House Republicans rolled out model legislation on Thursday for state legislatures to enhance the integrity of their elections.
Titled, “The Uniform State American Confidence in Elections (ACE) Act,” the legislative tool kit provides 13 recommended state laws “to increase voters’ confidence and promote election integrity.” Many of the policies are modeled after the ACE Act, a federal measure containing similar provisions that House Republicans introduced last year. The bill was passed by the Committee on House Administration in July and is awaiting a full House floor vote.
Included in the Uniform State ACE Act are policies long-supported by election integrity activists, including voter ID and proof of residency requirements for individuals voting in person or by mail. Despite Democrats’ claims that ID requirements suppress non-white voters, the vast majority of U.S. voters — including those who are black and Hispanic — support such election safeguards. Several courts have also recently shot down Democrat-backed lawsuits alleging voter-ID laws “suppress” voters.
Another policy suggested is a mandate to regularly remove ineligible voters from state voter rolls. This would include removing any non-citizens on the list.
Non-citizens on voter registration lists is a problem in many states. In 2017, Pennsylvania officials discovered an error in the computer system of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation that allowed “non-United States citizens applying for or renewing a driver’s license to register to vote in the Commonwealth.” Pennsylvania has largely refused to forfeit records related to the matter, despite a March 2022 court order.
The Keystone State has since adopted automatic voter registration, in which Pennsylvanians obtaining a driver’s license at facilities such as the DMV will be automatically registered to vote unless they opt out. Under commonwealth law, “lawfully present” non-citizens are permitted to apply for a REAL ID driver’s license or ID card.
Also included in the Uniform State ACE Act is a recommendation that states prohibit private funding of elections. 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 to change how elections were administered. This included expanding unsupervised election protocols like mail-in voting and using ballot drop boxes.
The grants were heavily skewed toward Democrat-majority counties, essentially making it a massive, privately funded Democrat get-out-the-vote operation. Twenty-seven states currently ban or restrict the use of private money in elections, with Wisconsin voters set to consider such a proposal in April.
“By providing a toolkit of election integrity bills to states we are going one step further in securing our elections and increasing Americans’ confidence,” bill co-sponsor and Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wis., said in a statement. Cosponsor Rep. Laurel Lee, R-Fla., added that “Americans need to feel confident that their elections are secure.”
The Uniform State ACE Act also recommends increased poll watcher access; safeguards for mail-in voting; limits on early voting and ballot drop boxes; and bans on non-citizen voting, some forms of third-party ballot harvesting, and ranked-choice voting.