of automatic registration

The automatic registration (within the meaning of section 5A of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993) 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) may not be used as evidence against that individual in any State or Federal law enforcement proceeding or any civil adjudication concerning immigration status or naturalization, 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)

Election officials’ protection of information

(1)

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.

(2)

Database management standards

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in consultation with State and local election officials and the Election Assistance Commission, 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;

(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; and

(D)

ensure that the standards developed pursuant to this paragraph are maintained and updated in a manner that reflects innovations and best practices in the security of database management.

(3)

Security policy

(A)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, 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—

(i)

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

(ii)

security safeguards to protect personal information transmitted through the information transmittal processes of section 5A(b) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, any telephone interface, the maintenance of the voter registration database, and any audit procedure to track access to the system.

(B)

Maintenance and updating

The Director shall ensure that the standards developed pursuant to this paragraph are maintained and updated in a manner that reflects innovations and best practices in the privacy and security of voter registration information.

(4)

State compliance with national standards

(A)

Certification

The chief State election official 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 (2) and (3). 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 (2) and (3) of section 1003(d) of the Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2021. (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.

(e)

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, juror selection, 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 5A of the National Voter Registration Ac of 1993.

(3)

An individual’s voter registration status.

(f)

Prohibition on the use of voter registration information for commercial purposes

Information collected under this part or the amendments made by 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.

1004.

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 and the amendments made by this part (or, in the case of an exempt State, in implementing its existing automatic voter registration program or expanding its automatic voter registration program in a manner consistent with the requirements of this part) with respect to the offices of the State motor vehicle authority and any other offices of the State at which the State offers voter registration services as described in this part and the amendments made by this part.

(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 applicable agencies (as defined in section 5A of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993) 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)

Exempt State

For purposes of this section, the term exempt State has the meaning given such term under section 5A of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, and also includes a State in which, under law which is in effect continuously on and after the date of the enactment of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, there is no voter registration requirement for any voter in the State with respect to an election for Federal office.

(e)

Authorization of appropriations

(1)

Authorization

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

(A)

$3,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2021; 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.

1005.

Miscellaneous provisions

(a)

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.

(b)

Relation to other laws

Except as provided, nothing in this part or the amendments made by 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.) (other than section 5A thereof).

(4)

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

(5)

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).

1006.

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 State means each of the several States, 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.

1007.

Effective date

(a)

In general

Except as provided in subsection (b), this part and the amendments made by this part shall apply on and after January 1, 2023.

(b)

Waiver

If a State certifies to the Commission not later than January 1, 2023, that the State will not meet the deadline described in subsection (a) because it would be impracticable to do so and includes in the certification the reasons for the failure to meet such deadline, subsection (a) shall apply to the State as if the reference in such subsection to January 1, 2023 were a reference to January 1, 2025.

2

Election Day as Legal Public Holiday

1011.

Election day as legal public holiday

(a)

In general

Section 6103(a) of title 5, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to Columbus Day, the following:

  • Election Day, the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November in each even-numbered year.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

Section 241(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 20981(b)) is amended—

(1)

by striking paragraph (10); and

(2)

by redesignating paragraphs (11) through (19) as paragraphs (10) through (18), respectively.

(c)

Effective date

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general elections for Federal office held in November 2022 or any succeeding year.

3

Promoting Internet Registration

1021.

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

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):

(1)

Online application for voter registration.

(2)

Online assistance to applicants in applying to register to vote.

(3)

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).

(4)

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

(A)

In general

Upon the online submission of a completed voter registration application by an individual under this section, the appropriate State or local election official shall provide 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.

(B)

Method of notification

The appropriate State or local election official shall provide the notice required under subparagraph (A) though the online submission process and—

(i)

in the case of an individual who has provided the official with an electronic mail address, by electronic mail; and

(ii)

at the option of the individual, by text message.

(2)

Notice of disposition

(A)

In general

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 provide the individual a notice of the disposition of the application.

(B)

Method of notification

The appropriate State or local election official shall provide the notice required under subparagraph (A) by regular mail and—

(i)

in the case of an individual who has provided the official with an electronic mail address, by electronic mail; and

(ii)

at the option of the individual, by text message.

(e)

Provision of Services in Nonpartisan Manner

The services made available under subsection (a) shall be provided in a manner that ensures that—

(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)

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)), as amended by section 1002(b)(3), is amended—

(A)

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

(B)

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

(C)

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

(E)

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 28 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.

1022.

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—

(I)

in the case of an individual who has requested that the State provide voter registration and voting information through electronic mail, by electronic mail; and

(II)

at the option of the individual, by text message.

.

(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,.

1023.

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)
(i)

If the individual is assigned to vote in the election at a specific polling place—

(I)

the name and address of the polling place; and

(II)

the hours of operation for the polling place.

(ii)

If the individual is not assigned to vote in the election at a specific polling place—

(I)

the name and address of locations at which the individual is eligible to vote; and

(II)

the hours of operation for those locations.

(B)

A description of any identification or other information the individual may be required to present at the polling place or a location described in subparagraph (A)(ii)(I) to vote in the election.

.

1024.

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.

.

1025.

Prohibiting State from requiring applicants to provide more than last 4 digits of social security number

(a)

Form included with application for motor vehicle driver’s license

Section 5(c)(2)(B)(ii) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20504(c)(2)(B)(ii)) is amended by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting the following: , and to the extent that the application requires the applicant to provide a Social Security number, may not require the applicant to provide more than the last 4 digits of such number;.

(b)

National mail voter registration form

Section 9(b)(1) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20508(b)(1)) is amended by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting the following: , and to the extent that the form requires the applicant to provide a Social Security number, the form may not require the applicant to provide more than the last 4 digits of such number;.

1026.

Application of rules to certain exempt States

Section 4 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20503) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(c)

Application of Internet voter registration rules

Notwithstanding subsection (b), the following provisions shall apply to a State described in paragraph (2) thereof:

(1)

Section 6A (as added by section 1021(a) of the Voter Registration Modernization Act of 2021).

(2)

Section 8(a)(1)(E) (as added by section 1021(c)(1) of the Voter Registration Modernization Act of 2021).

(3)

Section 8(a)(5) (as amended by section 1021(c)(2) of Voter Registration Modernization Act of 2021), but only to the extent such provision relates to section 6A.

(4)

Section 8(j) (as added by section 1024 of the Voter Registration Modernization Act of 2021), but only to the extent such provision relates to section 6A.

.

1027.

Report on data collection relating to online voter registration systems

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall submit to Congress a report on local, State, and Federal personally identifiable information data collections efforts related to online voter registration systems, the cyber security resources necessary to defend such efforts from online attacks, and the impact of a potential data breach of local, State, or Federal online voter registration systems.

1028.

Permitting voter registration application form to serve as application for absentee ballot

Section 5(c) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20504(c)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (2)—

(A)

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

(B)

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

(C)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(F)

at the option of the applicant, shall serve as an application to vote by absentee ballot in the next election for Federal office held in the State and in each subsequent election for Federal office held in the State.

; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(3)
(A)

In the case of an individual who is treated as having applied for an absentee ballot in the next election for Federal office held in the State and in each subsequent election for Federal office held in the State under paragraph (2)(F), such treatment shall remain effective until the earlier of such time as—

(i)

the individual is no longer registered to vote in the State; or

(ii)

the individual provides an affirmative written notice revoking such treatment.

(B)

The treatment of an individual as having applied for an absentee ballot in the next election for Federal office held in the State and in each subsequent election for Federal office held in the State under paragraph (2)(F) shall not be revoked on the basis that the individual has not voted in an election

.

1029.

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, 2022.

(b)

Waiver

If a State certifies to the Election Assistance Commission not later than January 1, 2022, that the State will not meet the deadline described in subsection (a) because it would be impracticable to do so and includes in the certification the reasons for the failure to meet such deadline, subsection (a) shall apply to the State as if the reference in such subsection to January 1, 2022 were a reference to January 1, 2024.

4

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, respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after section 303 the following new section:

304.

Same day registration

(a)

In general

(1)

Registration

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)

Ensuring availability of forms

The State shall ensure that each polling place has copies of any forms an individual may be required to complete in order to register to vote or revise the individual’s voter registration information under this section.

(d)

Effective date

(1)

In general

Subject to paragraph (2), each State shall be required to comply with the requirements of this section for the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office occurring in November 2022 and for any subsequent election for Federal office.

(2)

Special rules for elections before November 2026

(A)

Elections prior to November 2024 general election

A State shall be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of this section for the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office occurring in November 2022 and subsequent elections for Federal office occurring before the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office in November 2024 if at least one location for each 15,000 registered voters in each jurisdiction in the State meets such requirements.

(B)

November 2024 general election

If a State certifies to the Commission not later than November 5, 2024, that the State will not be in compliance with the requirements of this section for the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office occurring in November 2024 because it would be impracticable to do so and includes in the certification the reasons for the failure to meet such requirements, the State shall be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of this section for such election if at least one location for each 15,000 registered voters in each jurisdiction in the State meets such requirements.

.

(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 amendments

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, respectively; and

(2)

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

Sec. 304. Same day registration.

.

1032.

Ensuring pre-election registration deadlines are consistent with timing of legal public holidays

(a)

In general

Section 8(a)(1) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20507(a)(1)) is amended by striking 30 days each place it appears and inserting 28 days.

(b)

Effective date

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to elections held in 2022 or any succeeding year.

5

Streamline Voter Registration Information, Access, and Privacy

1041.

Authorizing the dissemination of voter registration information displays following naturalization ceremonies

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish a process for authorizing the chief State election official of a State to disseminate voter registration information at the conclusion of any naturalization ceremony in such State, which may involve a display or exhibit.

1042.

Inclusion of voter registration information with certain leases and vouchers for federally assisted rental housing and mortgage applications

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Bureau

The term Bureau means the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

(2)

Director

The term Director means the Director of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

(3)

Federal rental assistance

The term Federal rental assistance means rental assistance provided under—

(A)

any covered housing program, as defined in section 41411(a) of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (34 U.S.C. 12491(a));

(B)

title V of the Housing Act of 1949 (42 U.S.C. 1471 et seq.), including voucher assistance under section 542 of such title (42 U.S.C. 1490r);

(C)

the Housing Trust Fund program under section 1338 of the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (12 U.S.C. 4588); or

(D)

subtitle C of title IV of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11381 et seq.).

(4)

Federally backed multifamily mortgage loan

The term Federally backed multifamily mortgage loan includes any loan (other than temporary financing such as a construction loan) that—

(A)

is secured by a first or subordinate lien on residential multifamily real property designed principally for the occupancy of 5 or more families, including any such secured loan, the proceeds of which are used to prepay or pay off an existing loan secured by the same property; and

(B)

is made in whole or in part, or insured, guaranteed, supplemented, or assisted in any way, by any officer or agency of the Federal Government or under or in connection with a housing or urban development program administered by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development or a housing or related program administered by any other such officer or agency, or is purchased or securitized by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation or the Federal National Mortgage Association.

(5)

Owner

The term owner has the meaning given the term in section 8(f) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(f)).

(6)

Public housing; public housing agency

The terms public housing and public housing agency have the meanings given those terms in section 3(b) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437a(b)).

(7)

Residential mortgage loan

The term residential mortgage loan includes any loan that is secured by a first or subordinate lien on residential real property, including individual units of condominiums and cooperatives, designed principally for the occupancy of from 1- to 4- families.

(b)

Uniform statement

(1)

Development

The Director, after consultation with the Election Assistance Commission, shall develop a uniform statement designed to provide recipients of the statement pursuant to this section with information on how the recipient can register to vote and the voting rights of the recipient under law.

(2)

Responsibilities

In developing the uniform statement, the Director shall be responsible for—

(A)

establishing the format of the statement;

(B)

consumer research and testing of the statement; and

(C)

consulting with and obtaining from the Election Assistance Commission the content regarding voter rights and registration issues needed to ensure the statement complies with the requirements of paragraph (1).

(3)

Languages

(A)

In general

The uniform statement required under paragraph (1) shall be developed and made available in English and in each of the 10 languages most commonly spoken by individuals with limited English proficiency, as determined by the Director using information published by the Director of the Bureau of the Census.

(B)

Publication

The Director shall make all translated versions of the uniform statement required under paragraph (1) publicly available in a centralized location on the website of the Bureau.

(c)

Leases and vouchers for Federally assisted rental housing

Each Federal agency administering a Federal rental assistance program shall require—

(1)

each public housing agency to provide a copy of the uniform statement developed pursuant to subsection (b) to each lessee of a dwelling unit in public housing administered by the agency—

(A)

together with the lease for the dwelling unit, at the same time the lease is signed by the lessee; and

(B)

together with any income verification form, at the same time the form is provided to the lessee;

(2)

each public housing agency that administers rental assistance under the Housing Choice Voucher program under section 8(o) of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437f(o)), including the program under paragraph (13) of such section 8(o), to provide a copy of the uniform statement developed pursuant to subsection (b) to each assisted family or individual—

(A)

together with the voucher for the assistance, at the time the voucher is issued for the family or individual; and

(B)

together with any income verification form, at the time the voucher is provided to the applicant or assisted family or individual; and

(3)

each owner of a dwelling unit assisted with Federal rental assistance to provide a copy of the uniform statement developed pursuant to subsection (b) to the lessee of the dwelling unit—

(A)

together with the lease for such dwelling unit, at the same time the lease is signed by the lessee; and

(B)

together with any income verification form, at the same time the form is provided to the applicant or tenant.

(d)

Applications for residential mortgage loans

The Director shall require each creditor (within the meaning of such term as used in section 1026.2(a)(17) of title 12, Code of Federal Regulations) that receives an application (within the meaning of such term as used in section 1026.2(a)(3)(ii) of title 12, Code of Federal Regulations) to provide a copy of the uniform statement developed pursuant to subsection (b) in written form to the applicant for the residential mortgage loan not later than 5 business days after the date of the application.

(e)

Federally backed multifamily mortgage loans

The head of the Federal agency insuring, guaranteeing, supplementing, or assisting a Federally backed multifamily mortgage loan, or the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency in the case of a Federally backed multifamily mortgage loan that is purchased or securitized by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation or the Federal National Mortgage Association, shall require the owner of the property secured by the Federally backed multifamily mortgage loan to provide a copy of the uniform statement developed pursuant to subsection (b) in written form to each lessee of a dwelling unit assisted by that loan at the time the lease is signed by the lessee.

(f)

Optional completion of voter registration

Nothing in this section may be construed to require any individual to complete a voter registration form.

(g)

Regulations

The head of a Federal agency administering a Federal rental assistance program, the head of the Federal agency insuring, guaranteeing, supplementing, or assisting a Federally backed multifamily mortgage loan, the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Director may issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out this section.

1043.

Acceptance of voter registration applications from individuals under 18 years of age

(a)

Acceptance of applications

Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20507), as amended by section 1024, is amended—

(1)

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

(2)

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

(k)

Acceptance of applications from individuals under 18 years of age

(1)

In general

A State may not refuse to accept or process an individual’s application to register to vote in elections for Federal office on the grounds that the individual is under 18 years of age at the time the individual submits the application, so long as the individual is at least 16 years of age at such time.

(2)

No effect on State voting age requirements

Nothing in paragraph (1) may be construed to require a State to permit an individual who is under 18 years of age at the time of an election for Federal office to vote in the election.

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to elections occurring on or after January 1, 2022.

1044.

Requiring states to establish and operate voter privacy programs

(a)

In general

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, respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after section 304 the following new section:

305.

Voter privacy programs

(a)

In general

Each State shall establish and operate a privacy program to enable victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, sexual assault, and trafficking to have personally identifiable information that State or local election officials maintain with respect to an individual voter registration status for purposes of elections for Federal office in the State, including addresses, be kept confidential.

(b)

Notice

Each State shall notify residents of that State of the information that State and local election officials maintain with respect to an individual voter registration status for purposes of elections for Federal office in the State, how that information is shared or sold and with whom, what information is automatically kept confidential, what information is needed to access voter information online, and the privacy programs that are available.

(c)

Public availability

Each State shall make information about the program established under subsection (a) available on a publicly accessible website.

(d)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

The terms domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, and dating violence have the meanings given such terms in section 40002 of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (34 U.S.C. 12291).

(2)

The term trafficking means an act or practice described in paragraph (11) or (12) of section 103 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7102).

(e)

Effective date

Each State and jurisdiction shall be required to comply with the requirements of this section on and after January 1, 2023.

.

(b)

Clerical amendments

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, respectively; and

(2)

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

Sec. 305. Voter privacy programs.

.

6

Funding Support to States for Compliance

1051.

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 as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) and inserting as otherwise provided in this subsection; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(4)

Certain voter registration activities

Notwithstanding paragraph (3), a State may use a requirements payment to carry out any of the requirements of the Voter Registration Modernization Act of 2021, 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 2021.

.

(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 2022 and each succeeding fiscal year.

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) and section 1044(a), is amended—

(1)

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

(2)

by inserting after section 305 the following new section:

306.

Access to voter registration and voting for individuals with disabilities

(a)

Treatment of applications and ballots

Each State shall—

(1)

ensure that absentee registration forms, absentee ballot applications, and absentee ballots that are available electronically are accessible (as defined in section 307);

(2)

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

(3)

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;

(4)

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;

(5)

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); 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 voters with disabilities in State

(1)

In general

Each State shall designate a single office which shall be responsible for providing information regarding voter registration procedures, absentee ballot procedures, and in-person voting 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.

(2)

Responsibilities

Each State shall, through the office designated in paragraph (1)—

(A)

provide information to election officials—

(i)

on how to set up and operate accessible voting systems; and

(ii)

regarding the accessibility of voting procedures, including guidance on compatibility with assistive technologies such as screen readers and ballot marking devices;

(B)

integrate information on accessibility, accommodations, disability, and older individuals into regular training materials for poll workers and election administration officials;

(C)

train poll workers on how to make polling places accessible for individuals with disabilities and older individuals;

(D)

promote the hiring of individuals with disabilities and older individuals as poll workers and election staff; and

(E)

publicly post the results of any audits to determine the accessibility of polling places no later than 6 months after the completion of the audit.

(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 accessible 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)(4);

(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)(4)(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 envelope, 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)

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.

(f)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to elections for Federal office held on or after January 1, 2022.

.

(b)

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

(1)

Timing of issuance

Section 311(b) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21101(b)) is amended—

(A)

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

(B)

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

(C)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(4)

in the case of the recommendations with respect to section 306, January 1, 2022.

.

(2)

Redesignation

(A)

In general

Title III of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21081 et seq.) is amended by redesignating sections 311 and 312 as sections 321 and 322, respectively.

(B)

Conforming amendment

Section 322(a) of such Act, as redesignated by subparagraph (A), is amended by striking section 312 and inserting section 322.

(c)

Clerical amendments

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1031(c) and section 1044(b), is amended—

(1)

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

(2)

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

Sec. 306. Access to voter registration and voting for individuals with disabilities.

.

1102.

Establishment and maintenance of State accessible election websites

(a)

In general

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 1044(a), and section 1101(a), is amended—

(1)

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

(2)

by inserting after section 306 the following:

307.

Establishment and maintenance of accessible election websites

(a)

In general

Not later than January 1, 2023, each State shall establish a single election website that is accessible and meets the following requirements:

(1)

Local election officials

The website shall provide local election officials, poll workers, and volunteers with—

(A)

guidance to ensure that polling places are accessible for individuals with disabilities and older individuals in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access and participation (including privacy and independence) as for other voters; and

(B)

online training and resources on—

(i)

how best to promote the access and participation of individuals with disabilities and older individuals in elections for public office; and

(ii)

the voting rights and protections for individuals with disabilities and older individuals under State and Federal law.

