Summary

1/3/2013--Introduced. Voter Empowerment Act of 2013 - Voter Registration Modernization Act of 2013 - Amends the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) to require each state to... Read More

Status

This bill was introduced on Jan 23, 2013, in a previous session of Congress, but was not passed.

Date Introduced
Jan 23, 2013

Co-Sponsors

d-177
i-1

Bill Text

A BILL

To modernize voter registration, promote access to voting for individuals with disabilities, protect the ability of individuals to exercise the right to vote in elections for Federal office, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

(a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Voter Empowerment Act of 2013''. (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents. TITLE I--VOTER REGISTRATION MODERNIZATION

Sec. 100. Short title. Subtitle A--Promoting Internet Registration

Sec. 101. Requiring availability of Internet for voter registration. Sec. 102. Use of Internet to update registration information. Sec. 103. Provision of election information by electronic mail to individuals registered to vote. Sec. 104. Clarification of requirement regarding necessary information to show eligibility to vote. Sec. 105. Effective date. Subtitle B--Automated Registration of Certain Individuals

Sec. 111. Automated voter registration. Sec. 112. List maintenance, privacy, and security. Sec. 113. Promoting accuracy of statewide voter registration lists. Sec. 114. Definitions. Sec. 115. Effective date. Subtitle C--Other Initiatives To Promote Voter Registration

Sec. 121. Same day registration. Sec. 122. Acceptance of voter registration applications from individuals under 18 years of age. Sec. 123. Annual reports on voter registration statistics. Subtitle D--Availability of HAVA Requirements Payments

Sec. 131. Availability of requirements payments under HAVA to cover costs of compliance with new requirements. Subtitle E--Prohibiting Interference With Voter Registration

Sec. 141. Prohibiting hindering, interfering with,...

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Sentiment Map

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Nation

157 Supporting
224 Opposing
41% 59%

State: CA

15 Supporting
14 Opposing
52% 48%

District: 1st

1 Supporting
1 Opposing
50% 50%

Popularity Trend

Organizations Supporting

June 25, 2013 Dear Representative: On behalf of the more than three million members of the National Education Association (NEA), we urge you to support and co-sponsor the Voter Empowerment Act of 2013 (H.R. 12) by Representative John Lewis (D-GA). This legislation is more important than ever following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, which struck down a core element of the Voting Rights Act, our nation’s most successful civil rights law. NEA believes the right to vote, and to have one’s vote counted, is the most basic tenet of a democratic society. The Voting Rights Act—enacted it in response to persistent and purposeful discrimination through literacy tests, poll taxes, intimidation, threats, and violence—has had remarkable success in ensuring access to the voting booth. For millions of racial, ethnic, and language minority citizens, it has eliminated discriminatory practices and removed other barriers to political participation. Yet, despite these successes, it is clear that inequities, disparities, and obstacles remain for far too many minority voters. Voter suppression and intimidation are still very much alive in our nation. In recent years, especially during the 2012 presidential election campaign, we have seen a deeply troubling increase in misleading and fraudulent information about elections, voter intimidation, and robocalls designed to suppress the vote guaranteed every citizen by the U.S. Constitution. In addition, we have seen an unprecedented number of anti-voter initiatives in state legislatures—proposals and laws enacted that require photo identification, eliminate same-day registration, shrink early voting windows, change student voting requirements, and make it hard for people to vote in other ways. The Voter Empowerment Act of 2013 would open access to the ballot box through system modernization and simplification, ensuring the integrity of the voting process, and protecting the accountability of results. It also includes steps critical to enabling all citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote such as same-day registration, alleviating burdens for people with disabilities, training for poll workers, protecting against deceptive practices and intimidation, and establishing a national hotline for voting-related issues. NEA is working aggressively to call attention to and combat initiatives and practices that deny or restrict the right to vote. We urge you to support and co-sponsor the Voter Empowerment Act of 2013 to help ensure fair and open elections across our nation. http://www.nea.org/home/55860.htm

