H.R.1482 - Make Every Vote Count Act107th Congress (2001-2002)
Text: H.R.1482 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)
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Introduced in House (04/04/2001)
[Congressional Bills 107th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 1482 Introduced in House (IH)] 107th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 1482 To establish a grant program administered by the Federal Election Commission for the purpose of assisting States to upgrade voting systems to use more advanced and accurate voting devices and to enhance participation by military personnel in national elections. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES April 4, 2001 Mr. Langevin (for himself, Ms. McKinney, Mr. Frank, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Baldacci, Mr. Honda, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, and Mrs. Meek of Florida) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration, and in addition to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To establish a grant program administered by the Federal Election Commission for the purpose of assisting States to upgrade voting systems to use more advanced and accurate voting devices and to enhance participation by military personnel in national elections. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Make Every Vote Count Act''. SEC. 2. VOTING MODERNIZATION PROGRAM. (a) Grants Authorized.--The Federal Election Commission (referred to in this Act as the ``Commission'') is authorized to award matching grants to encourage States and local voting areas to modernize applicable voting systems used for voting and to enhance voter participation. (b) Use of Funds.-- (1) State.--Amounts received under this section by a State shall be-- (A) disbursed to eligible local voting areas in accordance with subsection (d) to replace applicable voting systems used in elections for Federal office in eligible local voting areas with advanced voting systems, such as electronic voting systems; and (B) from any amounts not disbursed under subparagraph (A) or amounts received from eligible local voting areas under paragraph (2), used-- (i) to enhance voter participation through activities such as improving registration of voters, expanding training of election officials, and upgrading other voting equipment; and (ii) to reimburse any costs incurred by the State as a result of the amendments made under section 3. (2) Eligible local voting area.--Amounts received under this section by an eligible local voting area shall be-- (A) used to replace applicable voting systems used in elections for Federal office in the voting area with an advanced voting system (as determined under paragraph (3)(B)), such as electronic voting systems; (B) in an amount not in excess of 33 percent of the amount received, used-- (i) to train election officials and educate voters in the use of advanced voting systems implemented under subparagraph (A); and (ii) to reimburse any costs incurred by the voting area as a result of the amendments made under section 3; (C) to the extent that all applicable voting systems in the voting area are replaced under subparagraph (A), for purposes described in subparagraph (B); and (D) to the extent any amount is not needed for a use under this paragraph, transferred to the State for use under paragraph (1)(B). (3) Replacement of systems.-- (A) In general.--Applicable voting systems replaced under paragraph (1) shall only be replaced with an advanced voting system, as determined under subparagraph (B), that significantly lowers error rates in voting procedures with the intent of eventually replacing all applicable voting systems in the State with a single advanced voting system. (B) Determination of system to be used.--Not later than 60 days after receiving a grant under this section, the chief election official of the State shall determine the single advanced voting system to be used to replace the applicable voting systems in the State under this subsection. (c) Requirement of Matching Funds.--A State that receives a grant under this section shall agree to expend State or local funds in an amount equal to 20 percent of the amount of the grant for any purpose for which the grant was awarded. (d) Disbursement of Funds.-- (1) In general.--Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall make grants to eligible States in accordance with this subsection. (2) Amount of grant awards.--For purposes of making grants under this subsection, the Commission shall allocate to each eligible State an amount that bears the same ratio to the total amount allocated under this section as-- (A) the number of applicable voting systems in use in the eligible State; bears to (B) the total number of such systems in use in all eligible States receiving grants under this section. (3) States.-- (A) Requirements.--Not later than 90 days after a grant is received under this subsection, the State election official shall-- (i) notify local election officials of the grant availability and the requirements of the grant; and (ii) expeditiously disburse such proceeds to eligible local voting areas for use under this section. (B) Formula.--The State election official shall disburse to each eligible local voting area an amount that bears the same ratio to the total amount the State receives under this section as-- (i) the total number of applicable voting systems in use in the eligible local voting area; bears to (ii) the total number of such systems in use in all local voting areas in the State. (4) Determination of number of applicable voting systems.