(2)

Voters

The website shall provide information about voting, including—

(A)

the accessibility of all polling places within the State, including outreach programs to inform individuals about the availability of accessible polling places;

(B)

how to register to vote and confirm voter registration in the State;

(C)

the location and operating hours of all polling places in the State;

(D)

the availability of aid or assistance for individuals with disabilities and older individuals to cast their vote in a manner that provides the same opportunity for access and participation (including privacy and independence) as for other voters at polling places;

(E)

the availability of transportation aid or assistance to the polling place for individuals with disabilities or older individuals;

(F)

the rights and protections under State and Federal law for individuals with disabilities and older individuals to participate in elections; and

(G)

how to contact State, local, and Federal officials with complaints or grievances if individuals with disabilities, older individuals, Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and individuals with limited proficiency in the English language feel their ability to register to vote or vote has been blocked or delayed.

(b)

Partnership with outside technical organization

The chief State election official of each State, through the committee of appropriate individuals under subsection (c)(2), shall partner with an outside technical organization with demonstrated experience in establishing accessible and easy to use accessible election websites to—

(1)

update an existing election website to make it fully accessible in accordance with this section; or

(2)

develop an election website that is fully accessible in accordance with this section.

(c)

State plan

(1)

Development

The chief State election official of each State shall, through a committee of appropriate individuals as described in paragraph (2), develop a State plan that describes how the State and local governments will meet the requirements under this section.

(2)

Committee membership

The committee shall comprise at least the following individuals:

(A)

The chief election officials of the four most populous jurisdictions within the State.

(B)

The chief election officials of the four least populous jurisdictions within the State.

(C)

Representatives from two disability advocacy groups, including at least one such representative who is an individual with a disability.

(D)

Representatives from two older individual advocacy groups, including at least one such representative who is an older individual.

(E)

Representatives from two independent non-governmental organizations with expertise in establishing and maintaining accessible websites.

(F)

Representatives from two independent non-governmental voting rights organizations.

(G)

Representatives from State protection and advocacy systems as defined in section 102 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 15002).

(d)

Partnership To monitor and verify accessibility

The chief State election official of each eligible State, through the committee of appropriate individuals under subsection (c)(2), shall partner with at least two of the following organizations to monitor and verify the accessibility of the election website and the completeness of the election information and the accuracy of the disability information provided on such website:

(1)

University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Services designated under section 151(a) of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 15061(a)).

(2)

Centers for Independent Living, as described in part C of title VII of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 796f et seq.).

(3)

A State Council on Developmental Disabilities described in section 125 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 15025).

(4)

State protection and advocacy systems as defined in section 102 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 15002).

(5)

Statewide Independent Living Councils established under section 705 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 796d).

(6)

State Assistive Technology Act Programs.

(7)

A visual access advocacy organization.

(8)

An organization for the deaf.

(9)

A mental health organization.

(e)

Definitions

For purposes of this section, section 305, and section 307:

(1)

Accessible

The term accessible means—

(A)

in the case of the election website under subsection (a) or an electronic communication under section 305—

(i)

that the functions and content of the website or electronic communication, including all text, visual, and aural content, are as accessible to people with disabilities as to those without disabilities;

(ii)

that the functions and content of the website or electronic communication are accessible to individuals with limited proficiency in the English language; and

(iii)

that the website or electronic communication meets, at a minimum, conformance to Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 of the Web Accessibility Initiative (or any successor guidelines); and

(B)

in the case of a facility (including a polling place), that the facility is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities and older individuals, as determined under the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design adopted by the Department of Justice (or any successor standards).

(2)

Individual with a disability

The term individual with a disability means an individual with a disability, as defined in section 3 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102), and who is otherwise qualified to vote in elections for Federal office.

(3)

Older individual

The term older individual means an individual who is 60 years of age or older and who is otherwise qualified to vote in elections for Federal office.

.

(b)

Voluntary guidance

Section 321(b)(4) such Act (52 U.S.C. 21101(b)), as added and redesignated by section 1101(b), is amended by striking section 306 and inserting sections 306 and 307.

(c)

Clerical amendments

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1031(c), section 1044(b), and section 1101(c), is amended—

(1)

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

(2)

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

Sec. 307. Establishment and maintenance of accessible election websites.

.

1103.

Protections for in-person voting for individuals with disabilities and older individuals

(a)

Requirement

(1)

In general

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 1044(a), section 1101(a), and section 1102(a), is amended—

(A)

by redesignating sections 308 and 309 as sections 309 and 310, respectively; and

(B)

by inserting after section 307 the following:

308.

Access to voting for individuals with disabilities and older individuals

(a)

In general

Each State shall—

(1)

ensure all polling places within the State are accessible, as defined in section 306;

(2)

consider procedures to address long wait times at polling places that allow individuals with disabilities and older individuals alternate options to cast a ballot in person in an election for Federal office, such as the option to cast a ballot outside of the polling place or from a vehicle, or providing an expedited voting line; and

(3)

consider options to establish mobile polling sites to allow election officials or volunteers to travel to long-term care facilities and assist residents who request assistance in casting a ballot in order to maintain the privacy and independence of voters in these facilities.

(b)

Clarification

Nothing in this section may be construed to alter the requirements under Federal law that all polling places for Federal elections are accessible to individuals with disabilities and older individuals.

(c)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to elections for Federal office held on or after January 1, 2024.

.

(2)

Voluntary guidance

Section 321(b)(4) such Act (52 U.S.C. 21101(b)), as added and redesignated by section 1101(b) and as amended by section 1102(b), is amended by striking and 307 and inserting , 307, and 308.

(3)

Clerical amendments

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1031(c), section 1044(b), section 1101(c), and section 1102(c), is amended—

(A)

by redesignating the items relating to sections 308 and 309 as relating to sections 309 and 310, respectively; and

(B)

by inserting after the item relating to section 307 the following new item:

Sec. 308. Access to voting for individuals with disabilities and older individuals.

.

(b)

Revisions to Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act

(1)

Reports to Election Assistance Commission

Section 3(c) of the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (52 U.S.C. 20102(c)) is amended—

(A)

in the subsection heading, by striking Federal Election Commission and inserting Election Assistance Commission;

(B)

in each of paragraphs (1) and (2), by striking Federal Election Commission and inserting Election Assistance Commission; and

(C)

by striking paragraph (3).

(2)

Conforming amendments relating to references

The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (52 U.S.C. 20101 et seq.), as amended by paragraph (1), is amended—

(A)

by striking handicapped and elderly individuals each place it appears and inserting individuals with disabilities and older individuals;

(B)

by striking handicapped and elderly voters each place it appears and inserting individuals with disabilities and older individuals;

(C)

in section 3(b)(2)(B), by striking handicapped or elderly voter and inserting individual with a disability or older individual;

(D)

in section 5(b), by striking handicapped voter and inserting individual with a disability; and

(E)

in section 8—

(i)

by striking paragraphs (1) and (2) and inserting the following:

(1)

accessible has the meaning given that term in section 307 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added by section 1102(a) of the Freedom to Vote Act;

(2)

older individual has the meaning given that term in such section 307;

; and

(ii)

by striking paragraph (4), and inserting the following:

(4)

individual with a disability has the meaning given that term in such section 306; and

.

(3)

Short title amendment

(A)

In general

Section 1 of the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (Public Law 98–435; 42 U.S.C. 1973ee note) is amended by striking for the Elderly and Handicapped and inserting for Individuals with Disabilities and Older Individuals.

(B)

References

Any reference in any other provision of law, regulation, document, paper, or other record of the United States to the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act shall be deemed to be a reference to the Voting Accessibility for Individuals with Disabilities and Older Individuals Act.

(4)

Effective date

The amendments made by this subsection shall take effect on January 1, 2024, and apply to with respect to elections for Federal office held on or after that date.

1104.

Protections for individuals subject to guardianship

(a)

In general

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 1044(a), section 1101(a), section 1102(a), and section 1103(a)(1), is amended—

(1)

by redesignating sections 309 and 310 as sections 310 and 311, respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after section 308 the following:

309.

Protections for individuals subject to guardianship

(a)

In general

A State shall not determine that an individual lacks the capacity to vote in an election for Federal office on the ground that the individual is subject to guardianship, unless a court of competent jurisdiction issues a court order finding by clear and convincing evidence that the individual cannot communicate, with or without accommodations, a desire to participate in the voting process.

(b)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to elections for Federal office held on or after January 1, 2022.

.

(b)

Voluntary guidance

Section 321(b)(4) such Act (52 U.S.C. 21101(b)), as added and redesignated by section 1101(b) and as amended by sections 1102 and 1103, is amended by striking and 308 and inserting 308, and 309.

(c)

Clerical amendments

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1031(c), section 1044(b), section 1101(c), section 1102(c), and section 1103(a)(3), is amended—

(1)

by redesignating the items relating to sections 309 and 310 as relating to sections 310 and 311, respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after the item relating to section 308 the following new item:

Sec. 309. Protections for individuals subject to guardianship.

.

1105.

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 2022 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 2022 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).

.

1106.

Funding for protection and advocacy systems

(a)

Inclusion of system serving American Indian Consortium

Section 291(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21061(a)) is amended by striking of each State and inserting of each State and the eligible system serving the American Indian consortium (within the meaning of section 509(c)(1)(B) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794e(c)(1)(B))).

(b)

Grant amount

Section 291(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21061(b)) is amended—

(1)

by striking as set forth in subsections (c)(3) and inserting as set forth in subsections (c)(1)(B) (regardless of the fiscal year), (c)(3); and

(2)

by striking except that and all that follows and inserting except that the amount of the grants to systems referred to in subsection (c)(3)(B) of that section shall not be less than $70,000 and the amount of the grants to systems referred to in subsections (c)(1)(B) and (c)(4)(B) of that section shall not be less than $35,000..

1107.

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

(a)

Establishment of pilot programs

The Election Assistance Commission (hereafter referred to as the Commission) shall, subject to the availability of appropriations to carry out this section, make grants to eligible States to conduct pilot programs under which individuals with disabilities may use electronic means (including the internet and telephones utilizing assistive devices) to register to vote and to request and receive absentee ballots in a manner which permits such individuals to do so privately and independently at their own residences.

(b)

Reports

(1)

In general

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

(2)

Deadline

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

(c)

Eligibility

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

(d)

Timing

The Commission shall make the first grants under this section for pilot programs which will be in effect with respect to elections for Federal office held in 2022, or, at the option of a State, with respect to other elections for public office held in the State in 2022.

(e)

State defined

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

1108.

GAO analysis and report on voting access for individuals with disabilities

(a)

Analysis

The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct an analysis after each regularly scheduled general election for Federal office with respect to the following:

(1)

In relation to polling places located in houses of worship or other facilities that may be exempt from accessibility requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act—

(A)

efforts to overcome accessibility challenges posed by such facilities; and

(B)

the extent to which such facilities are used as polling places in elections for Federal office.

(2)

Assistance provided by the Election Assistance Commission, Department of Justice, or other Federal agencies to help State and local officials improve voting access for individuals with disabilities during elections for Federal office.

(3)

When accessible voting machines are available at a polling place, the extent to which such machines—

(A)

are located in places that are difficult to access;

(B)

malfunction; or

(C)

fail to provide sufficient privacy to ensure that the ballot of the individual cannot be seen by another individual.

(4)

The process by which Federal, State, and local governments track compliance with accessibility requirements related to voting access, including methods to receive and address complaints.

(5)

The extent to which poll workers receive training on how to assist individuals with disabilities, including the receipt by such poll workers of information on legal requirements related to voting rights for individuals with disabilities.

(6)

The extent and effectiveness of training provided to poll workers on the operation of accessible voting machines.

(7)

The extent to which individuals with a developmental or psychiatric disability experience greater barriers to voting, and whether poll worker training adequately addresses the needs of such individuals.

(8)

The extent to which State or local governments employ, or attempt to employ, individuals with disabilities to work at polling sites.

(b)

Report

(1)

In general

Not later than 9 months after the date of a regularly scheduled general election for Federal office, the Comptroller General shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report with respect to the most recent regularly scheduled general election for Federal office that contains the following:

(A)

The analysis required by subsection (a).

(B)

Recommendations, as appropriate, to promote the use of best practices used by State and local officials to address barriers to accessibility and privacy concerns for individuals with disabilities in elections for Federal office.

(2)

Appropriate congressional committees

For purposes of this subsection, the term appropriate congressional committees means—

(A)

the Committee on House Administration of the House of Representatives;

(B)

the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Senate;

(C)

the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives; and

(D)

the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate.

C

Early Voting

1201.

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), section 1044(a), section 1101(a), section 1102(a), section 1103(a), and section 1104(a), is amended—

(1)

by redesignating sections 310 and 311 as sections 311 and 312, respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after section 309 the following new section:

310.

Early voting

(a)

Requiring Voting Prior to Date of Election

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 a manner that allows the individual to receive, complete, and cast their ballot in-person.

(b)

Minimum early voting requirements

(1)

In general

(A)

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 no earlier than the second day before the date of the election.

(B)

Hours for early voting

Each polling place which allows voting during an early voting period under subparagraph (A) shall—

(i)

allow such voting for no less than 10 hours on each day during the period;

(ii)

have uniform hours each day for which such voting occurs; and

(iii)

allow such voting to be held for some period of time prior to 9:00 a.m (local time) and some period of time after 5:00 p.m. (local time).

(2)

Requirements for vote-by-mail jurisdictions

In the case of a jurisdiction that sends every registered voter a ballot by mail—

(A)

paragraph (1) shall not apply;

(B)

such jurisdiction shall allow eligible individuals to vote during an early voting period that ensures voters are provided the greatest opportunity to cast ballots ahead of election day and which includes at least one consecutive Saturday and Sunday; and

(C)

each polling place which allows voting during an early voting period under subparagraph (B) shall allow such voting—

(i)

during the election office’s regular business hours; and

(ii)

for a period of not less than 8 hours on Saturdays and Sundays included in the early voting period.

(3)

Requirements for small jurisdictions

(A)

In general

In the case of a jurisdiction described in subparagraph (B), paragraph (1)(B) shall not apply so long as all eligible individuals in the jurisdiction have the opportunity to vote—

(i)

at each polling place which allows voting during the early voting period described in paragraph (1)(A)—

(I)

during the election office’s regular business hours; and

(II)

for a period of not less than 8 hours on at least one Saturday and at least one Sunday included in the early voting period; or

(ii)

at one or more polling places in the county in which such jurisdiction is located that allows voting during the early voting period described in paragraph (1)(A) in accordance with the requirements under paragraph (1)(B).

(B)

Jurisdiction described

A jurisdiction is described in this subparagraph if such jurisdiction—

(i)

had less than 3,000 registered voters at the time of the most recent prior election for Federal office; and

(ii)

consists of a geographic area that is smaller than the jurisdiction of the county in which such jurisdiction is located.

(4)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed—

(A)

to limit the availability of additional temporary voting sites which provide voters more opportunities to cast their ballots but which do not meet the requirements of this subsection;

(B)

to limit a polling place from being open for additional hours outside of the uniform hours set for the polling location on any day of the early voting period; or

(C)

to limit a State or jurisdiction from offering early voting on the Monday before election day.

(c)

Location of polling places

(1)

Proximity to public transportation

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

(2)

Availability in rural areas

In the case of a jurisdiction that includes a rural area, the State or jurisdiction shall—

(A)

ensure that polling places which allow voting during an early voting period under subsection (b) will be located in such rural areas; and

(B)

ensure that such polling places are located in communities which will provide the greatest opportunity for residents of rural areas to vote during the early voting period.

(3)

College campuses

In the case of a jurisdiction that includes an institution of higher education, the State or jurisdiction shall—

(A)

ensure that an appropriate number (not less than one) of polling places which allow voting during the early voting period under subsection (b) will be located on the campus of the institution of higher education; and

(B)

ensure that such polling places provide the greatest opportunity for residents of the jurisdiction to vote.

(d)

Standards

Not later than June 30, 2022, the Commission shall issue voluntary standards for the administration of voting during voting periods which occur prior to the date of a Federal election. Subject to subsection (c), such voluntary standards shall include the nondiscriminatory geographic placement of polling places at which such voting occurs.

(e)

Ballot processing and scanning requirements

(1)

In general

Each State or jurisdiction shall begin processing and scanning ballots cast during in-person early voting for tabulation not later than the date that is 14 days prior to the date of the election involved, except that a State or jurisdiction may begin processing and scanning ballots cast during in-person early voting for tabulation after such date if the date on which the State or jurisdiction begins such processing and scanning ensures, to the greatest extent practical, that ballots cast before the date of the election are processed and scanned before the date of the election.

(2)

Limitation

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed—

(A)

to permit a State or jurisdiction to tabulate ballots in an election before the closing of the polls on the date of the election unless such tabulation is a necessary component of preprocessing in the State or jurisdiction and is performed in accordance with existing State law; or

(B)

to permit an official to make public any results of tabulation and processing before the closing of the polls on the date of the election.

(f)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2022 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

.

(b)

Conforming amendments relating to issuance of voluntary guidance by Election Assistance Commission

Section 321(b) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21101(b)), as redesignated and 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)

except as provided in paragraph (4), in the case of the recommendations with respect to any section added by the Freedom to Vote Act, June 30, 2022.

.

(c)

Clerical amendments

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1031(c), section 1044(b), section 1101(c), section 1102(c), section 1103(a), and section 1104(c), is amended—

(1)

by redesignating the items relating to sections 310 and 311 as relating to sections 311 and 312, respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after the item relating to section 309 the following new item:

Sec. 310. Early voting.

.

D

Voting by Mail

1301.

Voting by mail

(a)

In general

(1)

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 1044(a), section 1101(a), section 1102(a), section 1103(a), section 1104(a), and section 1201(a), is amended—

(A)

by redesignating sections 311 and 312 as sections 312 and 313, respectively; and

(B)

by inserting after section 310 the following new section:

311.

Promoting ability of voters to vote by mail

(a)

Uniform availability of absentee voting to all voters

(1)

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.

(2)

Administration of voting by mail

(A)

Prohibiting identification requirement as condition of obtaining or casting ballot

A State may not require an individual to submit any form of identifying document as a condition of obtaining or casting an absentee ballot, except that nothing in this subparagraph may be construed to prevent a State from requiring—

(i)

the information required to complete an application for voter registration for an election for Federal office under section 303(a)(5)(A), provided that a State may not deny a voter a ballot or the opportunity to cast it on the grounds that the voter does not possess a current and valid driver’s license number or a social security number; or

(ii)

a signature of the individual or similar affirmation as a condition of obtaining or casting an absentee ballot.

(B)

Prohibiting faulty matching requirements for identifying information

A State may not deny a voter an absentee ballot or reject an absentee ballot cast by a voter—

(i)

on the grounds that the voter provided a different form of identifying information under subparagraph (A) than the voter originally provided when registering to vote or when requesting an absentee ballot; or

(ii)

due to an error in, or omission of, identifying information required by a State under subparagraph (A), if such error or omission is not material to an individual’s eligibility to vote under section 2004(a)(2)(B) of the Revised Statutes (52 U.S.C. 10101(a)(2)(B)).

(C)

Prohibiting requirement to provide notarization or witness signature as condition of obtaining or casting ballot

A State may not require notarization or witness signature or other formal authentication (other than voter attestation) as a condition of obtaining or casting an absentee ballot, except that nothing in this subparagraph may be construed to prohibit a State from enforcing a law which has a witness signature requirement for a ballot where a voter oath is attested to with a mark rather than a voter’s signature.

