Election Reform Bills in the U.S. Senate, 107th Congress: A Comparison of Selected Legislation

Order Code RL30994 CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web Election Reform Bills in the U.S. Senate, 107th Congress: A Comparison of Selected Legislation June 6, 2001 Kevin J. Coleman Analyst in American National Government Government and Finance Division Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress Election Reform Bills in the U.S. Senate, 107 Congress: A Comparison of Selected Legislation th Summary This report provides a side-by-side comparison of nine Senate bills introduced through May 24, 2001 to reform the electoral process by establishing a study commission, a federal grant program, or both. The nine Senate bills are: S. 17; S. 216; S. 18; S. 241; S. 368; S. 379; S. 479; S. 565; and S.953. This report does not include legislation primarily designed to create an election day holiday, revise the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, amend or repeal the National Voter Registration Act, or enact a uniform poll closing time. Table 1 provides a checklist of the major provisions of the nine electoral reform bills; Table 2 provides side-by-side summaries of the provisions contained in each of the bills. Contents List of Tables Table 1. Checklist of Provisions in Electoral Reform Legislation . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Table 2. Comparison of Senate Bills for Election Study Commission or Grant Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Election Reform Bills in the U.S. Senate, 107th Congress: A Comparison The following table provides easy reference to electoral reform legislation according to six major provisions: whether a study is required, the number of commission members, whether a grant program is established, the amount of funding provided for the grant program, the matching fund formula, and the entity that would administer the grant program. Table 2 provides a side-by-side comparison of the nine Senate bills to create an electoral study commission, establish a grant program, or both. CRS-2 Table 1. Checklist of Provisions in Electoral Reform Legislation Legislation Study required Commission members Grant program Grant program amount Matching grant formula Grants administered by S. 17 (Daschle) X 12 X $500 million to Dept. of Justice for 2002; such amounts as necessary for FY 2003-2006 80% fed./20% st. (Atty. Gen. may increase or waive fed. amt. requirement) Atty. Gen., in consultation with the FEC S. 216 (Specter) X 6 X sums as may be necessary to carry out legislation $1 non-federal funds to $1 federal funds Atty. Gen. through Asst. Atty. Gen. for the Office of Justice Programs S. 218 (McConnell) companion to H.R. 119 X 4 X $500 million first year; $100 million each year thereafter 75% fed./25% st. or local (commission may waive requirement) Election Administration Commission (new fed. agency) S. 241 (Reid) X FEC X $100 million for FY 2002-2011 S. 368 (McCain) X Natl. Institutes of Standards & Technology X sums as may be necessary to carry out legislation 50% fed./50% st. or local (Secretary may waive requirement) Secretary of Commerce S. 379 (Schumer) X 12 X $500 million for FY 2002-2006 75% fed./25% st. or local (Asst. Atty. Gen. for the Office of Justice Programs may waive) Atty. Gen. through Asst. Atty. Gen. for the Office of Justice Programs X $1 billion for FY 2002 80% fed/20% st. FEC S. 479 (Cleland) companion to H.R. 1482 FEC S. 565 (Dodd) X 12 X such amounts as necessary for FY 2002 - 2006 80% fed./20% st. govt. (Atty. Gen. may provide waiver; applications received before Mar. 1,2002: 90% fed/10% st. or local govt. Atty. Gen. in consultation with the FEC (Atty. Gen. acts through Asst. Atty. Gen. for the Office of Justice Programs and Asst. Atty. Gen. for the Civil Rts. Div.) S.953 (McConnell/Schumer) X 12 X $500 million for FY 2002 through 2006 ($2.5 billion); such amounts as necessary for subsequent FYs 75% fed./25% st. or local govt. (Commission may provide for greater fed. share if it determines the st. or locality lacks resources) Election Administration Commission (new federal agency) CRS-3 Table 2. Comparison of Senate Bills for Election Study Commission or Grant Program S. 17 (Daschle) S. 216 (Specter) S. 218 (McConnell) S. 241 (Reid) S. 368 (McCain) S. 379 (Schumer) S. 479 (Cleland) S. 565 (Dodd) S.953 (McConnell/ Schumer) Study commission or federal agency, members appointed by: (12 members) – 6 by Pres. – 3 by Sen. min. leader (by maj. leader if min. leader and Pres. from same party) – 3 by House min. leader (by maj. leader if min. leader and Pres. from same party) (6 members; 5 voting, 1 nonvoting) – 1 by Pres. – 1 by Sen. maj. leader – 1 by Sen. min. leader – 1 by Speaker of House – 1 by House min. leader – Dir. of FEC Office of Election Administration (nonvoting) (4 members; establishes permanent federal agency) – 4 by Pres. (no more than 2 