-- (A) In general.--Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the number of applicable voting systems in a State or local voting area shall be determined in such manner as the Commission determines reasonable. (B) Paper ballot.--In the case of an applicable voting system that is a paper ballot, the number shall be an amount equal to the number of registered voters in the State or local voting area using the paper ballot, as applicable, divided by 200. (e) Opt-Out Provision.--An eligible State may opt to not receive any amount under this section if, not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the State notifies the Commission that the State does not want to receive a grant under this section. (f) Reports to Commission.--Each State which receives a grant under this section shall submit a report to the Commission not later than 60 days after the end of the 1-year period which begins on the date the State receives the grant. The report shall contain a description of the activities carried out by the State and local voting areas within the State with the funds provided under the grant, including a description of the amount expended by the State to meet the matching requirement under subsection (c). (g) Definitions.--In this section: (1) Advanced voting system.--The term ``advanced voting system'' means a system that-- (A) does not allow for overvotes; (B) significantly reduces undervotes from voter error (such as by indicating any office on the ballot for which the voter has not cast a vote); (C) provides a record of a ballot cast; (D) significantly reduces recount error in comparison to the system being replaced; and (E) ensures accessibility to voters with disabilities and provides such voters with the opportunity for casting a secure, secret, and independent ballot. (2) Applicable voting system.--The term ``applicable voting system'' means-- (A) a lever machine; (B) a punchcard system; or (C) a paper ballot. (3) Eligible local voting area.--The term ``eligible local voting area'' means a local voting area that-- (A) uses an applicable voting system; and (B) not later than 30 days after the date the area receives notification of grant availability under subsection (d)(3)(A), notifies the State election official of the acceptance of the grant. (4) Eligible state.--The term ``eligible State'' means a State that has a local voting area that uses an applicable voting system. (5) Lever machine.--The term ``lever machine'' means a voting device that employs a lever to cast a vote for a candidate from a list of candidates posted on a ballot and records the vote by advancing a counting mechanism. (6) Local voting area.--The term ``local voting area'' means the unit of local government in a State for which a local agency is responsible for administering elections and the purchase and maintenance of voting equipment, such as a county. (7) Paper ballot.--The term ``paper ballot'' means a method of voting that employs a paper ballot-- (A) that is counted by hand; (B) containing all choices for the offices in the election; (C) on which the voter casts a vote by marking the ballot; and (D) the results of which are confidential. (8) Punchcard system.--The term ``punchcard system'' means a voting device, such as the Votomatic machine, that employs a stylus which punches through the ballot to record a vote. (h) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2002 $1,000,000,000 to carry out the provisions of this section. SEC. 3. MILITARY VOTING PROVISIONS. (a) Guarantee of Residency.--Article VII of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 (50 U.S.C. 590 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``Sec. 704. (a) For purposes of voting for an office of the United States or of a State, a person who is absent from a State in compliance with military or naval orders shall not, solely by reason of that absence-- ``(1) be deemed to have lost a residence or domicile in that State; ``(2) be deemed to have acquired a residence or domicile in any other State; or ``(3) be deemed to have become resident in or a resident of any other State. ``(b) In this section, the term `State' includes a territory or possession of the United States, a political subdivision of a State, territory, or possession, and the District of Columbia.''. (b) State Responsibility to Guarantee Military Voting Rights.-- (1) Registration and balloting.--Section 102 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff-1) is amended-- (A) by inserting ``(a) Elections for Federal Offices.--'' before ``Each State shall--''; and (B) by adding at the end the following: ``(b) Elections for State and Local Offices.--Each State shall-- ``(1) permit absent uniformed services voters to use absentee registration procedures and to vote by absentee ballot in general, special, primary, and run-off elections for State and local offices; and ``(2) accept and process, with respect to any election described in paragraph (1), any otherwise valid voter registration application from an absent uniformed services voter if the application is received by the appropriate State election official not less than 30 days before the election.''. (2) Conforming amendment.--The heading for title I of such Act is amended by striking ``FOR FEDERAL OFFICE''.