(3)

No effect on identification requirements for first-time voters registering by mail

Nothing in this subsection may be construed to exempt any individual described in paragraph (1) of section 303(b) from meeting the requirements of paragraph (2) of such section or to exempt an individual described in paragraph (5)(A) of section 303(b) from meeting the requirements of paragraph (5)(B).

(b)

Due process requirements for States requiring signature verification

(1)

Requirement

(A)

In general

A State may not impose a signature verification requirement as a condition of accepting and counting a mail-in ballot or absentee ballot submitted by any individual with respect to an election for Federal office unless the State meets the due process requirements described in paragraph (2).

(B)

Signature verification requirement described

In this subsection, a signature verification requirement is a requirement that an election official verify the identification of an individual by comparing the individual’s signature on the mail-in ballot or absentee ballot with the individual’s signature on the official list of registered voters in the State or another official record or other document used by the State to verify the signatures of voters.

(2)

Due process requirements

(A)

Notice and opportunity to cure discrepancy in signatures

If an individual submits a mail-in ballot or 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 or other official record or document used by the State to verify the signatures of voters, such election official, prior to making a final determination as to the validity of such ballot, shall—

(i)

as soon as practical, but no later than the next business day after such determination is made, make a good faith effort to notify the individual by mail, telephone, and (if available) text message and electronic mail that—

(I)

a discrepancy exists between the signature on such ballot and the signature of the individual on the official list of registered voters in the State or other official record or document used by the State to verify the signatures of voters; and

(II)

if such discrepancy is not cured prior to the expiration of the third day following the State's deadline for receiving mail-in ballots or absentee ballots, such ballot will not be counted; and

(ii)

cure such discrepancy and count the ballot if, prior to the expiration of the third day following the State's deadline for receiving mail-in ballots or absentee ballots, the individual provides the official with information to cure such discrepancy, either in person, by telephone, or by electronic methods.

(B)

Notice and opportunity to cure missing signature or other defect

If an individual submits a mail-in ballot or an absentee ballot without a signature or submits a mail-in ballot or an absentee ballot with another defect which, if left uncured, would cause the ballot to not be counted, the appropriate State or local election official, prior to making a final determination as to the validity of the ballot, shall—

(i)

as soon as practical, but no later than the next business day after such determination is made, make a good faith effort to notify the individual by mail, telephone, and (if available) text message and electronic mail that—

(I)

the ballot did not include a signature or has some other defect; and

(II)

if the individual does not provide the missing signature or cure the other defect prior to the expiration of the third day following the State's deadline for receiving mail-in ballots or absentee ballots, such ballot will not be counted; and

(ii)

count the ballot if, prior to the expiration of the third day following the State's deadline for receiving mail-in ballots or absentee ballots, the individual provides the official with the missing signature on a form proscribed by the State or cures the other defect.

This subparagraph does not apply with respect to a defect consisting of the failure of a ballot to meet the applicable deadline for the acceptance of the ballot, as described in subsection (e).
(C)

Other requirements

(i)

In general

An election official may not make a determination that a discrepancy exists between the signature on a mail-in ballot or an absentee ballot and the signature of the individual who submits the ballot on the official list of registered voters in the State or other official record or other document used by the State to verify the signatures of voters unless—

(I)

at least 2 election officials make the determination;

(II)

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

(III)

of the officials who make the determination, at least one is affiliated with the political party whose candidate received the most votes in the most recent statewide election for Federal office held in the State and at least one is affiliated with the political party whose candidate received the second most votes in the most recent statewide election for Federal office held in the State.

(ii)

Exception

Clause (i)(III) shall not apply to any State in which, under a law that is in effect continuously on and after the date of enactment of this section, determinations regarding signature discrepancies are made by election officials who are not affiliated with a political party.

(3)

Report

(A)

In general

Not later than 120 days after the end of a Federal election cycle, each chief State election official shall submit to the Commission a report containing the following information for the applicable Federal election cycle in the State:

(i)

The number of ballots invalidated due to a discrepancy under this subsection.

(ii)

Description of attempts to contact voters to provide notice as required by this subsection.

(iii)

Description of the cure process developed by such State pursuant to this subsection, including the number of ballots determined valid as a result of such process.

(B)

Submission to Congress

Not later than 10 days after receiving a report under subparagraph (A), the Commission shall transmit such report to Congress.

(C)

Federal election cycle defined

For purposes of this subsection, the term Federal election cycle means, with respect to any regularly scheduled election for Federal office, the period beginning on the day after the date of the preceding regularly scheduled general election for Federal office and ending on the date of such regularly scheduled general election.

(4)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed—

(A)

to prohibit a State from rejecting a ballot attempted to be cast in an election for Federal office by an individual who is not eligible to vote in the election; or

(B)

to prohibit a State from providing an individual with more time and more methods for curing a discrepancy in the individual’s signature, providing a missing signature, or curing any other defect than the State is required to provide under this subsection.

(c)

Applications for absentee ballots

(1)

In general

In addition to such other methods as the State may establish for an individual to apply for an absentee ballot, each State shall permit an individual to submit an application for an absentee ballot online.

(2)

Treatment of websites

A State shall be considered to meet the requirements of paragraph (1) if the website of the appropriate State or local election official allows an application for an absentee ballot to be completed and submitted online and if the website permits the individual—

(A)

to print the application so that the individual may complete the application and return it to the official; or

(B)

to request that a paper copy of the application be transmitted to the individual by mail or electronic mail so that the individual may complete the application and return it to the official.

(3)

Ensuring delivery prior to election

(A)

In general

If an individual who is eligible to vote in an election for Federal office submits an application for an absentee ballot in the election and such application is received by the appropriate State or local election official not later than 13 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) before the date of the election, the election official shall ensure that the ballot and related voting materials are promptly mailed to the individual.

(B)

Applications received close to election day

If an individual who is eligible to vote in an election for Federal office submits an application for an absentee ballot in the election and such application is received by the appropriate State or local election official after the date described in subparagraph (A) but not later than 7 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) before the date of the election, the election official shall, to the greatest extent practical, ensure that the ballot and related voting materials are mailed to the individual within 1 business day of the receipt of the application.

(C)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude a State or local jurisdiction from allowing for the acceptance and processing of absentee ballot applications submitted or received after the date described in subparagraph (B).

(4)

Application for all future elections

(A)

In general

At the option of an individual, the individual's application to vote by absentee ballot by mail in an election for Federal office shall be treated as an application for an absentee ballot by mail in all subsequent elections for Federal office held in the State.

(B)

Duration of treatment

(i)

In general

In the case of an individual who is treated as having applied for an absentee ballot for all subsequent elections for Federal office held in the State under subparagraph (A), such treatment shall remain effective until the earlier of such time as—

(I)

the individual is no longer registered to vote in the State; or

(II)

the individual provides an affirmative written notice revoking such treatment.

(ii)

Prohibition on revocation based on failure to vote

The treatment of an individual as having applied for an absentee ballot for all subsequent elections held in the State under subparagraph (A) shall not be revoked on the basis that the individual has not voted in an election.

(d)

Accessibility for individuals with disabilities

Each State shall ensure that all absentee ballot applications, 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

(1)

In General

A State or local election official may not refuse to accept or process a ballot submitted by an individual by mail with respect to an election for Federal office in the State on the grounds that the individual did not meet a deadline for returning the ballot to the appropriate State or local election official if—

(A)

the ballot is postmarked or otherwise indicated by the United States Postal Service to have been mailed on or before the date of the election, or has been signed by the voter on or before the date of the election; and

(B)

the ballot is received by the appropriate election official prior to the expiration of the 7-day period which begins on the date of the election.

(2)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit a State from having a law that allows for counting of ballots in an election for Federal office that are received through the mail after the date that is 7 days after the date of the election.

(f)

Alternative methods of returning ballots

In addition to permitting an individual to whom a ballot in an election was provided under this section to return the ballot to an election official by mail, each State shall permit the individual to cast the ballot by delivering the ballot at such times and to such locations as the State may establish, including—

(1)

permitting the individual to deliver the ballot to a polling place within the jurisdiction in which the individual is registered or otherwise eligible to vote on any date on which voting in the election is held at the polling place; and

(2)

permitting the individual to deliver the ballot to a designated ballot drop-off location, a tribally designated building, or the office of a State or local election official.

(g)

Ballot processing and scanning requirements

(1)

In general

Each State or jurisdiction shall begin processing and scanning ballots cast by mail for tabulation not later than the date that is 14 days prior to the date of the election involved, except that a State may begin processing and scanning ballots cast by mail for tabulation after such date if the date on which the State begins such processing and scanning ensures, to the greatest extent practical, that ballots cast before the date of the election are processed and scanned before the date of the election.

(2)

Limitation

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed—

(A)

to permit a State to tabulate ballots in an election before the closing of the polls on the date of the election unless such tabulation is a necessary component of preprocessing in the State and is performed in accordance with existing State law; or

(B)

to permit an official to make public any results of tabulation and processing before the closing of the polls on the date of the election.

(h)

Prohibiting restrictions on distribution of absentee ballot applications by third parties

A State may not prohibit any person from providing an application for an absentee ballot in the election to any individual who is eligible to vote in the election.

(i)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the authority of States to conduct elections for Federal office through the use of polling places at which individuals cast ballots.

(j)

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.).

(k)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2022 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

.

(2)

Clerical amendments

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1031(c), section 1044(b), section 1101(c), section 1102(c), section 1103(a), section 1104(c), and section 1201(c), is amended—

(A)

by redesignating the items relating to sections 311 and 312 as relating to sections 312 and 313, respectively; and

(B)

by inserting after the item relating to section 310 the following new item:

Sec. 311. Promoting ability of voters to vote by mail.

.

(b)

Same-day processing of absentee ballots

(1)

In general

Chapter 34 of title 39, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

3407.

Same-day processing of ballots

(a)

In general

The Postal Service shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that any ballot carried by the Postal Service is processed by and cleared from any postal facility or post office on the same day that the ballot is received by that facility or post office.

(b)

Definitions

As used in this section—

(1)

the term ballot means any ballot transmitted by a voter by mail in an election for Federal office, but does not include any ballot covered by section 3406; and

(2)

the term election for Federal office means a general, special, primary, or runoff election for the office of President or Vice President, or of Senator or Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress.

.

(2)

Technical and conforming amendment

The table of sections for chapter 34 of title 39, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

3407. Same-day processing of ballots.

.

(3)

Effective date

The amendments made by this subsection shall apply to absentee ballots relating to an election for Federal office occurring on or after January 1, 2022.

(c)

Development of alternative verification methods

(1)

Development of standards

The National Institute of Standards, in consultation with the Election Assistance Commission, shall develop standards for the use of alternative methods which could be used in place of signature verification requirements for purposes of verifying the identification of an individual voting by mail-in or 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 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the National Institute of Standards shall publish the standards developed under paragraph (1).

1302.

Balloting materials tracking program

(a)

In general

(1)

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 1044(a), section 1101(a), section 1102(a), section 1103(a), section 1104(a), section 1201(a), and section 1301(a), is amended—

(A)

by redesignating sections 312 and 313 as sections 313 and 314, respectively; and

(B)

by inserting after section 311 the following new section:

312.

Ballot materials tracking program

(a)

Requirement

Each State shall carry out a program to track and confirm the receipt of mail-in ballots and absentee ballots in an election for Federal office under which the State or local election official responsible for the receipt of such voted 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.

(b)

Means of carrying out program

A State may meet the requirements of subsection (a)—

(1)

through a program—

(A)

which is established by the State;

(B)

under which the State or local election official responsible for the receipt of voted mail-in ballots and voted absentee ballots in the election—

(i)

carries out procedures to track and confirm the receipt of such ballots; and

(ii)

makes information on the receipt of such ballots available to the individual who cast the ballot; and

(C)

which meets the requirements of subsection (c); or

(2)

through the ballot materials tracking service established under section 1302(b) of the Freedom to Vote Act.

(c)

State program requirements

The requirements of this subsection are as follows:

(1)

Information on whether vote was accepted

The information referred to under subsection (b)(1)(B)(ii) with respect to the receipt of mail-in ballot or an absentee ballot shall include information regarding whether the vote cast on the ballot was accepted, and, in the case of a vote which was rejected, the reasons therefor.

(2)

Availability of information

Information on whether a ballot was accepted or rejected shall be available within 1 business day of the State accepting or rejecting the ballot.

(3)

Accessibility of information

(A)

In general

Except as provided under subparagraph (B), the information provided under the program shall be available by means of online access using the internet site of the State or local election office.

(B)

Use of Toll-Free Telephone Number by Officials Without Internet Site

In the case of a State or local election official whose office does not have an internet site, the program shall require the official to establish a toll-free telephone number that may be used by an individual who cast an absentee ballot to obtain the information required under subsection (b)(1)(B).

(d)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2024 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

.

(2)

Conforming amendments

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

(b)

Balloting materials tracking service

(1)

In general

Not later than January 1, 2024, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Chair of the Election Assistance Commission, the Postmaster General, the Director of the General Services Administration, the Presidential designee, and State election officials, shall establish a balloting materials tracking service to be used by State and local jurisdictions to inform voters on the status of voter registration applications, absentee ballot applications, absentee ballots, and mail-in ballots.

(2)

Information tracked

The balloting materials tracking service established under paragraph (1) shall provide to a voter the following information with respect to that voter:

(A)

In the case of balloting materials sent by mail, tracking information from the United States Postal Service and the Presidential designee on balloting materials sent to the voter and, to the extent feasible, returned by the voter.

(B)

The date on which any request by the voter for an application for voter registration or an absentee ballot was received.

(C)

The date on which any such requested application was sent to the voter.

(D)

The date on which any such completed application was received from the voter and the status of such application.

(E)

The date on which any mail-in ballot or absentee ballot was sent to the voter.

(F)

The date on which any mail-in ballot or absentee ballot was out for delivery to the voter.

(G)

The date on which the post office processes the ballot.

(H)

The date on which the returned ballot was out for delivery to the election office.

(I)

Whether such ballot was accepted and counted, and in the case of any ballot not counted, the reason why the ballot was not counted.

The information described in subparagraph (I) shall be available not later than 1 day after a determination is made on whether or not to accept and count the ballot.
(3)

Method of providing information

The balloting materials tracking service established under paragraph (1) shall allow voters the option to receive the information described in paragraph (2) through email (or other electronic means) or through the mail.

(4)

Public availability of limited information

Information described in subparagraphs (E), (G), and (I) of paragraph (2) shall be made available to political parties and political organizations, free of charge, for use, in accordance with State guidelines and procedures, in helping to return or cure mail-in ballots during any period in which mail-in ballots may be returned.

(5)

Prohibition on fees

The Director may not charge any fee to a State or jurisdiction for use of the balloting materials tracking service in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.

(6)

Presidential designee

For purposes of this subsection, the term Presidential designee means the Presidential designee under section 101(a) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 30201).

(7)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Director such sums as are necessary for purposes of carrying out this subsection.

(c)

Reimbursement for costs incurred by states in establishing program

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 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 the absentee ballot tracking program under section 312(b)(1) (including costs incurred prior to the date of the enactment of this part).

(b)

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 2022 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.

.

(d)

Clerical amendments

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1031(c), 1044(b), section 1101(c), section 1102(c), section 1103(a), section 1104(c), section 1201(c), and section 1301(a), is amended—

(1)

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.

;

(2)

by redesignating the items relating to sections 312 and 313 as relating to sections 313 and 314, respectively; and

(3)

by inserting after the item relating to section 311 the following new item:

Sec. 312. Absentee ballot tracking program.

.

1303.

Election mail and delivery improvements

(a)

Postmark required for ballots

(1)

In general

Chapter 34 of title 39, United States Code, as amended by section 1301(b), is amended by adding at the end the following:

3408.

Postmark required for ballots

(a)

In general

In the case of any absentee ballot carried by the Postal Service, the Postal Service shall indicate on the ballot envelope, using a postmark or otherwise—

(1)

the fact that the ballot was carried by the Postal Service; and

(2)

the date on which the ballot was mailed.

(b)

Definitions

As used in this section—

(1)

the term absentee ballot means any ballot transmitted by a voter by mail in an election for Federal office, but does not include any ballot covered by section 3406; and

(2)

the term election for Federal office means a general, special, primary, or runoff election for the office of President or Vice President, or of Senator or Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress.

.

(2)

Technical and conforming amendment

The table of sections for chapter 34 of title 39, United States Code, as amended by section 1301(b), is amended by adding at the end the following:

3408. Postmark required for ballots.

.

(3)

Effective date

The amendments made by this subsection shall apply to absentee ballots relating to an election for Federal office occurring on or after January 1, 2022.

(b)

Greater visibility for ballots

(1)

In general

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 1044(a), section 1101(a), section 1102(a), section 1103(a), section 1104(a), section 1201(a), section 1301(a), and section 1302(a), is amended—

(A)

by redesignating sections 313 and 314 as sections 314 and 315, respectively; and

(B)

by inserting after section 312 the following new section:

313.

Ballot visibility

(a)

In general

Each State or local election official shall—

(1)

affix Tag 191, Domestic and International Mail-In Ballots (or any successor tag designated by the United States Postal Service), to any tray or sack of official ballots relating to an election for Federal office that is destined for a domestic or international address;

(2)

use the Official Election Mail logo to designate official ballots relating to an election for Federal office that is destined for a domestic or international address; and

(3)

if an intelligent mail barcode is utilized for any official ballot relating to an election for Federal office that is destined for a domestic or international address, ensure the specific ballot service type identifier for such mail is visible.

(b)

Effective date

The requirements of this section shall apply to elections for Federal office occurring on and after January 1, 2022.

.

(2)

Voluntary guidance

Section 321(b)(4) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21101(b)), as added and redesignated by section 1101(b) and as amended by sections 1102, 1103 and 1104, is amended by striking and 309 and inserting 309, and 313.

(3)

Clerical amendments

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1031(c), section 1044(b), section 1101(c), section 1102(c), section 1103(a), section 1104(c), section 1201(c), section 1301(a), and section 1302(a), is amended—

(A)

by redesignating the items relating to sections 313 and 314 as relating to sections 314 and 315; and

(B)

by inserting after the item relating to section 312 the following new item:

Sec. 313. Ballot visibility.

.

1304.

Carriage of election mail

(a)

Treatment of election mail

(1)

Treatment as first-class mail; free postage

Chapter 34 of title 39, United States Code, as amended by section 1301(b) and section 1303(a), is amended by adding at the end the following:

3409.

Domestic election mail; restriction of operational changes prior to elections

(a)

Definition

In this section, the term election mail means—

(1)

a blank or completed voter registration application form, voter registration card, or similar materials, relating to an election for Federal office;

(2)

a blank or completed absentee and other mail-in ballot application form, and a blank or completed absentee or other mail-in ballot, relating to an election for Federal office, and

(3)

other materials relating to an election for Federal office that are mailed by a State or local election official to an individual who is registered to vote.

(b)

Carriage of election mail

Election mail (other than balloting materials covered under section 3406 (relating to the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act)), individually or in bulk, shall be carried in accordance with the service standards established for first-class mail under section 3691.

(c)

No postage required for completed ballots

Completed absentee or other mail-in ballots (other than balloting materials covered under section 3406 (relating to the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act)) shall be carried free of postage.

(d)

Restriction of operational changes

During the 120-day period which ends on the date of an election for Federal office, the Postal Service may not carry out any new operational change that would restrict the prompt and reliable delivery of election mail. This subsection applies to operational changes which include—

(1)

removing or eliminating any mail collection box without immediately replacing it; and

(2)

removing, decommissioning, or any other form of stopping the operation of mail sorting machines, other than for routine maintenance.