from same party) — 4 year term — also creates 25 member advisory board (2 year terms) FEC National Institute of Standards and Technology (12 members) – 2 by Pres. – 1 by Sen. maj. leader – 2 by Sen. min. leader – 1 by Speaker of House – 2 by House min. leader – Dir. of FEC Office of Election Administration (nonvoting) – 1 jointly by Natl. Assoc. of Secys. of St. and Natl. Assoc. of St. Electn. Dirs. (nonvoting) – 1 by Internatl. Institute of Munic. Clerks, Natl. Assoc. of Co. Recorders, Electn. Officials and Clerks, and Internatl. Assoc. of Clerks, Recorders, Electn. Officials and Treasurers (nonvoting) – 1 from U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (nonvoting) (grant program only) (12 members) – 6 by Pres. – 3 by Sen. min. leader (or maj. leader if from same party as Pres.) – 3 by House min. leader (or maj. leader if from same party as Pres.) (12 members, no more than 6 from same party) – 3 by Sen. maj. leader – 3 Sen. min. leader – 3 by Speaker of the House – 3 by House min. leader – also creates new federal agency (Election Administration Commission) with 8 members appointed by the Pres. (not more than 4 members from the same party), with advice and consent of Senate CRS-4 S. 17 (Daschle) S. 216 (Specter) S. 218 (McConnell) S. 241 (Reid) S. 368 (McCain) S. 379 (Schumer) S. 479 (Cleland) S. 565 (Dodd) S.953 (McConnell/ Schumer) – report, approved by majority of comm. members, to Cong. and Pres. not later than 1 yr. after enactment – interim reports, approved by maj. of comm. members, may be issued – report to Cong. and the Election Administration Commission (new agency) not later than six months after members appointed – interim reports on study issues and recommendations may be issued in time for full or partial implementation before 2002 elections Study/report required – report approved by majority to Pres. and Cong. not later than one year after enactment – may issue interim reports approved by majority – report approved by majority to Pres. and Cong. not later than 180 days after 1 year study period – may issue interim reports approved by majority – periodic studies available to public – voluntary engineering and performance standards for voting systems within first year – voluntary procedures for access to registrn. facilities, polling places, voting methods for all voters, including disabled – regular reports and ongoing responsibilities include: — update standards for voting systems every 4 years — advise states to insure compliance with handicapped accessibility act and other federal laws — update voluntary procedures concerning access issues every 4 years — develop voluntary procedures for election admin. and update every 4 years — provide info on fed. elections to – study by Jan. 1, 2002 to establish uniform national standards for fed. election procedures – report to Cong. not later than 1 yr. after enactment – report to Pres. and Cong. by Dec. 31, 2001 – may issue interim reports in time for full or partial implementation before 2002 federal elections – may submit additional reports to Pres. and Cong. as appropriate CRS-5 S. 17 (Daschle) S. 216 (Specter) S. 218 (McConnell) S. 241 (Reid) S. 368 (McCain) S. 379 (Schumer) S. 479 (Cleland) S. 565 (Dodd) S.953 (McConnell/ Schumer) – access to ballots and polling places, including timely notice of locations and matters of access for disabled voters, visually impaired voters, voters with limited English proficiency, voters who need assistance to understand voting process and cast a ballot, and other voters with special needs –voter registr. and maintenance of voter rolls, including use of provisional ballots and standards for reenfranchisement of voters – alternative voting – current and alternate methods of ensuring accessibility of voting, registration, polling places, and voting equipment to all voters, including blind and disabled voters and voters with limited English proficiency – current and alternate methods of voter registration, maintaining secure and accurate lists of registered voters, (including the establishment of a centralized, interactive, st.wide voter registration list linked to relevant agencies public and media — make available bipartisan panels of electn. professionals to assist st. officials in review of election and vote counting procedures — compile and make available certified electn. results, voter registrn. and turnout statistics Specific study issues identified – election technology and systems – ballot design – polling place access, including handicapped access – voter registrn., maintenance of voter rolls, provisional voting, reenfranchiseme nt of voters – alternative voting methods – accuracy of voting and election procedures – voter education, training for election workers and volunteers – voting procedures in fed., st., and local elections – best practices – legislation and regulatory efforts that affect voting procedures issues – implementing