September 30, 2010
Contact: Aaron Hunter 202-225-2040
House Approves Rep. Susan Davis’s Bill to Restore Election Integrity
WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives last night approved legislation to help restore integrity to federal elections. The bill, introduced by Congresswoman Susan Davis, prohibits a state’s top election official from participating in federal campaigns.
The Federal Election Integrity Act (H.R. 512), approved on a vote of 296-129, says that a chief election official of a state cannot engage in political activity – using their name, serving on a campaign committee, fundraising or using their official office to interfere or effect the results of an election - on behalf of federal candidates in any election over which the official has supervisory authority.
“Americans are craving good government solutions to the problems facing our country and this legislation is just that,” said Davis. “This is about preserving the American people's faith in the integrity of our democracy.”
Recent elections have brought examples of leading state election officials with disturbing conflicts of interest. In some of these cases, chief state election officials have held official positions on the campaign committees of federal candidates, such as state committee chair.
“Imagine if someone could be both the player and the referee in a game,” said Davis. “This fundamental conflict of interest prevents that official from ensuring a fair and accurate election and could undermine the integrity of federal elections.”
If enacted into law, the Federal Election Commission would oversee enforcement and could issue fines for violations of the law.