(e)

Election mail coordinator

The Postal Service shall appoint an Election Mail Coordinator at each area office and district office to facilitate relevant information sharing with State, territorial, local, and Tribal election officials in regards to the mailing of election mail.

.

(2)

Reimbursement of Postal Service for revenue forgone

Section 2401(c) of title 39, United States Code, is amended by striking sections 3217 and 3403 through 3406 and inserting sections 3217, 3403 through 3406, and 3409.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendment

The table of sections for chapter 34 of title 39, United States Code, as amended by section 1301(b) and section 1303(a), is amended by adding at the end the following:

3409. Domestic election mail; restriction of operational changes prior to elections.

.

(c)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply to election mail relating to an election for Federal office occurring on or after January 1, 2022.

1305.

Requiring States to provide secured drop boxes for voted ballots in elections for Federal office

(a)

Requirement

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 1044(a), section 1101(a), section 1102(a), section 1103(a), section 1104(a), section 1201(a), section 1301(a), section 1302(a), and section 1303(b) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating sections 314 and 315 as sections 315 and 316, respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after section 313 the following new section:

314.

Use of secured drop boxes for voted ballots

(a)

Requiring use of drop boxes

Each jurisdiction shall provide in-person, secured, and clearly labeled drop boxes at which individuals may, at any time during the period described in subsection (b), drop off voted ballots in an election for Federal office.

(b)

Minimum period for availability of drop boxes

The period described in this subsection is, with respect to an election, the period which begins on the first day on which the jurisdiction sends mail-in ballots or absentee ballots (other than ballots for absent uniformed overseas voters (as defined in section 107(1) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20310(1))) or overseas voters (as defined in section 107(5) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20310(5)))) to voters for such election and which ends at the time the polls close for the election in the jurisdiction involved.

(c)

Accessibility

(1)

Hours of access

(A)

In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), each drop box provided under this section shall be accessible to voters for a reasonable number of hours each day.

(B)

24-hour drop boxes

(i)

In general

Of the number of drop boxes provided in any jurisdiction, not less the required number shall be accessible for 24-hours per day during the period described in subsection (b).

(ii)

Required number

The required number is the greater of—

(I)

25 percent of the drop boxes required under subsection (d); or

(II)

1 drop box.

(2)

Population

(A)

In general

Drop boxes provided under this section shall be accessible for use—

(i)

by individuals with disabilities, as determined in consultation with the protection and advocacy systems (as defined in section 102 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 15002)) of the State;

(ii)

by individuals with limited proficiency in the English language; and

(iii)

by homeless individuals (as defined in section 103 of the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act(42 U.S.C. 11302)) within the State.

(B)

Determination of accessibility for individuals with disabilities

For purposes of this paragraph, drop boxes shall be considered to be accessible for use by individuals with disabilities if the drop boxes meet such criteria as the Attorney General may establish for such purposes.

(C)

Rule of construction

If a drop box provided under this section is on the grounds of or inside a building or facility which serves as a polling place for an election during the period described in subsection (b), nothing in this subsection may be construed to waive any requirements regarding the accessibility of such polling place for the use of individuals with disabilities, individuals with limited proficiency in the English language, or homeless individuals.

(d)

Number of drop boxes

Each jurisdiction shall have—

(1)

in the case of any election for Federal office prior to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2024, not less than 1 drop box for every 45,000 registered voters located in the jurisdiction; and

(2)

in the case of the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2024 and each election for Federal office occurring thereafter, not less than the greater of—

(A)

1 drop box for every 45,000 registered voters located in the jurisdiction; or

(B)

1 drop box for every 15,000 votes that were cast by mail in the jurisdiction in the most recent general election that includes an election for the office of President.

In no case shall a jurisdiction have less than 1 drop box for any election for Federal office.
(e)

Location of drop boxes

The State shall determine the location of drop boxes provided under this section in a jurisdiction on the basis of criteria which ensure that the drop boxes are—

(1)

available to all voters on a non-discriminatory basis;

(2)

accessible to voters with disabilities (in accordance with subsection (c));

(3)

accessible by public transportation to the greatest extent possible;

(4)

available during all hours of the day;

(5)

sufficiently available in all communities in the jurisdiction, including rural communities and on Tribal lands within the jurisdiction (subject to subsection (f)); and

(6)

geographically distributed to provide a reasonable opportunity for voters to submit their voted ballot in a timely manner.

(f)

Rules for drop boxes on Tribal lands

In making a determination of the number and location of drop boxes provided under this section on Tribal lands in a jurisdiction, the appropriate State and local election officials shall—

(1)

consult with Tribal leaders prior to making the determination; and

(2)

take into account criteria such as the availability of direct-to-door residential mail delivery, the distance and time necessary to travel to the drop box locations (including in inclement weather), modes of transportation available, conditions of roads, and the availability (if any) of public transportation.

(g)

Timing of scanning and processing of ballots

For purposes of section 311(g) (relating to the timing of the processing and scanning of ballots for tabulation), a vote cast using a drop box provided under this section shall be treated in the same manner as a ballot cast by mail.

(h)

Posting of information

On or adjacent to each drop box provided under this section, the State shall post information on the requirements that voted absentee ballots must meet in order to be counted and tabulated in the election.

(i)

Remote surveillance

Nothing in this section shall prohibit a State from providing for the security of drop boxes through remote or electronic surveillance.

(j)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2022 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

.

(b)

Clerical amendments

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1031(c), section 1044(b), section 1101(c), section 1102(c), section 1103(a), section 1104(c), section 1201(c), section 1301(c), section 1302(a), and section 1303(b), is amended—

(1)

by redesignating the items relating to sections 314 and 315 as relating to sections 315 and 316, respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after the item relating to section 313 the following new item:

Sec. 314. Use of secured drop boxes for voted absentee ballots.

.

E

Absent Uniformed Services Voters and Overseas Voters

1401.

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 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 46 days before the election. The report shall be in a form prescribed by the Attorney General 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 ballots transmitted

(A)

In general

Not later than 43 days before any election for Federal office held in a State, the chief State election official of such State shall submit a report containing the information in subparagraph (B) to the Attorney General.

(B)

Information reported

The report under subparagraph (A) shall consist of the following:

(i)

The total number of absentee ballots validly requested by absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters whose requests were received by the 47th day before the election by each unit of local government within the State that will transmit absentee ballots.

(ii)

The total number of ballots transmitted to such voters by the 46th day before the election by each unit of local government within the State that will administer the election.

(iii)

Specific information about any late transmitted ballots.

(C)

Requirement to supplement incomplete information

If the report under subparagraph (A) has incomplete information on any items required to be included in the report, the chief State election official shall make all reasonable efforts to expeditiously supplement the report with complete information.

(D)

Format

The report under subparagraph (A) shall be in a format prescribed by the Attorney General in consultation with the chief State election officials of each State.

(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 Election Assistance Commission 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.

.

1402.

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

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.

(b)

Private right of action

A person who is aggrieved by a 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.

1403.

Transmission requirements; repeal of waiver provision

(a)

In general

Paragraph (8) of section 102(a) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20302(a)) is amended to read as follows:

(8)

transmit a validly requested absentee ballot to an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter by the date and in the manner determined under subsection (g);

.

(b)

Ballot transmission requirements and repeal of waiver provision

Subsection (g) of section 102 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20302(g)) is amended to read as follows:

(g)

Ballot transmission requirements

(1)

In general

For purposes of subsection (a)(8), in the case in which a valid request for an absentee ballot is received at least 47 days before an election for Federal office, the following rules shall apply:

(A)

Transmission deadline

The State shall transmit the absentee ballot not later than 46 days before the election.

(B)

Special rules in case of failure to transmit on time

(i)

In general

If the State fails to transmit any absentee ballot by the 46th day before the election as required by subparagraph (A) and the absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter did not request electronic ballot transmission pursuant to subsection (f), the State shall transmit such ballot by express delivery.

(ii)

Extended failure

If the State fails to transmit any absentee ballot by the 41st day before the election, in addition to transmitting the ballot as provided in clause (i), the State shall—

(I)

in the case of absentee ballots requested by absent uniformed services voters with respect to regularly scheduled general elections, notify such voters of the procedures established under section 103A for the collection and delivery of marked absentee ballots; and

(II)

in any other case, provide for the return of such ballot by express delivery.

(iii)

Cost of express delivery

In any case in which express delivery is required under this subparagraph, the cost of such express delivery—

(I)

shall not be paid by the voter; and

(II)

if determined appropriate by the chief State election official, may be required by the State to be paid by a local jurisdiction.

(iv)

Exception

Clause (ii)(II) shall not apply when an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter indicates the preference to return the late sent absentee ballot by electronic transmission in a State that permits return of an absentee ballot by electronic transmission.

(v)

Enforcement

A State’s compliance with this subparagraph does not bar the Attorney General from seeking additional remedies necessary to fully resolve or prevent ongoing, future, or systematic violations of this provision or to effectuate the purposes of this Act.

(C)

Special procedure in event of disaster

If a disaster (hurricane, tornado, earthquake, storm, volcanic eruption, landslide, fire, flood, or explosion), or an act of terrorism prevents the State from transmitting any absentee ballot by the 46th day before the election as required by subparagraph (A), the chief State election official shall notify the Attorney General as soon as practicable and take all actions necessary, including seeking any necessary judicial relief, to ensure that affected absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters are provided a reasonable opportunity to receive and return their absentee ballots in time to be counted.

(2)

Requests received after 47th day before election

For purposes of subsection (a)(8), in the case in which a valid request for an absentee ballot is received less than 47 days but not less than 30 days before an election for Federal office, the State shall transmit the absentee ballot within one business day of receipt of the request.

.

1404.

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.

Treatment of ballot requests

(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 end of the calendar year following the next regularly scheduled general election for Federal office, 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)

Requirement for revision to postcard form

(1)

In general

The Presidential designee shall ensure that the official postcard form prescribed under section 101(b)(2) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20301(b)(2)) enables a voter using the form to—

(A)

request an absentee ballot for each election for Federal office held in a State through the end of the calendar year following the next regularly scheduled general election for Federal office; or

(B)

request an absentee ballot for a specific election or elections for Federal office held in a State during the period described in subparagraph (A).

(2)

Presidential designee

For purposes of this paragraph, the term Presidential designee means the individual designated under section 101(a) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20301(a)).

(c)

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.

1405.

Extending guarantee of residency for voting purposes to family members of absent military personnel

Section 102 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20302), as amended by section 1302, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(i)

Guarantee of residency for spouses and dependents of absent members of uniformed service

For the purposes of voting in any election for any Federal office or any State or local office, a spouse or dependent of an individual who is an absent uniformed services voter described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 107(1) shall not, solely by reason of that individual’s absence and without regard to whether or not such spouse or dependent is accompanying that individual—

(1)

be deemed to have lost a residence or domicile in that State, without regard to whether or not that individual intends to return to that State;

(2)

be deemed to have acquired a residence or domicile in any other State; or

(3)

be deemed to have become a resident in or a resident of any other State.

.

1406.

Technical clarifications to conform to Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act amendments related to the federal write-in absentee ballot

(a)

In general

Section 102(a)(3) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20302(a)(3)) is amended by striking general elections and inserting general, special, primary, and runoff elections.

(b)

Conforming amendment

Section 103 of such Act (52 U.S.C. 20303) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (b)(2)(B), by striking general; and

(2)

in the heading thereof, by striking general.

1407.

Treatment of post card registration requests

Section 102 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20302), as amended by sections 1302 and 1405, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(j)

Treatment of post card registrations

A State shall not remove any absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter who has registered to vote using the official post card form (prescribed under section 101) from the official list of registered voters except in accordance with subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of section 8(a)(3) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20507).

.

1408.

Presidential designee report on voter disenfranchisement

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year of enactment of this Act, the Presidential designee shall submit to Congress a report on the impact of wide-spread mail-in voting on the ability of active duty military servicemembers to vote, how quickly their votes are counted, and whether higher volumes of mail-in votes makes it harder for such individuals to vote in elections for Federal elections.

(b)

Presidential designee

For purposes of this section, the term Presidential designee means the individual designated under section 101(a) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20301(a)).

1409.

Effective date

Except as provided in section 1402(b) and section 1404(c), the amendments made by this subtitle shall apply with respect to elections occurring on or after January 1, 2022.

F

Enhancement of Enforcement

1501.

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

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.

(c)

Availability of private right of action

Any person who is authorized to file a complaint under subsection (b) (including any individual who seeks to enforce the individual’s right to a voter-verifiable paper ballot, the right to have the voter-verifiable 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 2022 or any succeeding year.

G

Promoting Voter Access Through Election Administration Modernization Improvements

1

Promoting Voter Access

1601.

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) is amended—

(1)

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

(2)

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

(d)

Minimum notification requirements for voters affected by polling place changes

(1)

Requirement for precinct-based polling

(A)

In general

If an applicable individual has been assigned to a polling place that is different than the polling place that such individual was assigned with respect to the most recent past election for Federal office in which the individual was eligible to vote—

(i)

the appropriate election official shall, not later than 2 days before the beginning of an early voting period—

(I)

notify the individual of the location of the polling place not later than 2 days before the beginning of an early voting period; and

(II)

post a general notice on the website of the State or jurisdiction, on social media platforms (if available), and on signs a the prior polling place; and

(ii)

if such assignment is made after the date which is 2 days before the beginning of an early voting period and the individual appears on the date of the election at the polling place to which the individual was previously assigned, the jurisdiction shall make every reasonable effort to enable the individual to vote a ballot on the date of the election without the use of a provisional ballot.

(B)

Applicable individual

For purposes of subparagraph (A), the term applicable individual means, with respect to any election for Federal office, any individual—

(i)

who is registered to vote in a jurisdiction for such election and was registered to vote in such jurisdiction for the most recent past election for Federal office; and

(ii)

whose voter registration address has not changed since such most recent past election for Federal office.

(C)

Methods of notification

The appropriate election official shall notify an individual under clause (i)(I) of subparagraph (A) by mail, telephone, and (if available) text message and electronic mail.

(2)

Requirements for vote centers

In the case of a jurisdiction in which individual are not assigned to specific polling places, not later than 2 days before the beginning of an early voting period, the appropriate election official shall notify each voter eligible to vote in such jurisdiction of the location of all polling places at which the individual may vote.

(3)

Notice with respect to closed polling places

(A)

In general

If a location which served as a polling place for an election for Federal office in a State does not serve as a polling place in the next election for Federal office held in the State, the State shall ensure that signs are posted at such location on the date of the election and during any early voting period for the election containing the following information:

(i)

A statement that the location is not serving as a polling place in the election.

(ii)

The locations serving as polling places in the election in the jurisdiction involved.

(iii)

The name and address of any substitute polling place serving the same precinct and directions from the former polling place to the new polling place.

(iv)

Contact information, including a telephone number and website, for the appropriate State or local election official through which an individual may find the polling place to which the individual is assigned for the election.

(B)

Internet posting

Each State which is required to post signs under subparagraph (A) shall also provide such information through a website and through social media (if available).

(4)

Linguistic preference

The notices required under this subsection shall comply with the requirements of section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10503).

(5)

Effective date

This subsection shall apply with respect to elections held on or after January 1, 2022.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment

Section 302(e) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21082(e)), as redesignated by subsection (a), is amended by striking Each State and inserting Except as provided in subsection (d)(4), each State.

1602.

Accommodations for voters residing in Indian lands

(a)

Accommodations Described

(1)

Designation of ballot pickup and collection locations

Given the widespread lack of residential mail delivery in Indian Country, an Indian Tribe may designate buildings as ballot pickup and collection locations with respect to an election for Federal office at no cost to the Indian Tribe. An Indian Tribe may designate one building per precinct located within Indian lands. The applicable State or political subdivision shall collect ballots from those locations. The applicable State or political subdivision shall provide the Indian Tribe with accurate precinct maps for all precincts located within Indian lands 60 days before the election.

(2)

Provision of mail-in and absentee ballots

The State or political subdivision shall provide mail-in and absentee ballots with respect to an election for Federal office to each individual who is registered to vote in the election who resides on Indian lands in the State or political subdivision involved without requiring a residential address or a mail-in or absentee ballot request.

(3)

Use of designated building as residential and mailing address

The address of a designated building that is a ballot pickup and collection location with respect to an election for Federal office may serve as the residential address and mailing address for voters living on Indian lands if the tribally designated building is in the same precinct as that voter. If there is no tribally designated building within a voter’s precinct, the voter may use another tribally designated building within the Indian lands where the voter is located. Voters using a tribally designated building outside of the voter’s precinct may use the tribally designated building as a mailing address and may separately designate the voter’s appropriate precinct through a description of the voter’s address, as specified in section 9428.4(a)(2) of title 11, Code of Federal Regulations.

(4)

Language accessibility

In the case of a State or political subdivision that is a covered State or political subdivision under section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10503), that State or political subdivision shall provide absentee or mail-in voting materials with respect to an election for Federal office in the language of the applicable minority group as well as in the English language, bilingual election voting assistance, and written translations of all voting materials in the language of the applicable minority group, as required by section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10503), as amended by subsection (b).

(5)

Clarification

Nothing in this section alters the ability of an individual voter residing on Indian lands to request a ballot in a manner available to all other voters in the State.

(6)

Definitions

In this section:

(A)

Election for Federal office

The term election for Federal office means a general, special, primary or runoff election for the office of President or Vice President, or of Senator or Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress.

(B)

Indian

The term Indian has the meaning given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304).

(C)

Indian lands

The term Indian lands includes—

(i)

any Indian country of an Indian Tribe, as defined under section 1151 of title 18, United States Code;

(ii)

any land in Alaska owned, pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), by an Indian Tribe that is a Native village (as defined in section 3 of that Act (43 U.S.C. 1602)) or by a Village Corporation that is associated with an Indian Tribe (as defined in section 3 of that Act (43 U.S.C. 1602));

(iii)

any land on which the seat of the Tribal Government is located; and

(iv)

any land that is part or all of a Tribal designated statistical area associated with an Indian Tribe, or is part or all of an Alaska Native village statistical area associated with an Indian Tribe, as defined by the Census Bureau for the purposes of the most recent decennial census.

(D)

Indian tribe

The term Indian Tribe has the meaning given the term Indian tribe in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 5304).

(E)

Tribal government

The term Tribal Government means the recognized governing body of an Indian Tribe.

(7)

Enforcement

(A)

Attorney general

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

(B)

Private right of action

(i)

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

(ii)

An aggrieved person or Tribal Government may bring a civil action in an appropriate district court for declaratory or injunctive relief with respect to a violation of this subsection, if—

(I)

that person or Tribal Government provides the notice described in clause (i); and

(II)
(aa)

in the case of a violation that occurs more than 120 days before the date of an election for Federal office, the violation remains and 90 days or more have passed since the date on which the chief election official of the State receives the notice under clause (i); or

(bb)

in the case of a violation that occurs 120 days or less before the date of an election for Federal office, the violation remains and 20 days or more have passed since the date on which the chief election official of the State receives the notice under clause (i).

(iii)

In the case of a violation of this section that occurs 30 days or less before the date of an election for Federal office, an aggrieved person or Tribal Government may bring a civil action in an appropriate district court for declaratory or injunctive relief with respect to the violation without providing notice to the chief election official of the State under clause (i).

(b)

Bilingual election requirements

Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10503) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (b)(3)(C), by striking 1990 and inserting 2010; and

(2)

by striking subsection (c) and inserting the following:

(c)

Provision of voting materials in the language of a minority group

(1)

In General

Whenever any State or political subdivision subject to the prohibition of subsection (b) of this section provides any registration or voting notices, forms, instructions, assistance, or other materials or information relating to the electoral process, including ballots, it shall provide them in the language of the applicable minority group as well as in the English language.