standardized voting procedures – speed, timeliness, accuracy of vote counts – voting security – handicapped accessibility – level of grant funding necessary to implement recommendations – election technology, systems, and ballot design – voter registrn., verification, and maintenance of voter rolls – access to polling places – alternative voting methods – accuracy and security of election procedures and vote counts – FEC study to establish standards that: –minimize delay, error, or confusion in voting, voter registrn. –eliminate fraud –increase accuracy and reliability of vote counts and counting procedure –reduce number of uncounted, discarded ballots – encourage voter registrn. and turnout –ensure accessibility of registrn. and polling facilities – promote public confidence in accuracy, – impact of voter income on effective participation – impact of minority status of voter (race, gender, or ethnicity) on effective participation – effect of the use of different voting equipment and of substandard or malfunctioning equipment on effective participation and integrity of election process – future and emerging election technologies, including Internet voting – current and alternate methods of ensuring accessibility to polling places and voting equipment for voters, including military, blind and disabled, and elderly – current and alternate methods of ensuring accuracy of registrn. lists – current and alternate methods of admin. to ensure accuracy and integrity of elections – current and alternate methods of voter educ. with voting methods and equipment – relevant matters for election admin. in rural and urban CRS-6 S. 17 (Daschle) – issues with federal law for military and overseas citizens’ voting rights – election day holiday – how fed. govt. can best provide assistance to st. and local officials to improve fed. elections; whether a new or existing fed. agency should provide such assistance – recommendations on best practices with respect to study topics S. 216 (Specter) S. 218 (McConnell) S. 241 (Reid) reliability of process – establishes the first consecutive Saturday and Sunday prior to the first Monday of November as days for federal elections S. 368 (McCain) S. 379 (Schumer) – study of impact of various factors on participation of low-income voters (such as registrn. requirements, educational status, type of voting equipment available, and outreach efforts) areas – different days, places, and hours for conducting elections – how fed. govt. can provide ongoing assistance to st. and local officials on permanent basis, which agency should provide assistance, levels of funding necessary – develop recommendations for election and administration and voting that would --be most convenient, accessible, and easy to use for voters, including military, blind and disabled, and elderly --yield most accurate results and expedite reporting results --afford equal voting opportunity for all voters --be most efficient and cost-effective – recommend which govt. agency should provide permanent assistance to st. and local officials S. 479 (Cleland) S. 565 (Dodd) methods – voter intimidation, both real and perceived – accuracy of voting, election procedures, and election technology – voter education – election personnel and volunteer training – election technology and systems – ballot design and uniformity – voting machine capacity, how number of ballots that can be processed over time affects number of machines needed, number of polling places and other facilities needed to serve voters – whether legislative or administrative action is needed to provide meaningful opportunity for military and overseas voters to register and vote in fed. elections – feasibility and advisability of making election day a fed. or st. holiday – feasibility and advisability of modifying polling S.953 (McConnell/ Schumer) and all polling sites), and ensuring that all registered voters appear on the polling list at the appropriate polling site – current and alternate methods of educating voters about voter registration and voting, the operation of voting mechanisms, the location of polling places, and all other aspects of participating in elections – current and alternate methods of recruiting and improving the performance of poll workers – current and alternate methods and mechanisms of voting and counting votes in federal elections – current and alternate ballot designs for federal elections – current and alternate methods of voter registration for Armed Forces members and overseas voters, and methods of ensuring that such voters timely receive ballots that CRS-7 S. 17 (Daschle) S. 216 (Specter) S. 218 (McConnell) S. 241 (Reid) S. 368 (McCain) S. 379 (Schumer) S. 479 (Cleland) S. 565 (Dodd) S.953 (McConnell/ Schumer) hrs. and the effects of modification – how fed. govt. can, on permanent basis, provide ongoing asst. to st. and local officials to improve administration of elections