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BILL

Freedom to Vote Act
2021

Bill NumberS-2747

Introduced in the Senate
2021-Sep-14



Sponsor & Key Contributors
Amy Klobuchar

Related News...
Senate Republicans block another voting rights bill

This bill protects voting rights of Americans

This bill provides national standards for federal elections so that...

o Every eligible voter can vote and their vote will be correctly counted.
o Representation is based on demographics, rather than politics.
o Campaigns are financed fairly and transparently.

Title 1: Voter Empowerment Act

Automatic Voter Registration Act (Sec. 1001)
Requires that every state provide Automatic Voter Registration (AVR), in which eligible voters interacting with a government agency would have their voting information automatically updated (unless they opt out).

Election Day (Sec. 1011)
Election Day would be a legal public holiday.

Same-Day Registration (Sec. 1031)
States would be required to allow eligible voters to register on the same day they vote - whether on Election Day or earlier.

Early Voting (Sec. 1201)
Every state would be required to provide for early voting periods 10 hours a day for the two weeks before Election Day.

There would need to be polling places near public transportation and on college campuses. There also would need to be polling places accessible to rural voters.

Voting by Mail (Sec. 1301)
Voters would be allowed to cast ballots by mail. States could not require identification beyond what they require for voting in person.

States would need to offer fair resolution of signature discrepancies.

Drop Boxes (Sec. 1305)
Every jurisdiction would be required to provide secured and clearly-labeled drop boxes for voters to deposit their completed ballot.

Polling Place Changes (Sec. 1601)
If a person's polling place changes from the previous election, they must be notified at least two days before the start of the early voting period.

Voter ID (Sec. 1801)
A national standard would be established for types of ID that a state requiring voter ID would need to accept.

Voter Caging Prohibitied (Sec. 1901)
Prohibits voter suppression tactics.

It prohibits voter caging. A voter cannot be unregistered because they failed to respond to an election mail.

States will be prohibited from purging voters without verifying ineligibility using government-maintained records.

It also prohibits a state from unregistering a voter based on their failure to vote in a previous election.

Voters who are removed from the voting rolls would need to be notified with the reason and how they can contest the removal.

Title 3: Preventing Election Subversion

Politically motivated removal of election officials (Sec. 3001)
Local election administrators would be protected from removal for reasons other than "gross negligence, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office"

Ballot tampering (Sec. 3301)
Expands penalties for tampering with ballots and election records after an election.

Preventing Observer Interference (Sec. 3601)
Someone who is not an election official generally may not challenge a voter's eligibility within 10 days of Election Day. Challenges must be in writing and based on facts.

A poll observer who is not an election official may not come within 8 feet of a voter or their ballot.

Prevent restrictions on giving out food and drinks (Sec. 3701)
A state cannot restrict the donation of food and nonalcoholic beverages to voters waiting outside a polling place.

Those giving out food or drinks cannot discriminate based on political preference, nor can they conduct any political or electioneering activity.

Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act (Sec. 3901)
Any voting system would need to provide a voter-verified paper record. The voter must have to opportunity to correct any error before submitting the ballot.

Title 4: Voting System Security

Voting Machines Made in the U.S. (Sec. 4005)
States must try to buy voting machines made in U.S.

Voting system software must be developed and stored in the U.S.

Title 5: Nonpartisan Redistricting

Redistricting (Sec. 5001)
Congressional districts would need to be created in ways that prevent gerrymandering.

The creation of states' districts will be done by independent commissions. If any party feels the result is not fair, they can file a lawsuit against the state.

Title 6: Campaign Finance Transparency

Campaign Finance Transparency (Sec. 6001)
This is a new attempt to enact the DISCLOSE Act.

It would make it harder for corporations and foreign nationals to make anonymous contributions to political campaigns.

Any campaign organization that spends more than $10,000 in an election would be required to disclose its major donors.

Honest Ads Act (Sec. 6101)
The 1971 Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) would be expanded to require ads on any type of public communication - such as digital - to disclose the source of the ad.

Spotlight Act (Sec. 6201)
This would require politically active nonprofit organizations - including those with foreign ties - to report their major donors to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

This had been required until 2018, when the Trump administration ended the requirement.

Title 7: Campaign Finance Oversight

Stop Super PAC-Candidate Coordination Act (Sec. 7001)
New rules would ensure they operate independent of candidates.

Title 8: Citizen Empowerment

Small Dollar Campaign Financing(Sec. 8111)
The bill would create an Election Assistance and Innovation Fund that would supplement small donations. It would be funded through a surcharge on corporate penalties.

Candidates who participate would be prohibited from being associated with a Leadership PAC.

Bill status

2021-Oct-20
Senate Republicans are blocking the bill from being debated and voted on.

More information

This is a smaller version of the For the People Act, which also is being blocked by Senate Republicans.

For more information, read this Brennan Center report.

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