(2)

Exceptions

(A)

In the case of a minority group that is not American Indian or Alaska Native and the language of that minority group is oral or unwritten, the State or political subdivision shall be required only to furnish, in the covered language, oral instructions, assistance, translation of voting materials, or other information relating to registration and voting.

(B)

In the case of a minority group that is American Indian or Alaska Native, the State or political subdivision shall be required only to furnish in the covered language oral instructions, assistance, or other information relating to registration and voting, including all voting materials, if the Tribal Government of that minority group has certified that the language of the applicable American Indian or Alaska Native language is presently unwritten or the Tribal Government does not want written translations in the minority language.

(3)

Written translations for election workers

Notwithstanding paragraph (2), the State or political division may be required to provide written translations of voting materials, with the consent of any applicable Indian Tribe, to election workers to ensure that the translations from English to the language of a minority group are complete, accurate, and uniform.

.

(c)

Effective date

This section and the amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2022 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

1603.

Applicability to Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Paragraphs (6) and (8) of section 107 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (52 U.S.C. 20310) are each amended by striking and American Samoa and inserting American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

1604.

Elimination of 14-day time period between general election and runoff election for Federal elections in the Virgin Islands and Guam

Section 2 of the Act entitled An Act to provide that the unincorporated territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands shall each be represented in Congress by a Delegate to the House of Representatives, approved April 10, 1972 (48 U.S.C. 1712), is amended—

(1)

by striking (a) The Delegate and inserting The Delegate;

(2)

by striking on the fourteenth day following such an election in the fourth sentence of subsection (a); and

(3)

by striking subsection (b).

1605.

Application of Federal election administration laws to territories of the United States

(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, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, 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.

1606.

Application of Federal voter protection laws to territories of the United States

(a)

Intimidation of voters

Section 594 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, and inserting or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to the Congress.

(b)

Interference by government employees

Section 595 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, and inserting or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to the Congress.

(c)

Voting by noncitizens

Section 611(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, and inserting or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to the Congress.

1607.

Ensuring equitable and efficient operation of polling places

(a)

In general

(1)

Requirement

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 1044(a), section 1101(a), section 1102(a), section 1103(a), section 1104(a), section 1201(a), section 1301(a), section 1302(a), section 1303(b), and section 1305(a), is amended—

(A)

by redesignating sections 315 and 316 as sections 316 and 317, respectively; and

(B)

by inserting after section 314 the following new section:

315.

Ensuring equitable and efficient operation of polling places

(a)

Preventing unreasonable waiting times for voters

(1)

In general

Each State or jurisdiction shall take reasonable efforts to provide a sufficient number of voting systems, poll workers, and other election resources (including physical resources) at a polling place used in any election for Federal office, including a polling place at which individuals may cast ballots prior to the date of the election, to ensure—

(A)

a fair and equitable waiting time for all voters in the State or jurisdiction; and

(B)

that no individual will be required to wait longer than 30 minutes to cast a ballot at the polling place.

(2)

Criteria

In determining the number of voting systems, poll workers, and other election resources provided at a polling place for purposes of paragraph (1), the State or jurisdiction shall take into account the following factors:

(A)

The voting age population.

(B)

Voter turnout in past elections.

(C)

The number of voters registered.

(D)

The number of voters who have registered since the most recent Federal election.

(E)

Census data for the population served by the polling place, such as the proportion of the voting-age population who are under 25 years of age or who are naturalized citizens.

(F)

The needs and numbers of voters with disabilities and voters with limited English proficiency.

(G)

The type of voting systems used.

(H)

The length and complexity of initiatives, referenda, and other questions on the ballot.

(I)

Such other factors, including relevant demographic factors relating to the population served by the polling place, as the State considers appropriate.

(3)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this subsection may be construed—

(A)

to authorize a State or jurisdiction to meet the requirements of this subsection by closing any polling place, prohibiting an individual from entering a line at a polling place, or refusing to permit an individual who has arrived at a polling place prior to closing time from voting at the polling place; or

(B)

to limit the use of mobile voting centers.

(b)

Limiting variations on number of hours of operation of polling places within a State

(1)

Limitation

(A)

In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B) and paragraph (2), each State shall establish hours of operation for all polling places in the State on the date of any election for Federal office held in the State such that the polling place with the greatest number of hours of operation on such date is not in operation for more than 2 hours longer than the polling place with the fewest number of hours of operation on such date.

(B)

Permitting variance on basis of population

Subparagraph (A) does not apply to the extent that the State establishes variations in the hours of operation of polling places on the basis of the overall population or the voting age population (as the State may select) of the unit of local government in which such polling places are located.

(2)

Exceptions for polling places with hours established by units of local government

Paragraph (1) does not apply in the case of a polling place—

(A)

whose hours of operation are established, in accordance with State law, by the unit of local government in which the polling place is located; or

(B)

which is required pursuant to an order by a court to extend its hours of operation beyond the hours otherwise established.

(c)

Effective date

This section shall take effect upon the expiration of the 180-day period which begins on the date of the enactment of this subsection.

.

(2)

Conforming amendments relating to issuance of voluntary guidance by Election Assistance Commission

Section 321(b) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21101(b)), as redesignated and amended by section 1101(b) and as amended by sections, 1102, 1103, 1104, and 1201, is amended—

(A)

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

(B)

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

(C)

in paragraph (6), as so redesignated, by striking paragraph (4) and inserting paragraph (4) or (5); and

(D)

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

(5)

in the case of the recommendations with respect to section 315, 180 days after the date of the enactment of such section; and

.

(3)

Clerical amendments

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1031(c), section 1044(b), section 1101(c), section 1102(c), section 1103(a), section 1104(c), section 1201(c), section 1301(a), section 1302(a), section 1303(b), and section 1305(b), is amended—

(A)

by redesignating the items relating to sections 315 and 316 as relating to sections 316 and 317, respectively; and

(B)

by inserting after the item relating to section 314 the following new item:

Sec. 315. Ensuring equitable and efficient operation of polling places.

.

(b)

Study of methods to enforce fair and equitable waiting times

(1)

Study

The Election Assistance Commission and the Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a joint study of the effectiveness of various methods of enforcing the requirements of section 315(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as added by subsection (a), including methods of best allocating resources to jurisdictions which have had the most difficulty in providing a fair and equitable waiting time at polling places to all voters, and to communities of color in particular.

(2)

Report

Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Election Assistance Commission and the Comptroller General of the United States shall publish and submit to Congress a report on the study conducted under paragraph (1).

1608.

Prohibiting States from restricting curbside voting

(a)

Requirement

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 1044(a), section 1101(a), section 1102(a), section 1103(a), section 1104(a), section 1201(a), section 1301(a), section 1302(a), section 1303(b), section 1305(a), and section 1607(a)(1), is amended—

(1)

by redesignating sections 316 and 317 as sections 317 and 318, respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after section 315 the following new section:

316.

Prohibiting States from restricting curbside voting

(a)

Prohibition

A State may not—

(1)

prohibit any jurisdiction administering an election for Federal office in the State from utilizing curbside voting as a method by which individuals may cast ballots in the election; or

(2)

impose any restrictions which would exclude any individual who is eligible to vote in such an election in a jurisdiction which utilizes curbside voting from casting a ballot in the election by the method of curbside voting.

(b)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2022 and each succeeding election for Federal office.

.

(b)

Clerical amendments

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1031(c), section 1044(b), section 1101(c), section 1102(c), section 1103(a), section 1104(c), section 1201(c), section 1301(a), section 1302(a), section 1303(b), section 1305(a), and section 1607(a)(3), is amended—

(1)

by redesignating the items relating to sections 316 and 317 as relating to sections 317 and 318, respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after the item relating to section 315 the following new item:

Sec. 316. Prohibiting States from restricting curbside voting.

.

2

Improvements in Operation of Election Assistance Commission

1611.

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 2021 and each succeeding fiscal year; and

(2)

by striking (but not to exceed $10,000,000 for each such year).

1612.

Recommendations to improve operations of Election Assistance Commission

(a)

Assessment of information technology and cybersecurity

Not later than December 31, 2021, 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, 2021, 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.

1613.

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

1621.

Definition of election for Federal office

(a)

Definition

Title IX of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21141 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

907.

Election for Federal office defined

For purposes of titles I through III, the term election for Federal office means a general, special, primary, or runoff election for the office of President or Vice President, or of Senator or Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents of such Act is amended by adding at the end of the items relating to title IX the following new item:

Sec. 907. Election for Federal office defined.

.

1622.

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.

1623.

Clarification of exemption for States without voter registration

To the extent that any provision of this title or any amendment made by this title imposes a requirement on a State relating to registering individuals to vote in elections for Federal office, such provision shall not apply in the case of any State in which, under law that is in effect continuously on and after the date of the enactment of this Act, there is no voter registration requirement for any voter in the State with respect to an election for Federal office.

1624.

Clarification of exemption for States which do not collect telephone information

(a)

Amendment to Help America Vote Act of 2002

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 1044(a), section 1101(a), section 1102(a), section 1103(a), section 1104(a), section 1201(a), section 1301(a), section 1302(a), section 1303(b), section 1305(a), section 1607(a)(1), and section 1608(a), is amended—

(1)

by redesignating sections 317 and 318 as sections 318 and 319, respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after section 316 the following new section:

317.

Application of certain provisions to States which do not collect telephone information

(a)

In general

To the extent that any provision of this title imposes a requirement on a State or jurisdiction relating to contacting voters by telephone, such provision shall not apply in the case of any State which continuously on and after the date of the enactment of this Act, does not collect telephone numbers for voters as part of voter registration in the State with respect to an election for Federal office.

(b)

Exception

Subsection (a) shall not apply in any case in which the voter has voluntarily provided telephone information.

.

(b)

Clerical amendments

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1031(c), section 1044(b), section 1101(c), section 1102(c), section 1103(a), section 1104(c), section 1201(c), section 1301(a), section 1302(a), section 1303(b), section 1305(a), section 1607(a)(3), and section 1608(b), is amended—

(1)

by redesignating the items relating to sections 317 and 318 as relating to sections 318 and 319, respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after the item relating to section 316 the following new item:

Sec. 317. Application of certain provisions to States which do not collect telephone information.

.

H

Democracy Restoration

1701.

Short title

This subtitle may be cited as the Democracy Restoration Act of 2021.

1702.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

The right to vote is the most basic constitutive act of citizenship. Regaining the right to vote reintegrates individuals with criminal convictions into free society, helping to enhance public safety.

(2)

Article I, section 4, of the Constitution grants Congress ultimate supervisory power over Federal elections, an authority which has repeatedly been upheld by the United States Supreme Court.

(3)

Basic constitutional principles of fairness and equal protection require an equal opportunity for citizens of the United States to vote in Federal elections. The right to vote may not be abridged or denied by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, gender, or previous condition of servitude. The 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th, 24th, and 26th Amendments to the Constitution empower Congress to enact measures to protect the right to vote in Federal elections. The 8th Amendment to the Constitution provides for no excessive bail to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

(4)

There are 3 areas in which discrepancies in State laws regarding criminal convictions lead to unfairness in Federal elections—

(A)

the lack of a uniform standard for voting in Federal elections leads to an unfair disparity and unequal participation in Federal elections based solely on where a person lives;

(B)

laws governing the restoration of voting rights after a criminal conviction vary throughout the country and persons in some States can easily regain their voting rights while in other States persons effectively lose their right to vote permanently; and

(C)

State disenfranchisement laws disproportionately impact racial and ethnic minorities.

(5)

State disenfranchisement laws vary widely. Two States (Maine and Vermont) and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico do not disenfranchise individuals with criminal convictions at all. In 2020, the District of Columbia re-enfranchised its citizens who are under the supervision of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Twenty-eight states disenfranchise certain individuals on felony probation or parole. In 11 States, a conviction for certain offenses can result in lifetime disenfranchisement.

(6)

Several States deny the right to vote to individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors.

(7)

In 2020, an estimated 5,200,000 citizens of the United States, or about 1 in 44 adults in the United States, could not vote as a result of a felony conviction. Of the 5,200,000 citizens barred from voting then, only 24 percent were in prison. By contrast, 75 percent of persons disenfranchised then resided in their communities while on probation or parole or after having completed their sentences. Approximately 2,200,000 citizens who had completed their sentences were disenfranchised due to restrictive State laws. As of November 2018, the lifetime ban for persons with certain felony convictions was eliminated through a Florida ballot initiative. As a result, as many as 1,400,000 people are now eligible to have their voting rights restored. In 4 States—Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Tennessee—more than 7 percent of the total population is disenfranchised.

(8)

In those States that disenfranchise individuals post-sentence, the right to vote can be regained in theory, but in practice this possibility is often granted in a non-uniform and potentially discriminatory manner. Disenfranchised individuals sometimes must either obtain a pardon or an order from the Governor or an action by the parole or pardon board, depending on the offense and State. Individuals convicted of a Federal offense often have additional barriers to regaining voting rights.

(9)

Many felony disenfranchisement laws today derive directly from post-Civil War efforts to stifle the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. Between 1865 and 1880, at least 14 states—Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas—enacted or expanded their felony disenfranchisement laws. One of the primary goals of these laws was to prevent African Americans from voting. Of the states that enacted or expanded their felony disenfranchisement laws during this post-Civil War period, at least 11 continue to preclude persons on felony probation or parole from voting.

(10)

State disenfranchisement laws disproportionately impact racial and ethnic minorities. In recent years, African Americans have been imprisoned at over 5 times the rate of Whites. More than 6 percent of the voting-age African-American population, or 1,800,000 African Americans, are disenfranchised due to a felony conviction. In 9 States—Alabama (16 percent), Arizona (13 percent), Florida (15 percent), Kentucky (15 percent), Mississippi (16 percent), South Dakota (14 percent), Tennessee (21 percent), Virginia (16 percent), and Wyoming (36 percent)—more than 1 in 8 African Americans are unable to vote because of a felony conviction, twice the national average for African Americans.

(11)

Latino citizens are also disproportionately disenfranchised based upon their disproportionate representation in the criminal justice system. In recent years, Latinos have been imprisoned at 2.5 times the rate of Whites. More than 2 percent of the voting-age Latino population, or 560,000 Latinos, are disenfranchised due to a felony conviction. In 34 states Latinos are disenfranchised at a higher rate than the general population. In 11 states 4 percent or more of Latino adults are disenfranchised due to a felony conviction (Alabama, 4 percent; Arizona, 7 percent; Arkansas, 4 percent; Idaho, 4 percent; Iowa, 4 percent; Kentucky, 6 percent; Minnesota, 4 percent; Mississippi, 5 percent; Nebraska, 6 percent; Tennessee, 11 percent; Wyoming, 4 percent), twice the national average for Latinos.

(12)

Disenfranchising citizens who have been convicted of a criminal offense and who are living and working in the community serves no compelling State interest and hinders their rehabilitation and reintegration into society.

(13)

State disenfranchisement laws can suppress electoral participation among eligible voters by discouraging voting among family and community members of disenfranchised persons. Future electoral participation by the children of disenfranchised parents may be impacted as well. Models of successful re-entry for persons convicted of a crime emphasize the importance of community ties, feeling vested and integrated, and prosocial attitudes. Individuals with criminal convictions who succeed in avoiding recidivism are typically more likely to see themselves as law-abiding members of the community. Restoration of voting rights builds those qualities and facilitates reintegration into the community. That is why allowing citizens with criminal convictions who are living in a community to vote is correlated with a lower likelihood of recidivism. Restoration of voting rights thus reduces violence and protects public safety.

(14)

The United States is one of the only Western democracies that permits the permanent denial of voting rights for individuals with felony convictions.

(15)

The Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishments guarantees individuals the right not to be subjected to excessive sanctions. (Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551, 560 (2005)). That right stems from the basic precept of justice that punishment for crime should be graduated and proportioned to [the] offense. Id. (quoting Weems v. United States, 217 U.S. 349, 367 (1910)). As the Supreme Court has long recognized, [t]he concept of proportionality is central to the Eighth Amendment. (Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48, 59 (2010)). Many State disenfranchisement laws are grossly disproportional to the offenses that lead to disenfranchisement and thus violate the bar on cruel and unusual punishments. For example, a number of states mandate lifetime disenfranchisement for a single felony conviction or just two felony convictions, even where the convictions were for non-violent offenses. In numerous other States, disenfranchisement can last years or even decades while individuals remain on probation or parole, often only because a person cannot pay their legal financial obligations. These kinds of extreme voting bans run afoul of the Eighth Amendment.

(16)

The Twenty-Fourth Amendment provides that the right to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.. Section 2 of the Twenty-Fourth Amendment gives Congress the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. Court fines and fees that individuals must pay to have their voting rights restored constitute an other tax for purposes of the Twenty-Fourth Amendment. At least five States explicitly require the payment of fines and fees before individuals with felony convictions can have their voting rights restored. More than 20 other states effectively tie the right to vote to the payment of fines and fees, by requiring that individuals complete their probation or parole before their rights are restored. In these States, the non-payment of fines and fees is a basis on which probation or parole can be extended. Moreover, these states sometimes do not record the basis on which an individual’s probation or parole was extended, making it impossible to determine from the State’s records whether non-payment of fines and fees is the reason that an individual remains on probation or parole. For these reasons, the only way to ensure that States do not deny the right to vote based solely on non-payment of fines and fees is to prevent States from conditioning voting rights on the completion of probation or parole.

1703.

Rights of citizens

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

1704.

Enforcement

(a)

Attorney general

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

(b)

Private right of action

(1)

In general

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

(2)

Relief

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

(3)

Exception

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

1705.

Notification of restoration of voting rights

(a)

State notification

(1)

Notification

On the date determined under paragraph (2), each State shall—

(A)

notify in writing any individual who has been convicted of a criminal offense under the law of that State that such individual—

(i)

has the right to vote in an election for Federal office pursuant to the Democracy Restoration Act of 2021; and

(ii)

may register to vote in any such election; and

(B)

provide such individual with any materials that are necessary to register to vote in any such election.

(2)

Date of notification

(A)

Felony conviction

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

(i)

is sentenced to serve only a term of probation; or

(ii)

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

(B)

Misdemeanor conviction

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

(b)

Federal notification

(1)

Notification

Any individual who has been convicted of a criminal offense under Federal law—

(A)

shall be notified in accordance with paragraph (2) that such individual—

(i)

has the right to vote in an election for Federal office pursuant to the Democracy Restoration Act of 2021; and

(ii)

may register to vote in any such election; and

(B)

shall be provided with any materials that are necessary to register to vote in any such election.

(2)

Date of notification

(A)

Felony conviction

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

(i)

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

(ii)

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

(B)

Misdemeanor conviction

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

1706.

Definitions

For purposes of this subtitle:

(1)

Correctional institution or facility

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

(2)

Election

The term election means—

(A)

a general, special, primary, or runoff election;

(B)

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

(C)

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

(D)

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

(3)

Federal office

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

(4)

Probation

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

(A)

the individual’s freedom of movement;

(B)

the payment of damages by the individual;

(C)

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

(D)

supervision of the individual by an officer of the court.

1707.

Relation to other laws

(a)

State laws relating to voting rights

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

(b)

Certain Federal Acts

The rights and remedies established by this subtitle—

(1)

are in addition to all other rights and remedies provided by law, and

(2)

shall not supersede, restrict, or limit the application of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10301 et seq.) or the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (52 U.S.C. 20501 et seq.).

1708.

Federal prison funds

No State, unit of local government, or other person may receive or use, to construct or otherwise improve a prison, jail, or other place of incarceration, any Federal funds unless that person has in effect a program under which each individual incarcerated in that person’s jurisdiction who is a citizen of the United States is notified, upon release from such incarceration, of that individual’s rights under section 1703.

