A coalition of more than 70 conservative nonprofits sent a letter to House leaders on Wednesday, urging the lower chamber to pass recently introduced legislation that seeks to strengthen the integrity of U.S. elections.
“The undersigned nonprofit organizations and policy leaders write in strong support of the free speech and citizen privacy provisions in the ‘American Confidence in Elections (ACE) Act’ (H.R. 4563) introduced by Congressman Bryan Steil,” the letter reads. “This thoughtful legislation protects and strengthens important First Amendment rights that Americans have enjoyed since the founding of our country.”
The document’s signatories include leaders from organizations such as the Capital Research Center, John Locke Foundation, and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, among others.
Introduced on Monday, the American Confidence in Elections Act, or ACE Act, includes numerous provisions designed to close existing loopholes in America’s election system. Among the bill’s notable proposals is a provision repealing President Joe Biden’s March 2021 executive order that instructed hundreds of federal agencies to interfere in the electoral process by using taxpayer money to boost voter registration and get-out-the-vote activities.
Under Executive Order 14019, the heads of each agency were additionally required to draft “a strategic plan” explaining how his or her department intends to fulfill Biden’s directive. Despite attempts by good government groups to acquire these plans, the Biden administration has routinely stonewalled such efforts by slow-walking its response to federal court orders and heavily redacting any related documents it has released.
The ACE Act would not only prohibit federal agencies from engaging in voter registration and mobilization activities; it would require them to turn over their strategic plans to Congress “[n]ot later than 30 days after” its enactment.
Other changes to federal election law include those ensuring only U.S. citizens are voting in federal elections. According to a bill summary, the ACE Act incorporates several provisions from Rep. Morgan Griffith’s, R-Va., “NO VOTE for Non-Citizens Act of 2023,” including a requirement that states permitting localities to allow non-citizen voting in their respective elections to place such non-citizens on a voter registration list “separate from the official list of eligible voters with respect to registrants who are citizens of the United States.”
A separate provision mandating “the ballot used for the casting of votes by a noncitizen in such State or local jurisdiction may only include the candidates for the elections for public office in the State or local jurisdiction for which the non-citizen is permitted to vote” was also included.
Notably, the ACE Act also ensures only U.S. governments — not private actors — are responsible for funding election administration. During the 2020 election, nonprofits such as the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) received hundreds of millions of dollars from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. These “Zuckbucks” were poured into local election offices in battleground states around the country to change how elections were administered; among other things, this was done by expanding unsupervised election protocols like mail-in voting and using ballot drop boxes. To make matters worse, the grants were heavily skewed toward Democrat-majority counties, essentially making it a massive, privately funded Democrat get-out-the-vote operation.
A recently published report by Americans for Public Trust details somewhat similar efforts by Hansjörg Wyss, a left-wing Swiss billionaire who, according to the analysis, has “flooded the American political system with hundreds of millions of dollars of foreign dark money” for years. APT had previously filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against Wyss in May 2021 for allegedly violating the Federal Election Campaign Act.
The ACE Act furthermore seeks to enhance congressional oversight of Washington, D.C., by enacting a series of provisions aimed at enhancing the district’s election system. Included are requirements for voter ID and regular voter roll maintenance, as well as prohibitions on ballot harvesting, ranked-choice voting, and mailing ballots “except upon a voter’s request.” The bill would also repeal a law passed by the district’s council last year that allows non-citizens to vote in municipal elections.
Provisions promoting voter ID, strengthening donor disclosure protections, and prohibiting federal “disinformation governance boards” are also included in the bill.
“We urge all Members of Congress to support the strong free speech and citizen privacy provisions in Congressman Bryan Steil’s ‘American Confidence in Elections Act,'” the conservative nonprofits wrote.
The House Administration Committee passed the ACE Act on Thursday; it now awaits a vote from the full House.