and whether new fed. agency should be created to provide such asst. – develop recommendations to identify methods of voting and admin. that would: -- be convenient, accessible, nondiscriminatory, and easy to use for disabled voters, military and overseas voters, other voters with special needs, including those with limited English proficiency, or who need assistance to understand voting process or to cast a ballot -- yield the broadest participation -- produce accurate results –recommendations for permanent fed. assistance to st.s on elec. admin. and whether new fed. agency should will be properly and expeditiously handled and counted – conducting elections for federal office on different days, at different places, and during different hours, including advisability of establishing a uniform poll closing time – ways the federal government can best assist st. and local authorities to improve election administration for federal office and what funding would be necessary to provide such assistance – current and alternate methods of conducting provisional voting that include notice to voter on disposition of ballot – federal and st. laws governing the eligibility of persons to vote – matters particularly relevant to voting and election administration in rural and urban areas CRS-8 S. 17 (Daschle) S. 216 (Specter) S. 218 (McConnell) S. 241 (Reid) S. 368 (McCain) S. 379 (Schumer) S. 479 (Cleland) S. 565 (Dodd) S.953 (McConnell/ Schumer) provide such assist. --recommendations for on methods to increase voter partic., increase accuracy of voters rolls and partic. and inclusion of legal voters, improve voter educ., and to improve training of election personnel and volunteers Other responsibilities – responsible for Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act as Pres. designee – responsible for sec. 9 of National Voter Registrn. Act (Motor Voter) regarding mail registrn. – study and review uniform national standards within 6 months of each fed. election – report to Cong. annually on grant program – Amends Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Relief Act of 1940 to clarify st. residency for purposes of voting in fed. or st. election: persons absent from a st. in compliance with military or naval orders may not be deemed to lose residence in that st., be deemed to acquire residence or domicile in another st., and be deemed to have become a resident in another st. –Amends the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act to extend the provisions of the law to cover st. and local, as well as federal elections –voting systems in federal elections shall: --permit voter to verify ballot choices and correct errors before ballot is cast --notify voter if more than one cand. choice is made for a single office and permit voter to correct errors before ballot is cast --notify voter if less than one cand. choice is made for a single office and permit voter to correct errors before ballot is cast --produce an auditable record for each ballot cast --be accessible for disabled persons and others with special needs and – develop recommendations on which methods of voting and administering elections would: --- be most convenient, accessible, and easy to use for federal elections, including members of the Armed Forces, blind and disabled voters, and voters with limited English proficiency --- yield the most accurate, secure, and expeditious system, voting, and election results in federal elections --- be nondiscriminatory and afford each registered and eligible voter an equal opportunity to vote CRS-9 S. 17 (Daschle) S. 216 (Specter) S. 218 (McConnell) S. 241 (Reid) S. 368 (McCain) S. 379 (Schumer) S. 479 (Cleland) S. 565 (Dodd) S.953 (McConnell/ Schumer) provide alternative language accessibility for persons with limited English proficiency --shall have error rate as close to zero as practicable when system is used properly – if name of individual who claims to be a registrant eligible to vote in a federal, st., or local election is not on official registr. list or official asserts the individual is not eligible to vote: --election official shall notify individual that the individual may cast provisional ballot --individual may cast a vote upon written affirmation before an election official at the polling place hat the individual is eligible to vote --an election official will transfer the ballot to an appropriate st. or local official for prompt verification of the claim of eligibility --if the official verifies the claim, the vote shall be --- be most efficient and cost-effective for use in federal elections – recommendations for how federal government can best provide assistance to st. and local authorities to improve election administration in federal elections and what levels of funding will be needed for such assistance – Election Administration Commission (EAC), new federal agency, shall: -- adopt or modify any recommendations of the