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H.R.12 / S.1437 - Voter Empowerment Act of 2017

House of Representatives Rep John Lewis.

To modernize voter registration, promote access to voting for individuals with disabilities, protect the ability of individuals to exercise the right to vote in elections for Federal office, and for other purposes.

You might favor this bill if:
►  You believe in ensuring equal access for every eligible voter, modernizing the current voter registration system and eliminating deceptive practices which can deter voters from casting their ballots. Every consenting voter should be registered automatically for every election and only those criminals that are incarcerated at the time should be barred from voting.

You might oppose this bill if:
►  You believe the legislation is too broad and doesn't account for the intricacies for each individual state's needs. The implementation across different states will present issues not covered by the legislation.

The Voter Empowerment Act would help ensure equal access to the ballot for every eligible voter, modernize the current voter registration system to help more Americans participate, and help to eliminate deceptive practices that deter voters from casting their ballots.

The bill would change numerous moving parts of the current voter registration process with the intent of empowering American voters. These are amongst the biggest changes. Read the bill's Section-By-Section to see all of the details.

It begins with automatically registering and enrolling all consenting eligible voters and modernizing the current system which would in turn prevent elections from being manipulated.

It would allow for same day registration, assisting voters with disabilities and automatically inform voters regarding any changes made to elections.

A national standard would be established which would restore the right for those with criminal records to vote and would only bar those who are incarcerated at the time of the election.

Funds would be allocated to encourage young individuals to vote, allowing those under 18 to register if they will reach voting age prior to the next election.

It would ensure the ballots of all military personnel serving abroad are properly handled and counted towards all elections.

The legislation would help bring integrity and accountability back to the voting process by recruiting high-quality poll workers, allocating funds to train these poll workers and ensuring provisional ballots are always available in every voting location.

A National Voter Hotline would be created to allow voters to report voting anomalies in real time. New voting machines would be standardized to confirm voter's results along with a paper copy of every vote made.

“Despite the struggle that had ensued decades earlier to assure the right to vote for African Americans,” said sponsor of the bill Rep. John Lewis, “on this day in June in 1964, we were searching for three civil rights workers who went out to investigate the burning of a black church used for voter education efforts in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Andrew Goodman, Mickey Schwerner, and James Chaney were arrested enroute by the sheriff and released to the Ku Klux Klan. They were found weeks later beaten, shot, killed, and dumped in a swamp. That their sacrifice was required even after voting rights amendments to the Constitution were passed in 1868 and 1870, should demonstrate to every American that voting access can never be taken for granted. It must be defended by every generation until we have a truly open, inclusive democracy that allows every citizen’s voice to be heard. The Voter's Empowerment Act is our attempt to help create an open fair, and free democracy for all Americans.”


Sponsored by: Rep. Lewis, John [D-GA-5].

Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 23 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.


Sponsored by: Sen. Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [D-NY].

Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 13 Dem / 2 Ind.

See list of cosponsors.

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