Text: H.R.1482 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (04/04/2001)


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[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''.
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