Following a presidential election marred by long lines and confusion at the polls, the Voter Empowerment Act of 2013 (H.R. 12) aims to bring our antiquated voter registration system into the 21st century, ensure equal access to the ballot box for all Americans, and prohibit deceptive practices that keep people from exercising their constitutional right to vote.
The Voter Empowerment Act, introduced by Reps. John Lewis, Steny Hoyer, James Clyburn, John Conyers, and Robert Brady, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, aims to increase accessibility, accountability and integrity in the electoral process. The bill would modernize voter registration by facilitating secure ways to take advantage of existing technology. This may include automatic, online or same day voter registration, as well as simplifying the registration process for members of the military serving overseas.
The bill would also improve the electoral process by decreasing barriers to voting. By increasing access for voters with disabilities and prohibiting voter caging and deceptive practices, the Voter Empowerment Act will help to remove practices that interfere with a person’s right to cast a ballot. In addition, the bill will require better training of poll staff and promote a nonpartisan approach to election administration. The bill also restores voting rights to people with criminal convictions in federal elections, incorporating the provisions of the Democracy Restoration Act.
To ensure the accountability of the procedures we use in our process, the Voter Empowerment Act calls for the establishment of a national voter hotline available for people to call with voting problems and increased standards for voting machines.
- H.R. 12: Voter Empowerment Act of 2013 was re-introduced by Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), James Clyburn (D-SC), John Conyers (D-Mich.), and Robert Brady (D-Pa.), and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in January of 2013
- H.R. 5799: Voter Empowerment Act of 2012 was introduced in the House by Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) in May of 2012
- S. 3608: Voter Empowerment Act of 2012 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in September of 2012
- Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) pen an op-ed describing the VEA and its importance in The Hill.