1709.

Effective date

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

I

Voter Identification and Allowable Alternatives

1801.

Requirements for voter identification

(a)

Requirement to provide identification as condition of receiving ballot

Section 303 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21083) is amended by redesignating subsections (c) and (d) as subsections (d) and (e), respectively, and by inserting after subsection (b) the following new subsection:

(c)

Voter Identification requirements

(1)

Voter identification requirement defined

For purposes of this subsection:

(A)

In general

The term voter identification requirement means any requirement that an individual desiring to vote in person in an election for Federal office present identification as a requirement to receive or cast a ballot in person in such election.

(B)

Exception

Such term does not include any requirement described in subsection (b)(2)(A) as applied with respect to an individual described in subsection (b)(1).

(2)

In general

If a State or local jurisdiction has a voter identification requirement, the State or local jurisdiction—

(A)

shall treat any applicable identifying document as meeting such voter identification requirement;

(B)

notwithstanding the failure to present an applicable identifying document, shall treat an individual desiring to vote in person in an election for Federal office as meeting such voter identification requirement if—

(i)

the individual presents the appropriate State or local election official with a sworn written statement, signed in the presence of the official by an adult who has known the individual for at least six months under penalty of perjury, attesting to the individual’s identity;

(ii)

the official has known the individual for at least six months; or

(iii)

in the case of a residents of a State-licensed care facility, an employee of the facility confirms the individual’s identity; and

(C)

shall permit any individual desiring to vote in an election for Federal office who does not present an applicable identifying document required under subparagraph (A) or qualify for an exception under subparagraph (B) to cast a provisional ballot with respect to the election under section 302(a) in accordance with paragraph (3).

(3)

Rules for provisional ballot

(A)

In general

A individual may cast a provisional ballot pursuant to paragraph (2)(C) so long as the individual presents 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.

(B)

Prohibition on other requirements

Except as otherwise provided this paragraph, a State or local jurisdiction may not impose any other additional requirement or condition with respect to the casting of a provisional ballot by an individuals described in paragraph (2)(C).

(C)

Counting of provisional ballot

In the case of a provisional ballot cast pursuant to paragraph (2)(C), the appropriate State or local election official shall not make a determination under section 302(a)(4) that the individual is eligible under State law to vote in the election unless—

(i)

the official determines that the signature on such statement matches the signature of such individual on the official list of registered voters in the State or other official record or document used by the State to verify the signatures of voters; or

(ii)

not later than 10 days after casting the provisional ballot, the individual presents an applicable identifying document, either in person or by electronic methods, to the official and the official confirms the individual is the person identified on the applicable identifying document.

(D)

Notice and opportunity to cure discrepancy in signatures or other defects on provisional ballots

(i)

Notice and opportunity to cure discrepancy in signatures

If an individual casts a provisional ballot under this paragraph 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 or other official record or document used by the State to verify the signatures of voters, such election official, prior to making a final determination as to the validity of such ballot, shall—

(I)

as soon as practical, but no later than the next business day after such determination is made, make a good faith effort to notify the individual by mail, telephone, and (if available) text message and electronic mail that—

(aa)

a discrepancy exists between the signature on such ballot and the signature of the individual on the official list of registered voters in the State or other official record or document used by the State to verify the signatures of voters; and

(bb)

if such discrepancy is not cured prior to the expiration of the third day following the State's deadline for receiving mail-in ballots or absentee ballots, such ballot will not be counted; and

(II)

cure such discrepancy and count the ballot if, prior to the expiration of the third day following the State's deadline for receiving mail-in ballots or absentee ballots, the individual provides the official with information to cure such discrepancy, either in person, by telephone, or by electronic methods.

(ii)

Notice and opportunity to cure other defects

If an individual casts a provisional ballot under this paragraph with a defect which, if left uncured, would cause the ballot to not be counted, the appropriate State or local election official, prior to making a final determination as to the validity of the ballot, shall—

(I)

as soon as practical, but no later than the next business day after such determination is made, make a good faith effort to notify the individual by mail, telephone, and (if available) text message and electronic mail that—

(aa)

the ballot has some defect; and

(bb)

if the individual does not cure the other defect prior to the expiration of the third day following the State's deadline for receiving mail-in ballots or absentee ballots, such ballot will not be counted; and

(II)

count the ballot if, prior to the expiration of the third day following the State's deadline for receiving mail-in ballots or absentee ballots, the individual cures the defect.

(E)

No exemption

Notwithstanding section 302(a), States described in section 4(b) of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 shall be required to meet the requirements of paragraph (2)(C).

(F)

Rule of construction

(i)

In general

Nothing in paragraph (2)(C) or this paragraph shall be construed to prevent a State from permitting an individual who provides a sworn statement described in subparagraph (A) to cast a regular ballot in lieu of a provisional ballot.

(ii)

Regular ballot

For purpose of this subparagraph, the term regular ballot means a ballot which is cast and counted in same manner as ballots cast by individuals meeting the voter identification requirement (and all other applicable requirements with respect to voting in the election).

(4)

Development and use of pre-printed version of statement by commission

(A)

In general

The Commission shall develop pre-printed versions of the statements described in paragraphs (2)(B)(i) and (3)(A) which include appropriate blank spaces for the provision of names and signatures.

(B)

Providing pre-printed copy of statement

Each State and jurisdiction that has a voter identification requirement shall make copies of the pre-printed version of the statement developed under subparagraph (A) available at polling places for use by individuals voting in person.

(5)

Required provision of identifying documents

(A)

In general

Each State and jurisdiction that has a voter identification requirement shall—

(i)

for each individual who, on or after the applicable date, is registered to vote in such State or jurisdiction in elections for Federal office, provide the individual with a government-issued identification that meets the requirements of this subsection without charge;

(ii)

for each individual who, before the applicable date, was registered to vote in such State or jurisdiction in elections for Federal office but does not otherwise possess an identifying document, provide the individual with a government-issued identification that meets the requirements of this subsection without charge, so long as the State provides the individual with reasonable opportunities to obtain such identification prior to the date of the election; and

(iii)

for each individual who is provided with an identification under clause (i) or clause (ii), provide the individual with such assistance without charge upon request as may be necessary to enable the individual to obtain and process any documentation necessary to obtain the identification.

(B)

Applicable date

For purposes of this paragraph, the term applicable date means the later of—

(i)

January 1, 2022, or

(ii)

the first date after the date of the enactment of this subsection for which the State or local jurisdiction has in effect a voter identification requirement.

(6)

Applicable identifying document

For purposes of this subsection—

(A)

In general

The term applicable identifying document means, with respect to any individual, any document issued to such individual containing the individual's name.

(B)

Included documents

The term applicable identifying document shall include any of the following (so long as that document has not expired or, if expired, expired no earlier than four years before the date of presentation):

(i)

A driver’s license or an identification card issued by a State, the Federal Government, or a State or federally recognized Tribal government.

(ii)

A State-issued identification described in paragraph (4).

(iii)

A United States passport or passport card.

(iv)

A employee identification card issued by—

(I)

any branch, department, agency, or entity of the United States Government or of any State,

(II)

any State or federally recognized Tribal government, or

(III)

any county, municipality, board, authority, or other political subdivision of a State.

(v)

A student identification card issued by an institution of higher education, or a high school identification card issued by a State-accredited high school.

(vi)

A military identification card issued by the United States.

(vii)

A gun license or concealed carry permit.

(viii)

A Medicare card or Social Security card.

(ix)

A birth certificate.

(x)

A voter registration card.

(xi)

A hunting or fishing license issued by a State.

(xii)

A identification card issued to the individual by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) program.

(xiii)

A identification card issued to the individual by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

(xiv)

A identification card issued to the individual by Medicaid.

(xv)

A bank card or debit card.

(xvi)

A utility bill issued within six months of the date of the election.

(xvii)

A lease or mortgage document issued within six months of the date of the election.

(xviii)

A bank statement issued within six months of the date of the election.

(xix)

A health insurance card issued to the voter.

(xx)

Any other document containing the individual’s name issued by—

(I)

any branch, department, agency, or entity of the United States Government or of any State;

(II)

any State or federally recognized tribal government; or

(III)

any county, municipality, board, authority, or other political subdivision of a State.

(C)

Copies and electronic documents accepted

The term applicable identifying document includes—

(i)

any copy of a document described in subparagraph (A) or (B); and

(ii)

any document described in subparagraph (A) or (B) which is presented in electronic format.

.

(b)

Payments to States to cover costs of required identification documents

(1)

In general

The Election Assistance Commission shall make payments to States to cover the costs incurred in providing identifications under section 303(c)(5) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, as amended by this section.

(2)

Amount of payment

The amount of the payment made to a State under this subsection for any year shall be equal to the amount of fees which would have been collected by the State during the year in providing the identifications required under section 303(c)(5) of such Act if the State had charged the usual and customary rates for such identifications, as determined on the basis of information furnished to the Commission by the State at such time and in such form as the Commission may require.

(3)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated for payments under this subsection an aggregate amount of $5,000,000 for fiscal year 2022 and each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.

(c)

Conforming amendments

Section 303(b)(2)(A) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21083(b)(2)(A)) is amended—

(1)

in clause (i), by striking in person and all that follows and inserting in person, presents to the appropriate State or local election official an applicable identifying document (as defined in subsection (c)(6)); or; and

(2)

in clause (ii), by striking by mail and all that follows and inserting by mail, submits with the ballot an applicable identifying document (as so defined)..

(d)

Effective date

Section 303(e) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21083(d)(2)), as redesignated by subsection (a), is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(3)

Voter identification requirements

Each State and jurisdiction shall be required to comply with the requirements of subsection (c) with respect to elections for Federal office held on or after January 1, 2022.

.

J

Voter List Maintenance Procedures

1

Voter Caging Prohibited

1901.

Voter caging prohibited

(a)

Definitions

In this section—

(1)

the term voter caging document means—

(A)

a non-forwardable document sent by any person other than a State or local election official that is returned to the sender or a third party as undelivered or undeliverable despite an attempt to deliver such document to the address of a registered voter or applicant; or

(B)

any document sent by any person other than a State or local election official with instructions to an addressee that the document be returned to the sender or a third party but is not so returned, despite an attempt to deliver such document to the address of a registered voter or applicant;

(2)

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

(3)

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

(b)

Prohibition against voter caging

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

(1)

a voter caging document or voter caging list;

(2)

an unverified match list;

(3)

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

(4)

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

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

Enforcement

(1)

Civil enforcement

(A)

In general

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

(B)

Private right of action

(i)

In general

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

(ii)

Relief

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

(iii)

Exception

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

(2)

Criminal penalty

Whoever knowingly challenges the eligibility of one or more individuals to register or vote or knowingly causes the eligibility of such individuals to be challenged in violation of this section with the intent that one or more eligible voters be disqualified, shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both, for each such violation. Each violation shall be a separate offense.

(d)

No effect on related laws

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

2

Saving Eligible Voters From Voter Purging

1911.

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 (1), except as permitted under section 8(d) after a notice described in paragraph (2) of such section has been sent, 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 election mail, unless the election mail 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.

(3)

Removal based on official records

(A)

In general

Nothing in this section shall prohibit a State from removing a registrant from the official list of eligible voters in elections for Federal office if, on the basis of official records maintained by the State, a State or local election official knows, on the basis of objective and reliable evidence, that the registrant has—

(i)

died; or

(ii)

permanently moved out of the State and is no longer eligible to vote in the State.

(B)

Opportunity to demonstrate eligibility

The State shall provide a voter removed from the official list of eligible voters in elections for Federal office under this paragraph an opportunity to demonstrate that the registrant is eligible to vote and be reinstated on the official list of eligible voters in elections for Federal office in the State.

(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, 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 on how the former registrant may contest the removal or be reinstated, including a telephone number for the appropriate election official.

(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 and 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 the second place it appears 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.

K

Severability

1921.

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

Election Integrity

II

Prohibiting Interference With Voter Registration

2001.

Prohibiting hindering, interfering with, or preventing voter registration

(a)

In general

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

612.

Hindering, interfering with, or preventing registering to vote

(a)

Prohibition

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

(b)

Attempt

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

(c)

Penalty

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

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

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

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

.

(c)

Effective Date

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

2002.

Establishment of best practices

(a)

Best practices

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Attorney General 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 2001), 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.

.

III

Preventing Election Subversion

A

Restrictions on Removal of Election Administrators

3001.

Restrictions on removal of local election administrators in administration of elections for Federal office

(a)

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

Congress has explicit and broad authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of Federal elections under the Elections Clause under article I, section 4, clause 1 of the Constitution, including by establishing standards for the fair, impartial, and uniform administration of Federal elections by State and local officials.

(2)

The Elections Clause was understood from the framing of the Constitution to contain “words of great latitude,” granting Congress broad power over Federal elections and a plenary right to preempt State regulation in this area. As made clear at the Constitutional Convention and the State ratification debates that followed, this grant of congressional authority was meant to “insure free and fair elections,” promote the uniform administration of Federal elections, and “preserve and restore to the people their equal and sacred rights of election.”.

(3)

In the founding debates on the Elections Clause, many delegates also argued that a broad grant of authority to Congress over Federal elections was necessary to check any “abuses that might be made of the discretionary power” to regulate the time, place, and manner of elections granted the States, including attempts at partisan entrenchment, malapportionment, and the exclusion of political minorities. As the Supreme Court has recognized, the Elections Clause empowers Congress to “protect the elections on which its existence depends,” Ex parte Yarbrough, 110 U.S. 651, 658 (1884), and “protect the citizen in the exercise of rights conferred by the Constitution of the United States essential to the healthy organization of the government itself,” id. at 666.

(4)

The Elections Clause grants Congress “plenary and paramount jurisdiction over the whole subject” of Federal elections, Ex parte Siebold, 100 U.S. 371, 388 (1879), allowing Congress to implement “a complete code for congressional elections.” Smiley v. Holm, 285 U.S. 355, 366 (1932). The Elections Clause, unlike, for example, the Commerce Clause, has been found to grant Congress the authority to compel States to alter their regulations as to Federal elections, id. at 366–67, even if these alterations would impose additional costs on the States to execute or enforce. Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now v. Miller, 129 F.3d 833 (6th Cir. 1997).

(5)

The phrase “manner of holding elections” in the Elections Clause has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to authorize Congress to regulate all aspects of the Federal election process, including “notices, registration, supervision of voting, protection of voters, prevention of fraud and corrupt practices, counting of votes, duties of inspectors and canvassers, and the making and publication of election returns.” Smiley v. Holm, 285 U.S. 355, 366 (1932).

(6)

The Supreme Court has recognized the broad “substantive scope” of the Elections Clause and upheld Federal laws promulgated thereunder regulating redistricting, voter registration, campaign finance, primary elections, recounts, party affiliation rules, and balloting.

(7)

The authority of Congress under the Elections Clause also entails the power to ensure enforcement of its laws regulating Federal elections. “[I]f Congress has the power to make regulations, it must have the power to enforce them.” Ex parte Siebold, 100 U.S. 371, 387 (1879). The Supreme Court has noted that there can be no question that Congress may impose additional penalties for offenses committed by State officers in connection with Federal elections even if they differ from the penalties prescribed by State law for the same acts. Id. at 387–88.

(8)

The fair and impartial administration of Federal elections by State and local officials is central to “the successful working of this government,” Ex parte Yarbrough, 110 U.S. 651, 666 (1884), and to “protect the act of voting . . . and the election itself from corruption or fraud,” id. at 661–62.

(9)

The Elections Clause thus grants Congress the authority to ensure that the administration of Federal elections is free of political bias or discrimination and that election officials are insulated from political influence or other forms of coercion in discharging their duties in connection with Federal elections.

(10)

In some States, oversight of local election administrators has been allocated to State Election Boards, or special commissions formed by those boards, that are appointed by the prevailing political party in a State, as opposed to nonpartisan or elected office holders.

(11)

In certain newly enacted State policies, these appointed statewide election administrators have been granted wide latitude to suspend or remove local election administrators in cases where the statewide election administrators identify whatever the State deems to be a violation. There is no requirement that there be a finding of intent by the local election administrator to commit the violation.

(12)

Local election administrators across the country can be suspended or removed according to different standards, potentially exposing them to different political pressures or biases that could result in uneven administration of Federal elections.

(13)

The Elections Clause grants Congress the ultimate authority to ensure that oversight of State and local election administrators is fair and impartial in order to ensure equitable and uniform administration of Federal elections.

(14)

Congress has the authority to prevent politically motivated removals of local election officials pursuant to the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The Supreme Court has held that the First Amendment prohibits the removal of local government officials due to their party affiliation or political beliefs. Elrod v. Burns, 427 U.S. 347 (1976); Branti v. Finkel, 445 U.S. 507 (1980). [C]onditioning continued public employment on an employee’s having obtained support from a particular political party violates the First Amendment because of the coercion of belief that necessarily flows from the knowledge that one must have a sponsor in the dominant party in order to retain one's job,Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois, 497 U.S. 62, 71 (1990), which is a particularly pernicious pressure in the fair and neutral administration of elections. Congress has the authority to enforce these First Amendment protections under section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment.

(b)

Restriction

(1)

Standard for removal of a local election administrator

A statewide election administrator may only suspend, remove, or relieve the duties of a local election administrator in the State with respect to the administration of an election for Federal office for gross negligence, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.

(2)

Private right of action

(A)

In general

Any local election administrator suspended, removed, or otherwise relieved of duties in violation of paragraph (1) with respect to the administration of an election for Federal office or against whom any proceeding for suspension, removal, or relief from duty in violation of paragraph (1) with respect to the administration of an election for Federal office may be pending, may bring an action in an appropriate district court of the United States for declaratory or injunctive relief with respect to the violation. Any such action shall name as the defendant the statewide election administrator responsible for the adverse action. The district court shall, to the extent practicable, expedite any such proceeding.

(B)

Statute of limitations

Any action brought under this subsection must be commenced not later than one year after the date of the suspension, removal, relief from duties, or commencement of the proceeding to remove, suspend, or relieve the duties of a local election administrator with respect to the administration of an election for Federal office.

(3)

Attorney’s fees

In any action or proceeding under this subsection, the court may allow a prevailing plaintiff, other than the United States, reasonable attorney’s fees as part of the costs, and may include expert fees as part of the attorney’s fee. The term prevailing plaintiff means a plaintiff that substantially prevails pursuant to a judicial or administrative judgment or order, or an enforceable written agreement.

(4)

Removal of State proceedings to Federal court

A local election administrator who is subject to an administrative or judicial proceeding for suspension, removal, or relief from duty by a statewide election administrator with respect to the administration of an election for Federal office may remove the proceeding to an appropriate district court of the United States. Any order remanding a case to the State court or agency from which it was removed under this subsection shall be reviewable by appeal or otherwise.

(5)

Right of United States to intervene

(A)

Notice to Attorney General

Whenever any administrative or judicial proceeding is brought to suspend, remove, or relieve the duties of any local election administrator by a statewide election administrator with respect to the administration of an election for Federal office, the statewide election administrator who initiated such proceeding shall deliver a copy of the pleadings instituting the proceeding to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. The local election administrator against whom such proceeding is brought may also deliver such pleadings to the Assistant Attorney General.

(B)

Right to intervene

The United States may intervene in any administrative or judicial proceeding brought to suspend, remove, or relieve the duties of any local election administrator by a statewide election administrator with respect to the administration of an election for Federal office and in any action initiated pursuant to paragraph (2) or in any removal pursuant to paragraph (4).

