More than 3 million Americans had difficulty voting in the 2008 election for a number of reasons. To improve our voting system, Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) joined her Democratic colleagues to introduce the Voter Empowerment Act to protect the right of Americans to choose their government.
The Voter Empowerment Act includes language from two Davis bills -- the Universal Vote by Mail Act, which would eliminate barriers to voting by absentee ballot and the Election Integrity Act, which would prohibit top elections officials from participating in the political campaigns whose results they oversee.
The comprehensive bill would also increase voting opportunities and strengthen overall the voting process in every state by modernizing the voter registration system, assisting voters with disabilities, protecting voters from deceptive practices and setting standards for voting equipment.
"A priority of the government should be to eliminate barriers to voting because our nation is stronger when we're all involved in the decision-making," said Davis. "Too many Americans are being left out of a process in which they have a constitutional right to participate because of antiquated rules, inefficient procedures and a lack of voter protection--we can do better for our voters and our democracy. Other countries look to our elections as an example and we have a responsibility to make sure that all eligible Americans can vote and know their votes will be counted correctly."
In Congress, Davis has been a leader in election reform. In the 111th Congress, the House passed two of Davis's bills -- The Federal Election Integrity Act prohibits a states' chief election official from playing an official role in a federal campaign and the Absentee Ballot Track, Receive, and Confirm Act helps states establish a system to allow voters to track their absentee ballot. Davis's hallmark election bill, the Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act, has passed the House Administration Committee twice.