U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin
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For the People voting rights bill, co-sponsored by Slotkin, passes House

'(I)t’s a threat to our democracy if Americans no longer feel like their voices can be heard in our democratic system. No matter your party, we can all agree: we’ve got to strengthen our democratic process and restore public confidence in our elections.'

U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) voted in favor of H.R. 1, the For the People Act, a bill to enhance election security, government accountability, and transparency in campaign finance. Slotkin is a co-sponsor of H.R. 1, and has long been a vocal advocate for the need to bring integrity back to our politics, including by preventing foreign influence in the U.S. political process –– the goal of Slotkin’s PAID ADs and FIRE Acts, both of which passed in the House as part of H.R. 1.

“For years now, I’ve had Michiganders –– Democratic and Republican-leaning alike, young and old –– tell me that they have lost faith in our democracy, that ‘both sides are corrupt,’ and that they’re giving up on even voting,” Slotkin said. “It’s not only heartbreaking to hear that as an American, but as a national security professional, I believe it’s a threat to our democracy if Americans no longer feel like their voices can be heard in our democratic system.”

“No matter your party, we can all agree: we’ve got to strengthen our democratic process and restore public confidence in our elections,” Slotkin continued. “That is why I voted for H.R. 1 last Congress, and why I voted in favor of the bill again today. The bill calls for a number of steps to make elections more secure, more transparent, and more accountable to individual people.”

“Unfortunately, some groups have claimed that this bill uses taxpayer dollars to finance campaigns,” Slotkin added. “This is false. This bill calls for matching a portion of candidate fundraising with dollars from fines on corporations who break the law, not taxpayer dollars. To re-emphasize the prohibition on the use of taxpayer dollars for campaigns, we passed an additional amendment that confirmed that if fines on companies weren’t sufficient to match, no taxpayer dollars could be used.”

“Whether you’re concerned about paper ballot back-ups or making sure there is as little risk of voter fraud as possible, I urge you to actually read the bill: it contains measures that help give every American confidence that our elections are secure and their voice in our democracy makes a difference.”

Slotkin’s PAID ADs and FIRE Acts both passed the House as part of H.R. 1:

  • Slotkin’s PAID ADs Act would close loopholes that currently allow foreign interests and foreign governments to legally purchase digital and TV ads for the purpose of influencing U.S. elections. Michigan was one of Russia’s top targets for social media ads in the 2016 election.
  • Slotkin’s FIRE Act would require all political campaigns to report attempts by foreigners to influence U.S. elections to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FIRE Act stipulates that any foreign nationals attempting to make campaign contributions or offer information or coordination must be reported to federal authorities within a week.

H.R. 1, the For The People Act, will:

Ensure Free, Fair, Transparent, Secure Elections

  • Requires the use of secure paper ballots that can be easily audited
  • Requires the testing of voting systems nine months before an election and provides grants to states to perform risk-limiting audits of their election results
  • Provides funding to states to improve their elections infrastructure, such as for election audits and upgrading voting machines
  • Expands and standardizes early voting and voting by mail
  • Makes voter registration automatic when eligible voters provide certain information to agencies like the DMV
  • Limits why and how states can remove voters from the rolls
  • Funds grants to expand voting access to citizens with disabilities
  • Establishes a bounty program to encourage outside experts to identify vulnerabilities in the system

Helps Remove Dark Money and Foreign Interference from Politics

  • Mandates more transparency for political donations and spending, including by requiring corporations spending more than $10,000 per election cycle to disclose their big-money donors and campaign-related payments
  • Starts a voluntary small donor public financing system for Congressional elections, along with a funding mechanism — the “Freedom From Influence Fund” — that would fund this system without using any taxpayer money, using corporate fines
  • Establishes a duty to report foreign election influence efforts
  • Closes loopholes allowing spending by foreign nationals in elections
  • Restructures the Federal Elections Commission to have five commissioners to break gridlock
  • Increases resources for enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) and gives the Department of Justice the authority to impose civil penalties

Enhance Integrity and Accountability in our Politics:

  • Ends partisan gerrymandering (as Michigan did in 2018)
  • Strengthens ethics and conflict of interest requirements for federal officers and employees in all branches of governments
  • Requires the disclosure of tax returns by Presidents and Vice Presidents, as well as candidates for President and Vice President

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.

1 Comment

  1. So what are the conservative arguments against this fine, fine piece of legislation?

    Why no voter ID? Why not require Senators & Representatives to disclose tax forms?

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