Federal Election Legislation to Consider for 2010

Federal Election Legislation to consider supporting in 2010

This is just a list of bills that may be worth supporting this year. Still we do need to think outside of the box if possible.

  • Curtailing Citizens United – The Shareholder Protection Act H.R. 4790 and the Fair Elections Now Act (H.R. 1826), and Public Citizen has a petition in favor of a constitutional amendment entitled “Free Speech for People Amendment”Outlaw
  • Voter Caging – Caging Prohibition Act of 2009 H.R. 103 and S. 528.
  • Re-enfranchising ex-felons -The Democracy Restoration Act H.R 3335 and S. 1516 of 2009 If you are living in the community you have right to vote.
  • Veteran Voting – Veteran Voting Support Act H.R. 6625 S. 3308 of 2008 The VA acts as voter registration agency, helps vets vote, and allows reg drives.

Curtailing Citizens United The Shareholder Protection Act H.R. 4790 and the Fair Elections Now Act (H.R. 1826), and Public Citizen Petition

Letters to Congress in Support of the Shareholder Protection ActBy Brennan Center for Justice – 04/12/10The Brennan Center urges adoption of the Shareholder Protection Act (H.R. 4790). The Act would provide shareholders with notice of corporate political spending, as well as providing shareholders with the ability to vote on future political spending by corporations.

Today we sent two open letters to Congress urging support of the bill.
Citizens United: What Would Justice Brennan Do? (WWJBD)By Ciara Torres-Spelliscy – 03/30/10…So it is in the spirit of Justice Brennan that the Brennan Center has urged Congress to take strong policy responses to Citizens United including adopting public financing for congressional elections through the Fair Elections Now Act (H.R. 1826). …But we have also urged another approach which is consistent with Justice Brennan’s clearly stated belief in shareholder protection: providing shareholders a vote on future corporate political spending as embodied in the Shareholder Protection Act (H.R. 4790). This is a constitutional way to honor the rights of the investors who may be otherwise pulled into political battles after Citizens United against their will. This is precisely what Justice Brennan would do

More about the Fair Elections Now Act from HuffPo.
“Justice Thomas’ Reasoning — Dangerous for Democracy” ~ Frances Moore Lappe”
…One immediate step we can take right now step is to ensure passage of the bipartisan Fair Elections Now Act–S.752, H.R.1826. It establishes a workable system of small donations combined with voluntary public financing for congressional races. It builds on an approach that’s already proven itself in three states. (Watch this inspiring example of its impact.) The Fair Elections approach has not been blocked by the Supreme Court. While it can’t avert all the threats embodied in the Count’s decision, it enables a candidate to run for office without becoming beholden to corporate money.”

Public Citizen proposes an amendment to the US Constitution:…we must pass a constitutional amendment to ensure corporate money does not overwhelm our democracy and clarify that the First Amendment is for people — not corporations. Add your name to the petition to Congress today! http://action.citizen.org/t/10315/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=2190 http://action.citizen.org/t/10315/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=2190#Petition

Outlaw caging and purging

Voter Caging Legislation in the 111th Congress HR 103 and S528
H.R. 103 Caging Prohibition Act of 2009 [view bill text]Rep. Conyers and 10 co-sponsors [view all]January 6, 2009 [view status] S. 528 This bill would prohibit election officials from preventing individuals from registering to vote or voting in any federal election or from permitting formal voter challenges to voters’ registration status or eligibility if the basis of information gathered from voter caging documents or lists or unverified match lists. It would also establish requirements of individuals who wish to challenge the voter eligibility of another individual and prohibit challenges based on voter caging documents or lists or unverified match lists.

Deceptive Practices S 453 and HR 1281

Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act 2007 (S. 453 & H.R. 1281) The Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act (H.R. 1281 and S. 453) would criminalize the knowing and intentional communication of false and misleading information about the time, place, or manner of elections, and the rules governing voter eligibility and voter registration. It would also ensure that voters affected by deceptive or intimidating practices are provided with correct information from a reliable source in a timely manner.

Re-enfranchisement HR 3335 and S1516

The Democracy Restoration Act, is now pending before Congress. That bill would restore the right to vote in federal elections to every American citizen who is out of prison, living in the community.

The Democracy Restoration Act (DRA) is federal legislation that seeks to restore voting rights in federal elections to the nearly 4 million disenfranchised Americans who have been released from prison and are living in the community. The bill was introduced by Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) and Representative John Conyers (D-MI) as H.R 3335 and S. 1516 on July 24th, 2009.

Correcting a Centuries-Old InjusticeBy Brennan Center for Justice – 04/11/10 by Deborah J. Vagins and Erika WoodOriginally published at ACS Blog.In our recent Issue Brief for the American Constitution Society, The Democracy Restoration Act: Addressing a Centuries-Old Injustice, we examine an ongoing and deeply problematic barrier to the fundamental right to vote for millions of Americans. Currently, 5.3 million American citizens are denied this right because of a criminal conviction in their past. Nearly 4 million of those who are disfranchised are out of prison, working, paying taxes, and raising families, yet they are without a political voice.

Supporting info: Kentucky’s Disturbing Disenfranchisement NumbersBy Benjamin Rattner – 03/12/10A new report by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights finds that nearly one-in-four African Americans has lost the right to vote in Kentucky.Kentucky is one of the last two states [see pdf map] in the country (Virginia is the other) that denies the right to vote for life to anyone with a felony conviction, unless the current Governor restores the right through his clemency powers

Helping Veterans Vote HR 6625 and S 3308

Veteran Voting The legislation would would open the VA to registration drives and require the VA to make voter registration services available at VA facilities in states that request it. It would require the VA to help veterans request and cast absentee ballots. And it would open VA facilities to non-partisan groups and election officials, so that they could provide veterans with information on registration and voting. All these services will go a long way to ensuring that veterans are able to exercise their most fundamental right as citizens: the right to vote….

Veteran Voting Support Act H.R. 6625 S. 3308
Brennan Center Letters in Support of Veteran Voting Support Act
Letter to Senate Rules Committee in Support of S. 3308 (7/24/08)
Letter to House Administration Committee in Support of H.R. 6625 (7/29/08)
Letter to Sen. Feinstein in Support of S. 3308 (9/12/08)
Letter to Rep. Brady in Support of H.R. 6625 (9/15/08)
Letter to U.S. Senate in Support of S. 3308 (9/25/08)
Blog Entries
Adam Skaggs, “Help Vets Vote; They Deserve No Less” (8/1/08)
Adam Skaggs, “Congress Considers Reversing VA Ban” (9/19/08)
Adam Skaggs, “No Time to Vote” (1/7/09)

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