There is still room for improvement for overseas voters: According to the 2012 post-election survey conducted by the Overseas Vote Foundation (OVF), the overseas voting process was clearly improved in the first full federal election since passage of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act of 2009. An article by Brian Knowlton in the New York Times shows that while a little over 20% of UOCAVA* voters were still unable to vote due to ballots that were late or not received, increased use of technology by both voters and elections officials did make the difference for many voters. More than half, for example, received their blank ballot electronically. Ironically, it was technicological glitches that thwarted some voters but election officials, vendors and those who provide voters with voting materials have a little time to fix those before the next test in 2014…

Rock the Vote – Heather Smith, President: The Voter Empowerment Act is a positive step toward ensuring that every person who is eligible to cast a ballot is able to do so... If the strength of our democracy can be measured by the participation of our citizens, then barriers being placed on young people pose a serious threat to the long-term future of our democratic system. The Voter Empowerment Act is a great step toward a more modern election system that meets the needs of today's voters.” Source: http://www.democraticwhip.gov/sites/default/files/VEA%20Quotes%20of%20Support.pdf

Rock the Vote 2 years ago

Project Vote – Michael Slater, Executive Director: “The goals of the Voter Empowerment Act are to provide more access to the ballot, to protect the integrity of voting systems, and to ensure accountability in elections. Project Vote supports measures that make voting more accessible and convenient, and which bring down barriers to voting for eligible Americans.” Source: http://www.democraticwhip.gov/sites/default/files/VEA%20Quotes%20of%20Support.pdf

Project Vote 2 years ago

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People—Hilary O. Shelton, Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau and the Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy: “Since our inception in 1909, the NAACP has fought for equality in voting rights. We believe that voting is the most fundamental civil right, and should be readily available to all Americans, regardless of their age, income, race, ethnicity, gender, employment status, physical disability, where they live, or other differences. For that reason, we strongly support the Voter Empowerment Act.” Source: http://www.democraticwhip.gov/sites/default/files/VEA%20Quotes%20of%20Support.pdf

League of Women Voters – Elisabeth MacNamara, National President: “The Voter Empowerment Act takes important steps to protect voters, including a new system for online voter registration and improvements in the provisional balloting system to ensure that all eligible citizens have their votes counted.” Source: http://www.democraticwhip.gov/sites/default/files/VEA%20Quotes%20of%20Support.pdf

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Organizations Opposing

No organizations opposing yet.

Users Supporting

I support H.R. 12 Voter Empowerment Act of 2013 because... It's about time our governments try to move into modern times. The 18th century was over two hundred years ago, already.

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AZ
1
garylob
AZ-1
7 months ago

I support The Voter Empowerment Act because every adult citizen in a democracy deserves the right to vote.

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PA
7
messgwg
PA-7
9 months ago

I support The Voter Empowerment Act because too many states are imposing voter suppression laws expressly intended to sway elections in-favor of the GOP.

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CA
15
RogerAnderson
CA-15
9 months ago

I support The Voter Empowerment Act because...we are a free country so give everyone of the to vote that right. No party should want this freedom taken away. Money should not win at the ballott box. The vote should.

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TN
6
Anonymous520951
TN-6
9 months ago

I support The Voter Empowerment Act because...With voting at the polls there is scant fraud. News21 did research that indicated that since the year 2000 there were 10 cases of voter impersonation. Hardly worth insisting on voter ID. The biggest cases of fraud were 403 from Campaign Officials, 491 cases of fraud were from absentee ballots, 97 cases of vote buying, 362 cases of registration fraud, 150 cases of double voting, 21 cases of intimidation, 23 cases of falsification of election counts by election officials, and 74 cases of felons casting ineligible votes. Requiring ID at the polls is obviously not going to reduce fraud in voting but is going to prevent the elderly, the handicapped, the blacks and the browns from using their Constitutional right to vote. Just in Texas 600,000 REGISTERED voters do not have the correct ID. Stop voter ID laws and look to where the fraud really happens.

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ID
2
CBOLWELL
ID-2
9 months ago

I support The Voter Empowerment Act because...this is the only way that the votes can show support or lack of to their duly elected contrssperson. Writing and calling them does not seem to work.