study panel after its report is submitted to the President and the EAC -- may update the recommendations at least once every four years -- not later than six months after enactment, shall issue or adopt updated voting systems standards and update standards at least once every 4 years -- advise states regarding compliance with CRS-10 S. 17 (Daschle) S. 216 (Specter) S. 218 (McConnell) S. 241 (Reid) S. 368 (McCain) S. 379 (Schumer) S. 479 (Cleland) S. 565 (Dodd) S.953 (McConnell/ Schumer) tabulated --the appropriate st. or local official shall notify the individual in writing of disposition of the claim and treatment of the vote – not later than 10 days before election each registered voter shall be mailed sample version of ballot; info on election date and polling hrs.; instructions on how to cast ballot; gen. info on voting rights and instructions on how to contact appropriate st. and fed. officials if rights are alleged to be violated; sample ballot shall be published in newspaper in applicable geographic area and posted at polling place – the FEC Office of Elec. Admin., develop guidelines within a yr. of enactment for voting systems requirement specifications, provisional ballot requirements, and sample ballot activities requirements of Voting Accessibility For the Elderly and Handicapped Act and other federal laws regarding accessibility of registration facilities and polling places to blind and disabled voters -- have primary responsibility to carry out federal functions of Title 1 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act as the Presidential designee -- serve as a clearinghouse, gather information, conduct studies, and issue reports concerning issues relating to federal, st., and local elections -- carry out the provisions of section 9 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 -- make available information regarding the federal election system to the public and media -- assemble and make available CRS-11 S. 17 (Daschle) S. 216 (Specter) S. 218 (McConnell) S. 241 (Reid) S. 368 (McCain) S. 379 (Schumer) S. 479 (Cleland) S. 565 (Dodd) S.953 (McConnell/ Schumer) bipartisan panels of election professionals to assist any st. election official, upon request, in review of election or vote counting procedures in federal, st., and local elections -- compile and make available to the public the official certified results of elections for federal office and statistics regarding national voter registration and turnout -- administer the Federal Election Reform Grant Program Grant program funding – $500 million to Dept. of Justice for 2002; such amounts as necessary for FY 2003-2006 – such amounts as necessary to FEC for purpose of consulting with Atty. Gen. – authorizes supplemental appropriations for FY 2001 for FEC, Dept. of Justice as necessary – sums as may be necessary to carry out legislation – $500 million first year; $100 million each year thereafter – $100 million for FY 2002-2011 – sums as may be necessary to carry out legislation – $500 million for FY 2002-2006 or lesser amount recommended by Commission – $1 billion for FY 2002 –such amounts as necessary for FY 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 – $500 million for FY 2002 through 2006 ($2.5 billion); such amounts as necessary for subsequent FYs CRS-12 S. 17 (Daschle) S. 216 (Specter) S. 218 (McConnell) S. 241 (Reid) S. 368 (McCain) S. 379 (Schumer) S. 479 (Cleland) S. 565 (Dodd) S.953 (McConnell/ Schumer) – to replace applicable voting systems for use in fed. elections with advanced voting systems, such as electronic voting systems – amounts, not in excess of 33% of amount received by an eligible local voting area, may be used to train election officials and educate voters in use of advanced voting systems and to reimburse costs for extending the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act to permit military and overseas citizens to vote in st. and local elections – after voting systems are replaced in eligible local voting area and funds are not needed for other uses, funds are transferred to the st. to enhance voter participation by improving voter registr., expanding training of election officials, and upgrading other voting equipment – to improve, acquire, or replace voting equip. or technology, including access for the disabled, visually impaired, or those with limited English proficiency – to implement new elec. admin. procedures to increase voter partic., reduce disenfranchisement such as same day voter registr. – to educate voters on voting procedures, rights, or technology, or to train elec. personnel – to implement recommendations of the Commission on Voting Rights and Procedures – to implement any recommendation adopted or modified by the Commission – st. or localities that do not meet certification requirements (see “Grant timetable/applicatio n process” below) may use funds to meet the requirements not later than the first