Led by Florida Rep. Byron Donalds, Republicans are putting forth a bill Tuesday that seeks to address voting security and fraud irregularities in the wake of a controversial 2020 presidential election, The Federalist has exclusively learned.
The Vote Outcome Transparency in Elections (VOTE) Act would require states both publicly disclose the number of ballots in possession on election night, and mandates all ballots delivered by the United States Postal Service are postmarked. In the build-up to the election, many states changed procedures and policies, which Republicans argued were unconstitutional.
“The debacle of the 2020 elections exposed something troubling: the unconstitutional and unilateral changing of election laws by several counties and states across the country,” Donalds told The Federalist.
“The left likes to excuse these divergences from the Constitution because of the pandemic. We cannot ignore fraud and illegality, especially when it comes to the sanctity of our elections. The catastrophe of the 2020 elections must never happen again, and the American people must have faith in the security of our ballots and voting system going forward,” he said.
The VOTE Act would be an addition to the Help America Vote Act of 2002. The legislation was signed by President George W. Bush and mandated localities and states replace lever and punchcard voting processes, voter ID for first-time voters by mail, and that systems must be audited with a paper record for any and all recounts — among other provisions.
Democrats continue to push for their own elections bill, The For The People Act, also known as H.R. 1. The bill would require all states have mail-in voting and same-day registration. It would also do away with voter ID laws, which new polling data found 80 percent of Americans disagree with. H.R. 1 is unlikely to pass given it needs 60 Senate votes.
Co-sponsors of The VOTE Act include Florida Reps. Matt Gaetz and Maria Salazar, Texas Reps. Brian Babin and Pete Sessions, as well as New Mexico Rep. Yvette Herrell, Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, and Ohio Rep. Bob Gibbs.
Heritage Action, the sister group of The Heritage Foundation, confirmed to The Federalist it is an official supporter of the bill.
“Conservatives across the country support Congressman Donalds’ efforts to ensure transparency and integrity in our election processes with the VOTE Act,” Heritage Action Vice President Garrett Bess said.
The measure can be viewed below.