Sen. Rick Scott’s Election Integrity plan

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Just as the certification of Florida’s elections in 2018 was only the beginning of the process to fix Broward and Palm Beach Counties elections, such is the case with the certification of elections in a contested state this year. Eighteen states, including Florida, sued other states over evidenced failures to abide by the law in those states. We need to fix election processes before the next election cycle. With that in mind, Senator Rick Scott proposed a plan which serves as a solid framework that should be considered. Under his proposal, Voter Act to Prevent Election Fraud, the following changes would be made:

Establishes uniform standards for mail-in voting in federal elections

  • Defines deadlines to request and return vote-by-mail ballots
  • Mail-in ballots must be requested at least 21 days before a federal election
  • Mail-in ballots must be returned and received by the time polls close on Election Day
  • Protects the integrity of federal elections with fraud prevention measures
  • Requests for mail-in ballots must enable the local elections official to confirm the requester’s identity, voter registration, and registered address
  • Mail-in ballots must include an attestation that the voter: Is the person to whom the mail-in ballot was sent, and Will not attempt to vote in-person after voting by mail
  • Voter rolls provided to physical polling locations must identify which registered voters received a mail-in ballot to enable poll workers to inquire about the mail-in ballot if the individual appears in-person to vote
  • Prohibits the possession of another person’s mail-in ballot, with limited exceptions for immediate family members and caregivers

Promotes the timely reporting of election results

  • Requires voting precincts to report the total number of in-person and mail-in ballots received one hour after polls close to identifying the total universe of votes to be counted in the election
  • Requires all eligible ballots to be counted and reported within 24 hours after polls close on Election Day to promote certainty in the outcome of a federal election

His proposal essentially mirror’s Florida’s model, the most successful of this election cycle and exports it federally. Some may bristle at the idea of federal minimum standards, however as a state’s rights advocate, I disagree. We have federal laws that impact citizens in all states independent of state and local law. Why should minimum standards for election integrity be any different? It’s the single most important aspect of our society. This proposal will die in this congress but that should only be the beginning of the debate over these reforms. Once a new congress is sworn in, I will implore Senator Scott to reintroduce this proposal and for all of our Congressional Representatives to do their part to ensure the United States no longer fails with election integrity. This is an instance in which failure truly isn’t an option if we value our freedom.

Photo by: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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