federal election after grant was awarded or three months after the grant was awarded, whichever is later – voting mechanisms purchased in whole or in part with a grant must have an error rate no higher than that prescribed by the voting systems standards issued by the Commission; -- in the case of a voting mechanism not used for absentee or mail voting, must permit voters to verify votes before they are cast; be capable of notifying voters if they have voted for more than one Grant uses – grants to st.s to improve, replace voting equipment – implement new electn. admin. procedures, such as same day voter registrn. – voter education and election personnel training – implement study recommendations – grants to st. and local govts. to implement commission recommendations – grants to st. and local govts. to improve, modernize election admin. using voluntary recommendations of commission – grants to st.s to provide for cost of implementing uniform national standards – grants to st. or local agencies responsible for administering elections to purchase new or rehabilitated voting equipment – grants to st. and local govts. to implement commission recommendations, buy new equipment, hiring employees or contractors, train personnel, voter education CRS-13 S. 17 (Daschle) S. 216 (Specter) S. 218 (McConnell) S. 241 (Reid) S. 368 (McCain) S. 379 (Schumer) S. 479 (Cleland) S. 565 (Dodd) S.953 (McConnell/ Schumer) candidate or fewer than the number of candidates for which votes may be cast for an office; and provide voter with the opportunity to modify ballot before it is cast – have the audit capacity to produce a record for each ballot cast – recipients shall insure that each activity funded in whole or part with a grant is conducted in accordance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, including sections 4(f)(4) and 203; the National Voter Registration Act of 1993; the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 in conducting elections for federal office Matching formula/conditions – federal share of cost of st. plan is 80% (Atty. Gen. may specify more – $1 non-federal funds to $1 federal funds – st. and local govts. must spend not less than 25% of grant awarded – 50% fed/50% st. or local agency (Secretary may waive requirement – st. and local govts. must spend not less than 25% of grant awarded (75% – 80% fed/20% st. – FEC allocates to a st. an amount that bears the same ratio – 80% fed/20% st. or local govt. (Atty. Gen. may provide waiver and specify – 75% fed/25% st. or local govt. (the Commission may provide for greater CRS-14 S. 17 (Daschle) S. 216 (Specter) S. 218 (McConnell) S. 241 (Reid) (75% fed./25% st. or local) – by vote, commission may request audit at any time – match. funding not required for local govt. if per capita income is among lowest 1/4 in st. than 80% if st. agrees to conditions prescribed by the Atty. Gen.) – grant recipients must keep records as prescribed by Atty. Gen. in consultation with FEC – Atty. Gen. or Comptroller Gen. have access to records to conduct audit or examination – authority to conduct an audit expires 3 years after date on which st. plan is approved S. 368 (McCain) S. 379 (Schumer) S. 479 (Cleland) S. 565 (Dodd) S.953 (McConnell/ Schumer) if st. or local agency displays extreme need) – Secretary may make block grants to st. agency for election administration for voter education campaigns – voting equipment purchased with grant proceeds must meet voting systems performance standards developed by Natl. Institute of Standards and Technology fed/25% st. or local) – Asst. Atty. Gen. for Office of Justice Programs may waive requirement to the total amount allocated to all st.s as the number of applicable voting systems in the st. bears to the total number in all st.s receiving grants – states allocate to local voting areas an amount that bears the same ratio to the total amount received by the st. as the number of applicable voting systems in the local voting areas bears to the total number in all local voting areas in the st. (the number of applicable voting systems to be determined in reasonable manner by FEC; if voting system is paper ballot, the number of applicable systems shall be determined by the number of registered voters in the st. or local voting area divided by 200) federal share greater than 80%); for grant applications received before Mar. 1,2002: 90% fed/10% st. or local govt. federal share if it determines the st. or locality lacks resources) – automatic for states in which lever machines, punchcard systems, and paper ballots – Atty. Gen. publishes st. plan in Federal Register upon receipt of application; Atty. – applications from st. and localities shall describe the activities for which assistance is Grant timetable/application process – chief executive officer of st. submits plan to Atty. Gen., with info required by – st., local govts. submit application with info required by