H.R.5631 - Federal Elections Review Commission Act106th Congress (1999-2000)
|Sponsor:||Rep. DeFazio, Peter A. [D-OR-4] (Introduced 11/14/2000)|
|Committees:||House - House Administration|
|Latest Action:||House - 11/14/2000 Referred to the House Committee on House Administration. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.5631 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House (11/14/2000)
[Congressional Bills 106th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 5631 Introduced in House (IH)] 106th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 5631 To establish a commission to study and make recommendations with respect to the Federal electoral process. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES November 14, 2000 Mr. DeFazio (for himself and Mr. Leach) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To establish a commission to study and make recommendations with respect to the Federal electoral process. 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 ``Federal Elections Review Commission Act''. SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMISSION; MEMBERSHIP. (a) Establishment.--There is established a commission to be known as the Federal Elections Review Commission (hereafter in this Act referred to as the ``Commission''). (b) Purpose.--The purpose of the Commission shall be to study the nature and consequences of the Federal electoral process and make recommendations to ensure the integrity of, and public confidence in, Federal elections. (c) Membership.--The Commission shall be composed of 12 members, who shall be appointed as follows: (1) Three members shall be appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate based on recommendations by the majority leader of the Senate. (2) Three members shall be appointed by the President pro tempore of the Senate based on recommendations of the minority leader of the Senate. (3) Three members shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. (4) Three members shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives. (d) Qualifications of Members.--Members shall be appointed to the Commission from among individuals who-- (1) have expertise in Federal election laws, the United States Constitution, and the history of the United States, or other pertinent qualifications or experience; and (2) are not officers or employees of the United States. (e) Other Considerations.--In appointing members of the Commission, every effort shall be made to ensure that the members-- (1) represent a broad cross section of regional and political perspectives in the United States; and (2) provide fresh insights to analyzing the Federal electoral process in order to maintain the integrity of, and public confidence in, such process. (f) Period of Appointment; Vacancies.--(1) Members of the Commission shall be appointed not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act. Appointments shall be for the life of the Commission. (2) Any vacancy in the Commission shall not affect the powers of the Commission, and shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. (g) Initial Meeting.--Not later than 30 days after the date on which all members of the Commission have been appointed, the Commission shall hold its first meeting. (h) Chairperson and Vice Chairperson.--The members of the Commission shall elect a chairperson and vice chairperson from among the members of the Commission. (i) Additional Meetings.--The Commission shall meet at the call of the chairperson. (j) Quorum.--A majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. (k) Voting.--A vote of a member of the Commission with respect to the duties of the Commission shall have the same weight as the vote of any other member of the Commission. SEC. 3. DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION. (a) In General.--The Commission shall examine the nature and consequences of the Federal electoral process and make recommendations to ensure the integrity of, and public confidence in, Federal elections. (b) Specific Issues To Be Addressed.--The Commission shall examine and report to the President, the Congress, and the Federal Election Commission on, at a minimum, the following: (1) The historic rationale for the electoral college, its impact on Presidential elections, and the advisability of its abolition or other options for reform, including the possibility of proportional allocation of electors within States. (2) Voter registration issues, including same-day registration, universal registration, the impact of motor voter registration, and the accuracy of voter registration rolls. (3) Ballot access issues, including the role of mail-in balloting in Federal elections, and the distinction between mail-in and absentee balloting, and the uniformity or lack thereof of the deadlines for the receipt of ballots. (4) The feasibility and advisability of voting through the Internet. (5) The impact of polling place closing times, the number and accessibility of polling places, and training of poll workers. (6) The impact of the physical ballot design, including the technology used to cast and count votes and the uniformity of such technology, consideration of a uniform design standard, and the impact of the language used on ballots, simplicity of language, and the use of foreign language ballots. (7) The adequacy of options available to voters and candidates to seek redress for electoral irregularities. (8) The precedent for holding elections on a Tuesday in November and the feasibility and advisability of changing to multiple day elections, weekend elections, or expanding early voting options, with a particular focus on the impact on voter turnout. (9) The history of Presidential debates, the role of the Federal Election Commission on Presidential debates, including the criteria established for participation in such debates, and options for reform. (10) The impact of winner-take-all voting, and the feasibility and advisability of election reforms such as instant runoff voting, proportional representation, candidates appearing on multiple ballot lines, and cumulative voting, with a particular focus on the impact on voter turnout and expanding political dialog. (11) The feasibility and advisability of limiting campaigns, including advertising and fundraising, to a set period of time. (12) The feasibility and advisability of uniform national poll closing times in Presidential elections. (13) The Presidential primary process and options for reform. SEC. 4. FINAL REPORT. (a) In General.--Not later than 12 months after the date of the initial meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall submit to the President and the Congress a final report including-- (1) the findings and conclusions of the Commission; and (2) recommendations for addressing the problems identified as part of the Commission's analysis. (b) Separate Views.--Any member of the Commission may submit additional findings and recommendations as part of the final report. SEC. 5. POWERS. (a) Hearings.--The Commission may hold such hearings, sit and act at such times places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the Commission may find advisable to fulfill the requirements of this Act. The Commission shall hold at least one hearing in the District of Columbia, and at least four hearings in other regions of the United States. (b) Information From Federal Agencies.--The Commission may secure directly from any Federal department or agency such information as the Commission considers necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act. Upon request of the chairperson of the Commission, the head of such department or agency shall furnish such information to the Commission. (c) Postal Services.--The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the Federal Government. SEC. 6. COMMISSION PERSONNEL MATTERS. (a) Compensation.--Each member of the Commission shall be compensated at a rate equal to the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code, for each day (including travel time) during which such member is engaged in the performance of the duties of the Commission. (b) Staff.--(1) The chairperson of the Commission may appoint staff of the Commission, request the detail of Federal employees, and accept temporary and intermittent services in accordance with section 3161 of title 5, United States Code. (2) The employment of an executive director of the Commission shall be subject to the approval of the Commission. (3) The rate of pay for the executive director and other personnel of the Commission may not exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title. SEC. 7. SUPPORT SERVICES. The Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission on a reimbursable basis such administrative support services as the Commission may request. SEC. 8. TERMINATION. The Commission shall terminate not later than the date that is 30 days after the date the Commission submits its final report under section 4. SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. There are authorized to be appropriated $2,000,000 for the Commission to carry out this Act. <all>