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Voter Empowerment Act 2013

The Voter Empowerment Act aims to increase accessibility, accountability and integrity in the electoral process. It will modernize voter registration by facilitating secure ways to take advantage of existing technology, and improve the electoral process by decreasing barriers to voting.

Published: January 23, 2013

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.

Legis­lat­ive History

Addi­tional Resources