(6)

Review

In reviewing any action brought under this section, a court of the United States shall not afford any deference to any State official, administrator, or tribunal that initiated, approved, adjudicated, or reviewed any administrative or judicial proceeding to suspend, remove, or otherwise relieve the duties of a local election administrator.

(7)

Definitions

In this section, the following definitions apply:

(A)

Election

The term election has the meaning given the term in section 301(1) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30101(1)).

(B)

Federal office

The term Federal office has the meaning given the term in section 301(3) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30101(3)).

(C)

Local election administrator

The term local election administrator means, with respect to a local jurisdiction in a State, an individual or entity responsible for the administration of elections for Federal office in the local jurisdiction.

(D)

Statewide election administrator

The term statewide election administrator means, with respect to a State—

(i)

the individual or entity, including a State elections board, responsible for the administration of elections for Federal office in the State on a statewide basis; or

(ii)

a legislative entity with the authority to suspend, remove, or relieve a local election administrator.

(c)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this section shall be construed to grant any additional authority to remove a local elections administrator beyond any authority provided under the law of the State.

B

Increased Protections for Election Workers

3101.

Harassment of election workers prohibited

(a)

In general

Chapter 29 of title 18, United 6 States Code, as amended by section 2001(a), is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

613.

Harassment of election related officials

(a)

Harassment of election workers

It shall be unlawful for any person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce an election worker described in subsection (b) with intent to impede, intimidate, or interfere with such official while engaged in the performance of official duties, or with intent to retaliate against such official on account of the performance of official duties.

(b)

Election worker described

An election worker as described in this section is any individual who is an election official, poll worker, or an election volunteer in connection with an election for a Federal office.

(c)

Penalty

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

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections for chapter 29 of title 18, United States Code, as amended by section 2001(b), is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

613. Harassment of election related officials.

.

3102.

Protection of election workers

Paragraph (2) of section 119(b) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking or at the end of subparagraph (C), by inserting or at the end of subparagraph (D), and by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(E)

any individual who is an election official, a poll worker, or an election volunteer in connection with an election for a Federal office;

.

C

Prohibiting Deceptive Practices and Preventing Voter Intimidation

3201.

Short title

This subtitle may be cited as the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act of 2021.

3202.

Prohibition on deceptive practices in Federal elections

(a)

Prohibition

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

(1)

by striking No person and inserting the following:

(1)

In general

No person

; and

(2)

by inserting at the end the following new paragraphs:

(2)

False statements regarding Federal elections

(A)

Prohibition

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

(i)

knows such information to be materially false; and

(ii)

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

(B)

Information described

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

(i)

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

(ii)

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

(I)

any criminal, civil, or other legal penalties associated with voting in any such election; or

(II)

information regarding a voter's registration status or eligibility.

(3)

False statements regarding public endorsements

(A)

Prohibition

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

(i)

knows such statement to be false; and

(ii)

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

(B)

Definition of materially false

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

(i)

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

(ii)

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

(4)

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

No person, whether acting under color of law or otherwise, shall intentionally hinder, interfere with, or prevent another person from voting, registering to vote, or aiding another person to vote or register to vote in an election described in paragraph (5), including by operating a polling place or ballot box that falsely purports to be an official location established for such an election by a unit of government.

(5)

Election described

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

.

(b)

Private right of action

(1)

In general

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

(A)

by striking Whenever any person and inserting the following:

(1)

In general

Whenever any person

; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(2)

Civil action

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

.

(2)

Conforming amendments

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

(A)

in subsection (e), by striking subsection (c) and inserting subsection (c)(1); and

(B)

in subsection (g), by striking subsection (c) and inserting subsection (c)(1).

(c)

Criminal penalties

(1)

Deceptive acts

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

(A)

by striking Whoever and inserting the following:

(a)

Intimidation

Whoever

;

(B)

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

(C)

by adding at the end the following new subsections:

(b)

Deceptive acts

(1)

False statements regarding Federal elections

(A)

Prohibition

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

(i)

knows such information to be materially false; and

(ii)

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

(B)

Information described

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

(i)

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

(ii)

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

(I)

any criminal, civil, or other legal penalties associated with voting in any such election; or

(II)

information regarding a voter's registration status or eligibility.

(2)

Penalty

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

(c)

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

(1)

Prohibition

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

(2)

Penalty

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

(d)

Attempt

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

(e)

Election described

An election described in this subsection is any general, primary, runoff, or special election held solely or in part for the purpose of nominating or electing a candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Senator, Member of the House of Representatives, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to the Congress.

.

(2)

Modification of penalty for voter intimidation

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

(3)

Sentencing guidelines

(A)

Review and amendment

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

(B)

Authorization

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

(4)

Payments for refraining from voting

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

3203.

Corrective action

(a)

Corrective action

(1)

In general

If the Attorney General receives a credible report that materially false information has been or is being communicated in violation of paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 2004(b) of the Revised Statutes (52 U.S.C. 10101(b)), as added by section 3202(a), and if the Attorney General determines that State and local election officials have not taken adequate steps to promptly communicate accurate information to correct the materially false information, the Attorney General shall, pursuant to the written procedures and standards under subsection (b), communicate to the public, by any means, including by means of written, electronic, or telephonic communications, accurate information designed to correct the materially false information.

(2)

Communication of corrective information

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

(A)

shall—

(i)

be accurate and objective;

(ii)

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

(iii)

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

(B)

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

(b)

Written procedures and standards for taking corrective action

(1)

In general

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

(2)

Inclusion of appropriate deadlines

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

(3)

Consultation

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

(c)

Authorization of appropriations

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

3204.

Reports to Congress

(a)

In general

Not later than 180 days after each general election for Federal office, the Attorney General shall submit to Congress a report compiling all allegations received by the Attorney General of deceptive practices described in paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) of section 2004(b) of the Revised Statutes (52 U.S.C. 10101(b)), as added by section 3202(a), relating to the general election for Federal office and any primary, runoff, or a special election for Federal office held in the 2 years preceding the general election.

(b)

Contents

(1)

In general

Each report submitted under subsection (a) shall include—

(A)

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

(B)

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

(C)

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

(D)

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

(E)

to the extent information is available, a description of any civil action instituted under section 2004(c)(2) of the Revised Statutes (52 U.S.C. 10101(c)(2)), as added by section 3202(b), in connection with an allegation described in subparagraph (A); and

(F)

a description of any criminal prosecution instituted under section 594 of title 18, United States Code, as amended by section 3202(c), in connection with the receipt of an allegation described in subparagraph (A) by the Attorney General.

(2)

Exclusion of certain information

(A)

In general

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

(B)

Exclusion of certain other information

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

(i)

Any information that is privileged.

(ii)

Any information concerning an ongoing investigation.

(iii)

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

(iv)

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

(c)

Report made public

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

3205.

Private rights of action by election officials

Subsection (c)(2) of section 2004 of the Revised Statutes (52 U.S.C. 10101(b)), as added by section 3202(b), is amended—

(1)

by striking Any person and inserting the following:

(A)

In general

Any person

; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(B)

Intimidation, etc

(i)

In general

A person aggrieved by a violation of subsection (b)(1) shall include, without limitation, an officer responsible for maintaining order and preventing intimidation, threats, or coercion in or around a location at which voters may cast their votes. .

(ii)

Corrective action

If the Attorney General receives a credible report that conduct that violates or would be reasonably likely to violate subsection (b)(1) has occurred or is likely to occur, and if the Attorney General determines that State and local officials have not taken adequate steps to promptly communicate that such conduct would violate subsection (b)(1) or applicable State or local laws, Attorney General shall communicate to the public, by any means, including by means of written, electronic, or telephonic communications, accurate information designed to convey the unlawfulness of proscribed conduct under subsection (b)(1) and the responsibilities of and resources available to State and local officials to prevent or correct such violations.

.

3206.

Making intimidation of tabulation, canvas, and certification efforts a crime

Section 12(1) of the National Voter Registration Act (52 U.S.C. 20511) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (B), by striking or at the end; and

(2)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(D)

processing or scanning ballots, or tabulating, canvassing, or certifying voting results; or

.

D

Protection of Election Records & Election Infrastructure

3301.

Strengthen protections for Federal election records

Section 301 of the Civil Rights Act of 1960 (52 U.S.C. 20701) is amended—

(1)

by striking Every officer and inserting the following:

(a)

In general

Every officer

;

(2)

by striking records and papers and inserting records (including electronic records), papers, and election equipment each place the term appears;

(3)

by striking record or paper and inserting record (including electronic record), paper, or election equipment;

(4)

by inserting (but only under the direct administrative supervision of an election officer). Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the paper record of a voter’s cast ballot shall remain the official record of the cast ballot for purposes of this title after upon such custodian;

(5)

by inserting , or acts in reckless disregard of, after fails to comply with; and

(6)

by inserting after subsection (a) the following:

(b)

Election equipment

The requirement in subsection (a) to preserve election equipment shall not be construed to prevent the reuse of such equipment in any election that takes place within twenty-two months of a Federal election described in subsection (a), provided that all electronic records, files, and data from such equipment related to such Federal election are retained and preserved.

(c)

Guidance

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Election Assistance Commission and the Attorney General, shall issue guidance regarding compliance with subsections (a) and (b), including minimum standards and best practices for retaining and preserving records and papers in compliance with subsection (a). Such guidance shall also include protocols for enabling the observation of the preservation, security, and transfer of records and papers described in subsection (a) by the Attorney General and by a representative of each party, as defined by the Attorney General.

.

3302.

Penalties; inspection; nondisclosure; jurisdiction

(a)

Expansion of scope of penalties for interference

Section 302 of the Civil Rights Act of 1960 (52 U.S.C. 20702) is amended—

(1)

by inserting , or whose reckless disregard of section 301 results in the theft, destruction, concealment, mutilation, or alteration of, after or alters; and

(2)

by striking record or paper and inserting record (including electronic record), paper, or election equipment.

(b)

Inspection, reproduction, and copying

Section 303 of the Civil Rights Act of 1960 (52 U.S.C. 20703) is amended by striking record or paper and inserting record (including electronic record), paper, or election equipment each place the term appears.

(c)

Nondisclosure

Section 304 of the Civil Rights Act of 1960 (52 U.S.C. 20704) is amended by striking record or paper and inserting record (including electronic record), paper, or election equipment.

(d)

Jurisdiction to compel production

Section 305 of the Civil Rights Act of 1960 (52 U.S.C. 20705) is amended by striking record or paper and inserting record (including electronic record), paper, or election equipment each place the term appears.

3303.

Judicial review to ensure compliance

Title III of the Civil Rights Act of 1960 (52 U.S.C. 20701 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

307.

Judicial review to ensure compliance

(a)

Cause of action

The Attorney General, a representative of the Attorney General, or a candidate in a Federal election described in section 301 may bring an action in the district court of the United States for the judicial district in which a record or paper is located, or in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, to compel compliance with the requirements of section 301.

(b)

Duty to expedite

It shall be the duty of the court to advance on the docket, and to expedite to the greatest possible extent the disposition of, the action and any appeal under this section.

.

E

Judicial Protection of the Right to Vote and Non-partisan Vote Tabulation

3401.

Undue burdens on the ability to vote in elections for federal office prohibited

(a)

In general

Every citizen of legal voting age shall have the right to vote in elections for Federal office.

(b)

Retrogression

A government may not diminish the ability to vote in an election for Federal office unless the law, rule, standard, practice, procedure, or other governmental action causing the diminishment is the least restrictive means of significantly furthering an important, particularized government interest.

(c)

Substantial impairment

A government may not substantially impair the ability to vote in an election for Federal office unless the law, rule, standard, practice, procedure, or other governmental action causing the impairment significantly furthers an important, particularized governmental interest.

3402.

Judicial review

(a)

Civil action

An action challenging a violation of the rights created by this subtitle may be brought in the district court for the District of Columbia, or the district court for the district in which the violation took place or where any defendant resides or does business, at the selection of the plaintiff, to obtain all appropriate relief, whether declaratory or injunctive, or facial or as-applied. Process may be served in any district where a defendant resides, does business, or may be found.

(b)

Standards to be applied

In a civil action under this section, the following shall apply:

(1)

Retrogression

(A)

A plaintiff establishes a prima facie case of retrogression under section 4401(b) by demonstrating by a preponderance of the evidence that a rule, standard, practice, procedure, or other governmental action diminishes the ability, or otherwise makes it more difficult, to vote.

(B)

Once a plaintiff establishes a prima facie case as described in subparagraph (A), the government shall be provided an opportunity to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the diminishment is necessary to significantly further an important, particularized governmental interest.

(C)

If the government meets its burden under subparagraph (B), the challenged rule, standard, practice, procedure, or other governmental action shall nonetheless be deemed invalid if the plaintiff demonstrates by a preponderance of the evidence that the government could adopt or implement a less-restrictive means of furthering the particular important governmental interest.

(2)

Substantial Impairment

(A)

A plaintiff establishes a prima facie case of substantial impairment under section 4401(c) by demonstrating by a preponderance of the evidence that a rule, standard, practice, procedure, or other governmental action substantially impairs the ability, or makes it substantially difficult, to vote.

(B)

Once a plaintiff establishes a prima facie case as described in subparagraph (A), the government shall be provided an opportunity to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the impairment significantly furthers an important, particularized governmental interest.

(c)

Duty to expedite

It shall be the duty of the court to advance on the docket and to expedite to the greatest reasonable extent the disposition of the action and appeal under this section.

(d)

Attorney’s fees

Section 722(b) of the Revised Statutes (42 U.S.C. 1988(b)) is amended—

(1)

by striking or section 40302 and inserting section 40302; and

(2)

by striking , the court and inserting , or section 4402(a) of the Freedom to Vote Act, the court.

3403.

Definitions

In this subtitle—

(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 government includes a branch, department, agency, instrumentality, and official (or other person acting under color of law) of the United States, of any State, or of any political subdivision of any State;

(3)

the term State means the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and each territory and possession of the United States; and

(4)

the term vote means all actions necessary to make a vote effective, including registration or other action required by law as a prerequisite to voting, casting a ballot, and having such ballot counted and included in the appropriate totals of votes cast with respect to candidates for public office for which votes are received in an election.

3404.

Rules of construction

(a)

Burdens not authorized

Nothing in this subtitle may be construed to authorize a government to burden the right to vote in elections for Federal office.

(b)

Other rights and remedies

Nothing in this subtitle shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of Congress to alter any rights existing under a State constitution or the Constitution of the United States, or to limit any remedies for any other violations of Federal, State, or local law.

(c)

Other provisions of this act

Nothing in this subtitle shall be construed as affecting section 1703 of this Act (relating to rights of citizens).

3405.

Severability

If any provision of this subtitle or the application of such provision to any citizen or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this subtitle and the application of the provisions of such to any citizen or circumstance shall not be affected thereby.

3406.

Effective date

This subtitle shall apply with respect to any elections for Federal office occurring on or after January 1, 2022.

F

Poll Worker Recruitment and Training

3501.

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, subject to the availability of appropriations provided to carry out this section, 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.

(3)

Access and cultural considerations

The Commission shall ensure that the manual described in paragraph (2) provides training in methods that will enable poll workers to provide access and delivery of services in a culturally competent manner to all voters who use their services, including those with limited English proficiency, diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, disabilities, and regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. These methods must ensure that each voter will have access to poll worker services that are delivered in a manner that meets the unique needs of the voter.

(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;

(D)

provide assurances that the State will dedicate poll worker recruitment efforts with respect to—

(i)

youth and minors, including by recruiting at institutions of higher education and secondary education; and

(ii)

diversity, including with respect to race, ethnicity, and disability; and

(E)

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.

3502.

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.

G

Preventing Poll Observer Interference

3601.

Protections for voters on Election Day

(a)

Requirements

Subtitle A of 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.

Voter protection requirements

(a)

Requirements for challenges by persons other than election officials

(1)

Requirements for challenges

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

(A)

documented in writing; and

(B)

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

(2)

Prohibition on challenges on or near date of election

No person, other than a State or local election official, shall be permitted—

(A)

to challenge an individual’s eligibility to vote in an election for Federal office on Election Day on grounds that could have been made in advance of such day, or

(B)

to challenge an individual’s eligibility to register to vote in an election for Federal office or to vote in an election for Federal office less than 10 days before the election unless the individual registered to vote less than 20 days before the election.

(b)

Buffer rule

(1)

In general

A person who is serving as a poll observer with respect to an election for Federal office may not come within 8 feet of—

(A)

a voter or ballot at a polling location during any period of voting (including any period of early voting) in such election; or

(B)

a ballot at any time during which the processing, scanning, tabulating, canvassing, or certifying voting results is occurring.

(2)

Rule of construction

Nothing in paragraph (1) may be construed to limit the ability of a State or local election official to require poll observers to maintain a distance greater than 8 feet.

(c)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to elections for Federal office occurring on and after January 1, 2022.

.

(b)

Conforming amendment relating to voluntary guidance

Section 321(b)(4) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21101(b)), as added and redesignated by section 1101(b) and as amended by sections 1102, 1103, 1104, and 1303, is amended by striking and 313 and inserting 313, 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:

Sec. 303A. Voter protection requirements.

.

H

Preventing Restrictions on Food and Beverages

3701.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

States have a legitimate interest in prohibiting electioneering at or near polling places, and each State has some form of restriction on political activities near polling places when voting is taking place.

(2)

In recent elections, voters have waited in unacceptably long lines to cast their ballot. During the 2018 midterm election, more than 3,000,000 voters were made to wait longer than the acceptable threshold for wait times set by the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, including many well-documented cases where voters were made to wait for several hours. A disproportionate number of those who had to wait long periods were Black or Latino voters, who were more likely than White voters to wait in the longest lines on Election Day.

(3)

Allowing volunteers to donate food and water to all people waiting in line at a polling place, regardless of the voters’ political preference and without engaging in electioneering activities or partisan advocacy, helps ensure Americans who face long lines at their polling place can still exercise their Constitutional right to vote, without risk of dehydration, inadequate food, discomfort, and risks to health.

3702.

Prohibiting restrictions on donations of food and beverages at polling stations

(a)

Requirement

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 1044(a), section 1101(a), section 1102(a), section 1103(a), section 1104(a), section 1201(a), section 1301(a), section 1302(a), section 1303(b), section 1305(a), section 1607(a)(1), section 1608(a), and section 1624(a) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating sections 318 and 319 as sections 319 and 320, respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after section 317 the following new section:

318.

Prohibiting States from restricting donations of food and beverages at polling stations

(a)

Prohibition

Subject to the exception in subsection (b), a State may not impose any restriction on the donation of food and nonalcoholic beverages to persons outside of the entrance to the building where a polling place for a Federal election is located, provided that such food and nonalcoholic beverages are distributed without regard to the electoral participation or political preferences of the recipients.

(b)

Exception

A State may require persons distributing food and nonalcoholic beverages outside the entrance to the building where a polling place for a Federal election is located to refrain from political or electioneering activity.

(c)

Effective date

This section shall apply with respect to elections for Federal office occurring on and after January 1, 2022.

.

(b)

Voluntary guidance

Section 321(b)(4) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 21101(b)), as added and redesignated by section 1101(b) and as amended by sections 1102, 1103, 1104, 1303, and 3601(b), is amended by striking and 303A and inserting 303A, and 317.

(c)

Clerical amendments

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1031(c), section 1044(b), section 1101(c), section 1102(c), section 1103(a), section 1104(c), section 1201(c), section 1301(a), section 1302(a), section 1303(b), section 1305(a), section 1607(a)(3), section 1608(b), and section 1624(b) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating the items relating to sections 318 and 319 as relating to sections 319 and 320, respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after the item relating to section 317 the following new item:

Sec. 318. Prohibiting States from restricting donations of food and beverages at polling stations.

