UNITED STATES—On January 6, Democrats in the 117th Congress reintroduced the ‘For the People Act of 2021,’ aimed at what some members refer to as protecting America’s voting integrity. Republicans have referred to the bill as an avenue toward voter suppression, which is expected to be voted on next week.
The bill will prevent states from discarding votes arriving 10 days after an election. A state has the ability to count ballots that have been received 10 days following an election. The new law would protect votes that would not count in prior elections.
H.R. 1 will ensure an automatic voter registration process and allow same-day voter registration. The bill also includes protections for those ineligible voters who were “mistakenly registered.”
House Resolution 1 was brought to the floor by Representative John Sarbanes of Maryland and co-sponsored by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California and Representative Zoe Lofgren of Calfiornia.
In a press release, Sarbanes issued the following statement:
“House Democrats are united in our steadfast commitment to advance transformational anti-corruption and clean election reforms by swiftly passing H.R. 1. Our historic reform effort will end decades of dysfunction in Washington, return power to the people and build a more just, equitable, and prosperous country for all Americans.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who is the second-ranking member of the Democrat leadership announced plans for upcoming House of Representatives actions on the floor. In his statement, Hoyer calls H.R.1, which the House passed in 2019:
“The centerpiece of Democrats’ agenda to make government more transparent and accountable to the people it serves.”
Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky referred to the bill as the “Democrat Politician Protection Act.”
The Heritage Foundation points out that the new bill would federalize and micromanage the election process, and eliminate basic security protocols.
In addition, H.R. 1 would change current policies regarding the voting rights of felons.