On the second day of the 116th Congress, the new House Democratic majority will introduce H.R. 1, the most comprehensive democracy reform legislation seen this century. It addresses voting rights and electoral procedures, campaign finance rules and loopholes, and seeks to institute higher ethical standards for federal officeholders and more.
It’s good to see an itemized list, and a lot of these are excellent suggestions. But some of this is self-contradictory.
If we have universal and permanent registration, that solves several other points:
- online registration
- more state and fed offices
- same-day registration
- purgation of voters from rolls
- Restoring rights to ex-felons
The term “modernized voting systems” is vague. We need the paper ballots, and I cannot imagine that this is what this term refers to.
The regulations against money in elections could be more extreme. No contribution capable of summoning favors from candidates should be allowed.
I realize this doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in passing, but would expand one of the points. Since voter discrimination has spread throughout the country, I would expand that part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, giving the Justice Department veto power to cover all of the US, not just the southern states.
There needs to be a full debate.
As described in this article, I am concerned about several portions of the bill. For example, one person Brendan Eich gave $1000 to pro-Proposition 8 in CA years ago, an initiative that was struck down by the courts. Famously, years later when he became CEO of a tech company a rebellion over that past contribution forced him out of the job within weeks. [Recall that decades ago racists attempted to force the NAACP’s contribution list public. How is that different?]
As another example, the Electoral Commissions of Nicaragua and Venezuela are controlled by the regime. They are not interested in promoting greater citizen involvement in voting and government. They put protecting the regime and suppressing the opposition first.