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MS
3
threek1att.net
MS-3
10 months ago

Users Opposing

I oppose The Voter Empowerment Act because...with mail in ballots it cannot be a hardship for anyone qualified to vote. Nothing is easier than getting a ballot with your mail, completing it and returning it in the mail. If someone is not able to do that, maybe they should not be voting in the first place.

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AZ
8
Italiangreyhound
AZ-8
9 months ago

I oppose The Voter Empowerment Act because...we need PHOTO ID right now to vote. We also need to requires that you must speak and write English if you vote in the United States of America. Having to print and have interprets for everyone is costing tax payers to much money. One ballot in English is all that is needed. If you cannot speak and read English then you can have no idea what the real reason is that you are voting. Since English is our language how about enforcing it in government. If you DO NOT SPEAK ENGLISH AND CANNOT READ ENGLISH YOU DON'T VOTE.

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TN
3
DocFreeman
TN-3
9 months ago

I oppose The Voter Empowerment Act because the actual purpose of this bill is to empower FRAUD. One-person-one-vote, and fair, honest, elections is more important than making voting easy. Voters should be required to show photo IDs which verify the address of their residence. There should be an adequate time limit before voting for newly registered voters so that their credentials may be checked. Laws should require regular and vigorous purging of voter rolls.

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FL
27
Anonymous491228
FL-27
9 months ago

I oppose The Voter Empowerment Act because...NO OBAMACARE, NO AMNESTY, STOP SPENDING, STOP CREDIT/BORROWING, PAY OFF ALL DEBT BEFORE INCREASE OF CREDIT LIMIT, STOP CISPA, STOP FISA, ABOLISH THE IRS/FED-RESV, STOP ABORTIONS, NO GUN CONTROL, NO UN - GET THE UN OUT OF THE USA, NO INTERNET SALES TAX , NO LAW INTRODUCED TO COMMITTEE UNLESS FOUNDED ON THE CONSTITUTION, ONE AND ONLY SINGLE TERM LIMITS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REPRESENTATIVES, SECURE AND CLOSE ALL PORTS/HARBOR AND BOARDERS IMMEDIATELY, SECURE ALL OUR BOARDERS - NO AMNESTY COMPASSIONATE PLUS FIRM DEPORTATION OF ILLEGAL ALIENS AND ULTRA-VETTING OF POTUS CANDIDATES TO THE CONSTITUTION!! STOP EBOLA - NO NO NO ENTRY TO USA FROM EBOLA COUNTRIES! SEAL THE BOARDERS/PORTS. STRENGTHEN OUR USA SOVEREIGNITY ON THE FOUDATIONS OF THE FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENTS OF THE CONSTITUTION!

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KY
6
tarawa1943
KY-6
9 months ago

I oppose The Voter Empowerment Act because it is a states rights issue.

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ME
1
meridian
ME-1
9 months ago

I oppose The Voter Empowerment Act because...voting is a responsibility and should be taken seriously. All the pushing to make it easier and easier to vote takes away the incentive to make informed decisions. I personally feel that voters should put MORE thought and effort into the process, not less. Let's leave thoughtless knee-jerk votes to "American Idol". Want to make voting easier? Make election day a Federal Holiday, anything else is posturing to ease manipulation and fraud.

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OH
15
psykozen
OH-15
9 months ago