Atty. Gen. – review of applications begins 1 yr. and 45 days after enactment – states submit application to FEC at such time and in such manner as required – Secretary of Commerce publishes notice in Federal Register to notify st. and – st. and local govts. may submit applications up to 45 days after final rept. issued (by Dec. 31, CRS-15 S. 17 (Daschle) Atty. Gen. (in consultation with FEC) – plan must describe activities – plan must provide evidence of: 1) uniform standards for electn. admin. within the st. 2) accuracy of voter registrn. records 3) standards to ensure compliance with Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act; Voting Rights Act; Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act 4) provision for voter education programs and election personnel training S. 216 (Specter) S. 218 (McConnell) S. 241 (Reid) S. 368 (McCain) S. 379 (Schumer) S. 479 (Cleland) S. 565 (Dodd) S.953 (McConnell/ Schumer) – commission solicits, reviews, votes on applications from st., local govts. at least once a year –FEC to issue regulations for application process, content of application, standard amount of each grant, criteria for approval of applications local agencies of time and manner of applying and prescribed criteria for application – Secretary gives priority to applications to replace voting equipment in precincts most in need of updating to meet performance standards developed in study, particularly areas with greatest need based on unemployment, income, financial need, or other indicators of economic distress 2001) – annual applications according to deadlines established by the Asst. Atty. Gen. for the Office of Justice Programs are used; an eligible st. may opt to not receive any amount if it notifies the FEC within 30 days of enactment Gen., in consultation with FEC, may approve or disapprove application 30 days after it appears in Fed. Register – st. applications must be developed in consultation with st. and local elec. officials, describe activities for which assistance is sought, contain detailed explanation of how st. will comply with requirements listed above, provide assurance that st. will pay nonfederal share of cost of activities for which assistance is sought (may be accompanied by request for waiver of matching requirements), additional assurances required by Atty. Gen. in consultation with FEC, must be made available for public review and comment sought, contain a request for certification by the Assistant Atty. Gen. for Civil Rights (demonstrating that the jurisdiction is in compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, including sections 4(f)(4) and 203; the National Voter Registration Act of 1993; the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act; the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 in conducting elections for federal office; provides blind and disabled voters verifiable opportunity to vote under same conditions of privacy as nonvisually impaired or nondisabled voters; permits provisional voting or will implement same consistent with the Commission’s adopted recommendation on provisional ballots; has implemented safeguards to CRS-16 S. 17 (Daschle) S. 216 (Specter) S. 218 (McConnell) S. 241 (Reid) S. 368 (McCain) S. 379 (Schumer) S. 479 (Cleland) S. 565 (Dodd) S.953 (McConnell/ Schumer) ensure that the jurisdiction maintains an accurate list of voters legally registered and eligible and only those not legally registered or eligible have been removed from the registration list; has implemented safeguards to ensure that members of the Armed Forces and voters outside U.S. have opportunity to vote and have their vote counted; provides voter education and poll worker training consistent with commission recommendations or a detailed demonstration of how the jurisdiction intends to use grant funds to meet requirements – Commission gives priority to states or localities with the most deficient voting systems and the greatest need for assistance in implementing Commission recommendations – Commission may not approve an CRS-17 S. 17 (Daschle) S. 216 (Specter) S. 218 (McConnell) S. 241 (Reid) S. 368 (McCain) S. 379 (Schumer) S. 479 (Cleland) S. 565 (Dodd) S.953 (McConnell/ Schumer) application unless it has received certification information from Asst. Atty. Gen. Grant program administered by – Atty. Gen., in consultation with the FEC – Atty. Gen. through the Assistant Atty. Gen. for the Office of Justice Programs – Election Administration Commission (new federal agency) – FEC – Secretary of Commerce – Atty. Gen. through the Asst. Atty. Gen. for the Office of Justice Programs (in consultation with the Dir. of Office of Election Administration of the FEC) – FEC – Atty. Gen. in consultation with the FEC (Atty. Gen. through the Asst. Atty. Gen. for the Office of Justice Programs and the Asst. Atty. Gen. for Civil Rts. Div) – Election Administration Commission (new federal agency)