SOUTH CAROLINA (WBTV/WIS) - House Resolution 1, or the “For The People Act,” is a comprehensive House bill on election laws soon headed for debate in the U.S. Senate.
Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-SC, co-sponsored part of the bill called the Voter Empowerment Act.
A voting, elections and ethics bill - it would streamline voter registration, including requiring states to automatically register voters. The bill would also change campaign finance laws, limit partisan gerrymandering and focuses on new ethical rules for people who hold federal office.
Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Henry McMaster and Sen. Lindsey Graham met at the State House to speak out against H.R. 1.
Graham has called H.R. 1 the “biggest power grab in the history of the country.” He says it would erode South Carolina’s law requiring a photo ID to vote, and he takes aim at the bill calling for public funding for political campaigns.
“The late Congressman John Lewis nearly gave his life to secure the right to vote and I am committed to honoring his legacy and preserving our democracy,” Clyburn said. “This bill will strengthen critically-needed ballot box protections in this country. As lawmakers, it is our responsibility to ensure that all eligible Americans have the right to cast a ballot that will be counted and make their voices heard.”
South Carolina Democrats say this bill in needed after Georgia’s controversial move to put more voting measures in place and they argue the bill helps to protect voting rights.
Clyburn outlines the Voter Empowerment Act part of H.R. 1 as follows:
Ensure Access to the Ballot
- Modernize the voter registration system
- Ensure access to online voter registration
- Ensure ballots are counted from Americans serving in the military or overseas
- Allow same day registration
- Notify voters when voting changes are made
- Encourage youth to become voters
- Assist voters with disabilities
- Restore rehabilitated citizens’ right to vote
Preserve Integrity in Voting Systems
- Provide informed and reliable poll workers
- Count all provisional ballots
- Prohibit voter caging
- Protect voters from deceptive practices and intimidation
Demand Accountability in Election Administration
- Create a national voter hotline
- Ensure votes are counted correctly
- Reauthorize the Election Assistance Commission