.

I

Establishing Duty to Report Foreign Election Interference

3801.

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)

Since the Supreme Court’s decisions in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), millions of dollars have flowed into super PACs through LLCs whose funders are anonymous or intentionally obscured. Criminal investigations have uncovered LLCs that were used to hide illegal campaign contributions from foreign criminal fugitives, to advance international influence-buying schemes, and to conceal contributions from donors who were already under investigation for bribery and racketeering. Voters have no way to know the true sources of the money being routed through these LLCs to influence elections, including whether any of the funds come from foreign or other illicit sources.

(4)

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.

(5)

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.

(6)

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 anticorruption laws and regulations.

3802.

Federal campaign reporting of foreign contacts

(a)

Initial notice

(1)

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 reportable foreign contacts

(1)

Committee obligation to notify

Not later than 1 week after a reportable foreign contact, each political committee shall notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Commission of the reportable foreign contact and provide a summary of the circumstances with respect to such reportable foreign contact. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, not later than 1 week after receiving a notification from a political committee under this paragraph, shall submit to the political committee, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives, and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate written or electronic confirmation of receipt of the notification.

(2)

Individual obligation to notify

Not later than 3 days after a reportable foreign contact—

(A)

each candidate and each immediate family member of a candidate shall notify the treasurer or other designated official of the principal campaign committee of such candidate of the reportable foreign contact and provide a summary of the circumstances with respect to such reportable foreign contact; and

(B)

each official, employee, or agent of a political committee shall notify the treasurer or other designated official of the committee of the reportable foreign contact and provide a summary of the circumstances with respect to such reportable foreign contact.

(3)

Reportable foreign contact

In this subsection:

(A)

In general

The term reportable foreign contact means any direct or indirect contact or communication that—

(i)

is between—

(I)

a candidate, an immediate family member of the candidate, a political committee, or any official, employee, or agent of such committee; and

(II)

an individual that the person described in subclause (I) knows, has reason to know, or reasonably believes is a covered foreign national; and

(ii)

the person described in clause (i)(I) knows, has reason to know, or reasonably believes involves—

(I)

an offer or other proposal for a contribution, donation, expenditure, disbursement, or solicitation described in section 319; or

(II)

coordination or collaboration with, an offer or provision of information or services to or from, or persistent and repeated contact with, a covered foreign national in connection with an election.

(B)

Exceptions

(i)

Contacts in official capacity as elected official

The term reportable foreign contact shall not include any contact or communication with a covered foreign national by an elected official or an employee of an elected official solely in an official capacity as such an official or employee.

(ii)

Contacts for purposes of enabling observation of elections by international observers

The term reportable foreign contact shall not include any contact or communication with a covered foreign national by any person which is made for purposes of enabling the observation of elections in the United States by a foreign national or the observation of elections outside of the United States by a candidate, political committee, or any official, employee, or agent of such committee.

(iii)

Exceptions not applicable if contacts or communications involve prohibited disbursements

A contact or communication by an elected official or an employee of an elected official shall not be considered to be made solely in an official capacity for purposes of clause (i), and a contact or communication shall not be considered to be made for purposes of enabling the observation of elections for purposes of clause (ii), if the contact or communication involves a contribution, donation, expenditure, disbursement, or solicitation described in section 319.

(C)

Covered foreign national defined

(i)

In general

In this paragraph, the term covered foreign national means—

(I)

a foreign principal (as defined in section 1(b) of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (22 U.S.C. 611(b)) that is a government of a foreign country or a foreign political party;

(II)

any person who acts as an agent, representative, employee, or servant, or any person who acts in any other capacity at the order, request, or under the direction or control, of a foreign principal described in subclause (I) or of a person any of whose activities are directly or indirectly supervised, directed, controlled, financed, or subsidized in whole or in major part by a foreign principal described in subclause (I); or

(III)

any person included in the list of specially designated nationals and blocked persons maintained by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department of the Treasury pursuant to authorities relating to the imposition of sanctions relating to the conduct of a foreign principal described in subclause (I).

(ii)

Clarification regarding application to citizens of the United States

In the case of a citizen of the United States, subclause (II) of clause (i) applies only to the extent that the person involved acts within the scope of that person’s status as the agent of a foreign principal described in subclause (I) of clause (i).

(4)

Immediate family member

In this subsection, the term immediate family member means, with respect to a candidate, a parent, parent-in-law, spouse, adult child, or sibling.

.

(2)

Effective date

The amendment made by paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to reportable foreign contacts which occur on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(b)

Information included on report

(1)

In general

Section 304(b) of such Act (52 U.S.C. 30104(b)) is amended—

(A)

by striking and at the end of paragraph (7);

(B)

by striking the period at the end of paragraph (8) and inserting ; and; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(9)

for any reportable foreign contact (as defined in subsection (j)(3))—

(A)

the date, time, and location of the contact;

(B)

the date and time of when a designated official of the committee was notified of the contact;

(C)

the identity of individuals involved; and

(D)

a description of the contact, including the nature of any contribution, donation, expenditure, disbursement, or solicitation involved and the nature of any activity described in subsection (j)(3)(A)(ii)(II) involved.

.

(2)

Effective date

The amendments made by paragraph (1) shall apply with respect to reports filed on or after the expiration of the 60-day period which begins on the date of the enactment of this Act.

3803.

Federal campaign foreign contact reporting compliance system

(a)

In general

Section 302 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30102) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(j)

Reportable foreign contacts compliance policy

(1)

Reporting

Each political committee shall establish a policy that requires all officials, employees, and agents of such committee (and, in the case of an authorized committee, the candidate and each immediate family member of the candidate) to notify the treasurer or other appropriate designated official of the committee of any reportable foreign contact (as defined in section 304(j)) not later than 3 days after such contact was made.

(2)

Retention and preservation of records

Each political committee shall establish a policy that provides for the retention and preservation of records and information related to reportable foreign contacts (as so defined) for a period of not less than 3 years.

(3)

Certification

(A)

In general

Upon filing its statement of organization under section 303(a), and with each report filed under section 304(a), the treasurer of each political committee (other than an authorized committee) shall certify that—

(i)

the committee has in place policies that meet the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2);

(ii)

the committee has designated an official to monitor compliance with such policies; and

(iii)

not later than 1 week after the beginning of any formal or informal affiliation with the committee, all officials, employees, and agents of such committee will—

(I)

receive notice of such policies;

(II)

be informed of the prohibitions under section 319; and

(III)

sign a certification affirming their understanding of such policies and prohibitions.

(B)

Authorized committees

With respect to an authorized committee, the candidate shall make the certification required under subparagraph (A).

.

(b)

Effective date

(1)

In general

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall apply with respect to political committees which file a statement of organization under section 303(a) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30103(a)) on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2)

Transition rule for existing committees

Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, each political committee under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 shall file a certification with the Federal Election Commission that the committee is in compliance with the requirements of section 302(j) of such Act (as added by subsection (a)).

3804.

Criminal penalties

Section 309(d)(1) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (52 U.S.C. 30109(d)(1)) is amended by adding at the end the following new subparagraphs:

(E)

Any person who knowingly and willfully commits a violation of subsection (j) or (b)(9) of section 304 or section 302(j) shall be fined not more than $500,000, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(F)

Any person who knowingly and willfully conceals or destroys any materials relating to a reportable foreign contact (as defined in section 304(j)) shall be fined not more than $1,000,000, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

.

3805.

Report to congressional intelligence committees

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall submit to the congressional intelligence committees a report relating to notifications received by the Federal Bureau of Investigation under section 304(j)(1) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (as added by section 4902(a) of this Act).

(b)

Elements

Each report under subsection (a) shall include, at a minimum, the following with respect to notifications described in subsection (a):

(1)

The number of such notifications received from political committees during the year covered by the report.

(2)

A description of protocols and procedures developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation relating to receipt and maintenance of records relating to such notifications.

(3)

With respect to such notifications received during the year covered by the report, a description of any subsequent actions taken by the Director resulting from the receipt of such notifications.

(c)

Congressional intelligence committees defined

In this section, the term congressional intelligence committees has the meaning given that term in section 3 of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3003).

3806.

Rule of construction

Nothing in this subtitle or the amendments made by this subtitle shall be construed—

(1)

to impede legitimate journalistic activities; or

(2)

to impose any additional limitation on the right to express political views or to participate in public discourse of any individual who—

(A)

resides in the United States;

(B)

is not a citizen of the United States or a national of the United States, as defined in section 101(a)(22) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(22)); and

(C)

is not lawfully admitted for permanent residence, as defined by section 101(a)(20) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20)).

J

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

3901.

Short title

This subtitle may be cited as the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2021.

3902.

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-verifiable paper ballots

(i)

The voting system shall require the use of an individual, durable, voter-verifiable paper ballot of the voter’s vote selections that shall be marked by the voter and presented to the voter for verification before the voter’s ballot is preserved in accordance with subparagraph (B), and which shall be counted by hand or other counting device or read by a ballot tabulation device. For purposes of this subclause, the term individual, durable, voter-verifiable 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 at every in-person voting location to mark by hand a printed ballot that includes all relevant contests and candidates.

(ii)

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

(iii)

The voting system shall not preserve the voter-verifiable 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 selections.

(iv)

The voting system shall prevent, through mechanical means or through independently verified protections, the modification or addition of vote selections on a printed or marked ballot at any time after the voter has been provided an opportunity to correct errors on the ballot pursuant to clause (ii).

(B)

Preservation as official record

The individual, durable, voter-verifiable paper ballot used in accordance with subparagraph (A) 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.

(C)

Manual counting requirements for recounts and audits

(i)

Each paper ballot used pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall be suitable for a manual audit, and such ballots, or at least those ballots the machine could not count, 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-verifiable paper ballots used pursuant to subparagraph (A), the individual, durable, voter-verifiable paper ballots shall be the true and correct record of the votes cast.

(D)

Sense of congress

It is the sense of Congress that as innovation occurs in the election infrastructure sector, Congress should ensure that this Act and other Federal requirements for voting systems are updated to keep pace with best practices and recommendations for security and accessibility.

.

(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).

3903.

Accessibility and ballot verification for individuals with disabilities

(a)

In general

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

(3)

Accessibility for individuals with disabilities

(A)

In general

The voting system shall—

(i)

be accessible for individuals with disabilities, including nonvisual accessibility for 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;

(ii)
(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-verifiable paper ballot; and

(II)

satisfy the requirement of clause (i) through the use at in-person polling locations of a sufficient number (not less than one) of voting systems equipped to serve individuals with and without 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; and

(iii)

if purchased with funds made available under title II on or after January 1, 2007, meet the voting system standards for disability access (as outlined in this paragraph).

(B)

Means of meeting requirements

A voting system may meet the requirements of subparagraph (A)(i) and paragraph (2) by—

(i)

allowing 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 tabulation or auditing;

(ii)

allowing the voter to privately and independently verify and cast the permanent paper ballot without requiring the voter to manually handle the paper ballot;

(iii)

marking ballots that are identical in size, ink, and paper stock to those ballots that would either be marked by hand or be marked by a ballot marking device made generally available to voters; or

(iv)

combining ballots produced by any ballot marking devices reserved for individuals with disabilities with ballots that have either been marked by voters by hand or marked by ballot marking devices made generally available to voters, in a way that prevents identification of the ballots that were cast using any ballot marking device that was reserved for individuals with disabilities.

(C)

Sufficient number

For purposes of subparagraph (A)(ii)(II), the sufficient number of voting systems for any in-person polling location shall be determined based on guidance from the Attorney General, in consultation with the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board established under section 502(a)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 792(a)(1)) (commonly referred to as the United States Access Board) and the Commission.

.

(b)

Specific requirement of study, testing, and development of accessible voting options

(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 voting options

(a)

Grants to study and report

The Commission, in coordination with the Access Board and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, shall make grants to not fewer than 2 eligible entities to study, test, and develop—

(1)

accessible and secure remote voting systems;

(2)

voting, verification, and casting devices to enhance the accessibility of voting and verification for individuals with disabilities; or

(3)

both of the matters described in paragraph (1) and (2).

(b)

Eligibility

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

(1)

a certification that the entity shall complete the activities carried out with the grant not later than January 1, 2024; and

(2)

such other information and certifications as the Commission 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 Commission 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 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) $10,000,000, 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 voting options.

.

(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.

3904.

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-verifiable 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-verifiable 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 a ballot tabulation device or other device equipped for individuals with disabilities.

.

3905.

Study and report on optimal ballot design

(a)

Study

The Election Assistance Commission shall conduct a study of the best ways to design ballots used in elections for public office, including paper ballots and electronic or digital ballots, to minimize confusion and user errors.

(b)

Report

Not later than January 1, 2022, the Election Assistance Commission shall submit to Congress a report on the study conducted under subsection (a).

3906.

Ballot marking device cybersecurity requirements

Section 301(a) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21081(a)), as amended by section 3914, is further amended by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:

(8)

Prohibition of use of wireless communications devices in systems or devices

No system or device upon which ballot marking devices or ballot tabulation devices are configured, upon which ballots are marked by voters at a polling place (except as necessary for individuals with disabilities to use ballot marking devices that meet the accessibility requirements of paragraph (3)), or upon which votes are cast, tabulated, or aggregated shall contain, use, or be accessible by any wireless, power-line, or concealed communication device.

(9)

Prohibiting connection of system to the internet

No system or device upon which ballot marking devices or ballot tabulation devices are configured, upon which ballots are marked by voters at a voting place, or upon which votes are cast, tabulated, or aggregated shall be connected to the internet or any non-local computer system via telephone or other communication network at any time.

.

3907.

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 or jurisdiction pursuant to the amendments made by the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2021 shall apply with respect to voting systems used for any election for Federal office held in 2022 or any succeeding year.

(B)

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

(i)

In general

In the case of a jurisdiction described in clause (ii), the requirements of paragraphs (2)(A)(i) and (7) of subsection (a) (as amended or added by the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2021) shall not apply before the date on which the jurisdiction replaces the printers or systems described in clause (ii)(I) for use in the administration of elections for Federal office.

(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) and (7) of subsection (a) (as amended or added by the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2021), for the administration of the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2020; and

(II)

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

(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 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 printed blank paper ballot. The notice shall comply with the requirements of section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (52 U.S.C. 10503).

(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 printed paper ballot.

(V)

Period of applicability

The requirements of this clause apply only during the period beginning on January 1, 2022, and ending on the date on which the which the jurisdiction replaces the printers or systems described in clause (ii)(I) for use in the administration of elections for Federal office.

(C)

Delay for certain jurisdictions using voting systems with wireless communication devices or internet connections

(i)

Delay

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

(I)

Paragraph (8) of subsection (a) (relating to prohibition of wireless communication devices)

(II)

Paragraph (9) of subsection (a) (relating to prohibition of connecting systems to the internet)

(ii)

Jurisdictions described

A jurisdiction described in this clause is a jurisdiction—

(I)

which used a voting system which is not in compliance with paragraphs (8) or (9) of subsection (a) (as amended or added by the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2021) for the administration of the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2020;

(II)

which was not able, to all extent practicable, to comply with paragraph (8) and (9) of subsection (a) before January 1, 2022; and

(III)

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

(iii)

Applicable year

(I)

In general

Except as provided in subclause (II), the term applicable year means 2026.

(II)

Extension

If a State or jurisdiction certifies to the Commission not later than January 1, 2026, that the State or jurisdiction will not meet the requirements described in subclauses (I) and (II) of clause (i) by such date because it would be impractical to do so and includes in the certification the reasons for the failure to meet the deadline, the term applicable year means 2030.

.

3908.

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

(a)

Availability of grants

(1)

In general

Subtitle D of title II of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. 21001 et seq.), as amended by section 1302(c), 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

(1)

In general

The Commission shall make a grant to each eligible State—

(A)

to replace a voting system—

(i)

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 2021 with a voting system which—

(I)

does meet such requirements; and

(II)

in the case of a grandfathered voting system (as defined in paragraph (2)), is in compliance with the most recent voluntary voting system guidelines; or

(ii)

which does meet such requirements but which is not in compliance with the most recent voluntary voting system guidelines with another system which does meet such requirements and is in compliance with such guidelines;

(B)

to carry out voting system security improvements described in section 298A with respect to the regularly scheduled general election for Federal office held in November 2022 and each succeeding election for Federal office;

(C)

to implement and model best practices for ballot design, ballot instructions, and the testing of ballots; and

(D)

to purchase or acquire accessible voting systems that meet the requirements of paragraph (2) and paragraph (3)(A)(i) of section 301(a) by the means described in paragraph (3)(B) of such section.

(2)

Definition of grandfathered voting system

In this subsection, the term grandfathered voting system means a voting system that is used by a jurisdiction described in subparagraph (B)(ii) or (C)(ii) of section 301(d)(2).

(b)

Amount of payment

(1)

In general

The amount of payment made to an eligible State under this section shall be the minimum payment amount described in paragraph (2) plus the voting age population proportion amount described in paragraph (3).

(2)

Minimum payment amount

The minimum payment amount described in this paragraph is—

(A)

in the case of any of the several States or the District of Columbia, one-half of 1 percent of the aggregate amount made available for payments under this section; and

(B)

in the case of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, one-tenth of 1 percent of such aggregate amount.

(3)

Voting age population proportion amount

The voting age population proportion amount described in this paragraph is the product of—

(A)

the aggregate amount made available for payments under this section minus the total of all of the minimum payment amounts determined under paragraph (2); and

(B)

the voting age population proportion for the State (as defined in paragraph (4)).

(4)

Voting age population proportion defined

The term voting age population proportion means, with respect to a State, the amount equal to the quotient of—

(A)

the voting age population of the State (as reported in the most recent decennial census); and

(B)

the total voting age population of all States (as reported in the most recent decennial census).

(5)

Requirement relating to purchase of accessible voting systems

An eligible State shall use not less than 10 percent of funds received by the State under this section to purchase accessible voting systems described in subsection (a)(1)(D).

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 (as defined in section 3908(b) of the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2021) 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 infrastructure used for elections, 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 not a primary provider of information technology services for the administration of elections, and 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 (as so defined) or designates as critical to the operation of the State’s election infrastructure (as so defined).

(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

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 (as defined in section 3908(b) of the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2021) on behalf of a State, unit of local government, or election agency (as defined in section 3908(b) of such Act) who meets the criteria described in section 3908(b) of such Act.

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 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 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)

$2,400,000,000 for fiscal year 2021; and

(2)

$175,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2022, 2024, 2026, and 2028.

(b)

Continuing availability of amounts

Any amounts appropriated pursuant to the authorization of this section shall remain available until expended.

.

(2)

Clerical amendment

The table of contents of such Act, as amended by section 1402(c), is amended by adding at the end of the items relating to subtitle D of title II the following:

Part 8—Grants for Obtaining Compliant Paper Ballot Voting Systems and Carrying Out Voting System Security Improvements

Sec. 298. Grants for obtaining compliant paper ballot voting systems and carrying out voting system security improvements.

Sec. 298A. Voting system security improvements described.

Sec. 298B. Eligibility of States.

Sec. 298C. Reports to Congress.

Sec. 298D. Authorization of appropriations.

(b)

Qualified election infrastructure vendors

(1)

In general

The Secretary, in consultation with the Chair, shall establish and publish criteria for qualified election infrastructure vendors for purposes of section 298A of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (as added by this Act).

(2)

Criteria

The criteria established under paragraph (1) shall include each of the following requirements:

(A)

The vendor shall—

(i)

be owned and controlled by a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or a member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance; and

(ii)

in the case of any election infrastructure which is a voting machine, ensure that such voting machine is assembled in the United States.

(B)