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|Sponsor:||Rep. Sarbanes, John P. [D-MD-3] (Introduced 01/04/2021)|
|Committees:||House – House Administration; Intelligence (Permanent Select); Judiciary; Oversight and Reform; Science, Space, and Technology; Education and Labor; Ways and Means; Financial Services; Ethics; Homeland Security; Armed Services|
|Latest Action:||House – 01/04/2021 Referred to the Committee on House Administration, and in addition to the Committees on Intelligence (Permanent Select), the Judiciary, Oversight and Reform, Science, Space, and Technology, Education and Labor, Ways and Means, Financial Services, Ethics, Homeland Security, and Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.|
Constitutional Authority Statement
By Mr. SARBANES:
Congress has the power to enact this legislation pursuant
to the following:
Article I, Section 8, Clause 1
To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures for the purpose of fortifying our democracy, and for other purposes.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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