How can we stop an ongoing election fraud crisis in the United States?
A new bipartisan bill is promising to help states and the nation.
But it could be a long way from achieving the promised results.
The legislation, dubbed the American Voter Integrity Act, is aimed at preventing “inaccurate, misleading, or false” election reporting.
The proposed legislation would make it illegal for anyone — from state officials to election officials — to knowingly mislead the public by making false or misleading election results.
There are already a number of laws that aim to do the same thing, but none has proven so effective.
“We are seeing this kind of fraud, where there are so many instances where people are not being told the truth, that this is something we need to be doing,” said Mark Goldsmith, director of the Election Integrity Project at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
“And the bill that was introduced today, the bipartisan bill, was created because we know that there are a lot of people out there who want to do that.”
Goldsmith said he is optimistic the bill will become law.
“I think it’s a very, very strong bill that has bipartisan support,” he said.
The bill would prohibit election officials from filing reports of any kind about any “election-related activity” if the information is “inadvertently” omitted from the official report or is used to make the election look more favorable than it actually was.
This would include any information such as the number of provisional ballots cast, the amount of time between the election and the official count, the number and timing of the votes counted, the time of day that the voting occurred, and the types of electronic voting machines used at the polling place.
The proposal would also bar election officials, or anyone who has a conflict of interest, from being involved in the making of such a report.
The bipartisan bill would also require election officials to provide a full account of their data collection efforts, as well as their use of third-party vendor vendors, and would require election managers to disclose any information related to any election-related activities to the National Archives and Records Administration within 45 days of the election.
But that’s not all.
The new bill would require all states to post on their websites the names of all their elections officials who have participated in “any election- related activity.”
In addition, the bill would prevent election officials and election managers from providing any election information, including voter records, without first obtaining an election worker’s consent, and from failing to keep the information confidential, for 90 days after the election has been conducted.
The Brennan Center is also urging the public to report any election fraud in the country, including election tampering and fraud, to election integrity investigators, who could potentially use their expertise to investigate.
“If you do find evidence of election fraud, report it to the authorities immediately and let the process play out,” said Goldsmith.
“There are a ton of ways to make sure that there’s no election fraud.”
But even if the bill passes, it will likely face resistance from both Republicans and Democrats.
“The American Voter Accountability Act is nothing more than a political attack on our election system,” said Republican National Committee spokeswoman Catherine Frazier.
“This legislation would undermine the integrity of our elections by creating new barriers to participation by the American people, and it will be a disaster for democracy and our elections.”
Republicans in Congress have also voiced concerns, with Speaker John Boehner saying he was “very disappointed” that Democrats were “fighting this legislation to pass the Brennan Act.
This legislation would do little to address the serious problems in our elections,” he added.
Democrats have also raised concerns about the bill’s potential impact on election integrity.
“It’s important that Congress pass the American Voters Integrity Act because we must stop election fraud before it can be committed again,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“While this bill may have bipartisan support, there are serious concerns that this bill will hinder election integrity, hamper election workers, and cost Americans their right to vote.”
Gold Smith said there is “a lot of good work going on to improve our election process, but there’s so much more that we need Congress to do to improve the election system.”
And while there are some provisions in the bill aimed at improving election integrity — including making election officials provide the names and contact information of any election worker who has assisted them — Goldsmith says that’s only a starting point.
“You can’t just write a law that you can implement in a way that it’s going to help you, because that would be a waste of time and effort and effort,” he explained.
“But we’re going to keep fighting for our right to have a free and fair election.”
And the bill also aims to improve voting procedures in some ways, such as by increasing the number, length, and accuracy of voter rolls, which would help prevent fraud.
“That’s something we know is going to be a huge part of our success,” said Representative Mike Honda, a Republican from California