Bill Summary


1/3/2013--Introduced.
Voter Empowerment Act of 2013 - Voter Registration Modernization Act of 2013 - Amends the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) to require each state to make available official public websites for online voter registration. Authorizes automated voter registration of certain individuals and establishes other initiatives to promote voter registration, such as same day registration and voter registration of individuals under 18 years of age. Amends the federal criminal code to prohibit hindering, interfering with, or preventing voter registration. Amends the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) to establish requirements for states to promote access to voter registration and voting for individuals with disabilities, including a single office for providing related information. Directs the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to make grants to eligible states to conduct pilot programs enabling individuals with disabilities to register to vote and vote privately and independently at their own residences (including by telephone). Amends HAVA to reauthorize the program of grants to state and local governments to assure voting access for individuals with disabilities. Amends the federal criminal code to prohibit state or local election officials from preventing an individual from registering or voting in any federal election (voter caging), or from permitting 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 voter application or registration documents that is not material to an individual's eligibility to vote, or (4) any other evidence so designated by the Commission. Amends the federal criminal code to prohibit a person, including an election official, from knowingly and willfully attempting to or depriving or defrauding the residents of a state of their free and fair exercise of the right to vote by the communication of election-related information that is known by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent. Increases the penalty for voter intimidation. Declares that the right of an individual U.S. citizen to vote in any federal election shall not be denied or abridged because that individual has been convicted of a criminal offense unless he or she is serving a felony sentence in a correctional institution at the time of the election. Prescribes enforcement of this right by public or private civil action. Requires each state to notify in writing any individual convicted of a criminal offense under state law, upon release from state custody or upon sentence to probation, that he or she has the right to vote in a federal election and so may register to vote. Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2013 - Amends HAVA to revise requirements for the audit capacity of voting systems, particularly those for a permanent paper record. Requires the voting system to require the use of an individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballot of the voter's vote that shall be marked and made available for inspection by the voter before the voter's vote is cast and counted, and which shall be counted by hand or read by an optical character recognition device or other counting device. Requires the voting system to provide the voter with an opportunity to correct any system-made error in the voter-verified paper ballot before it is permanently preserved. Requires the Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to make grants to eligible entities to study, test, and develop accessible ballot voting, verification, and casting mechanisms and devices and best practices to enhance the accessibility of paper ballot voting and verification mechanisms for individuals with disabilities, for voters whose primary language is not English, and for voters with difficulties in literacy. Prescribes requirements for: (1) publication of poll tapes, (2) treatment of ballots cast at early voting sites and of absentee ballots, and (3) the counting of provisional ballots that will be treated as votes. Prescribes laboratory conflict-of-interest requirements and prohibitions. Requires the NSF Director to make grants to eligible entities to conduct research on the development of election-dedicated voting system software. Requires each state, except when the winning candidate had no opponent or received 80% or more of the votes, to administer audits of federal election results, without advance notice to the precincts selected, consisting of random hand counts of the voter-verified paper ballots. Requires the Election Auditor of a state, as soon as practicable after the completion of an audit, to submit the results to EAC for publication. Prohibits certification of the results of any election until completion of audits. Amends HAVA to: (1) add requirements for counting provisional ballots, (2) require each state to allow early voting and facilitate the ability of voters to vote by mail. Amends the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to extend the guarantee of voting residency to family members of absent military personnel. Amends the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act with respect to pre-election reports on availability and transmission of absentee ballots. Revises the 45-day absentee ballot transmission rule. Permits use of a single absentee ballot application for subsequent elections. Entitles to leave a federal employee who serves as a poll worker. Directs the EAC to: (1) make a grant to each eligible state for poll-worker recruitment and training, and (2) develop materials for a model state poll worker training program. Amends HAVA to make available to any person aggrieved by a violation of uniform and nondiscriminatory election technology and administration requirements the option to file a complaint with the Attorney General or pursue a private right of action to enforce such requirements. Amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to make it unlawful for a chief state election administration official, unless he or she or a family member is a candidate, to take an active part in political management or in a political campaign for federal office over which such official has supervisory authority. Amends NVRA to treat universities as voter registration agencies. Amends HAVA to establish minimum notification requirements on behalf of voters affected by polling place changes. Directs the Attorney General to: (1) coordinate the establishment of a state-based response system for responding to questions and complaints from individuals voting or seeking to vote, or registering to vote or seeking to, in federal elections; (2) establish and operate a toll-free telephone service to connect directly to such response system; and (3) appoint a Voter Hotline Task Force. Makes requirements of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and HAVA applicable to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Amends HAVA to: (1) reauthorize and extend the EAC, and (2) repeal its exemption from certain government contracting requirements.

H.R. 11Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization H.R. 15Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act