KEY VOTE: Senate · Mar 2, 2021

Heritage Action supports The “Save Democracy Act” (H.R. 322/ S. 459) and will include cosponsorship as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.

The Save Democracy Act (H.R. 322/S. 459), introduced by Representative Jim Banks (R-Ind.) and Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.), would make common-sense, targeted reforms to federal election laws to reduce fraud and restore Americans’ confidence in our election system while respecting states’ sovereignty in the process.

America’s representative form of government is anchored by the belief and rule of “one citizen, one vote.” This principle is the bedrock of our system of self-government and is necessary to defend if we’re to uphold that system. Throughout our history, political machines and mismanaged states have undermined the rule of law and threatened our ability to rule ourselves. Any time an actor or group of actors sets about either wittingly or unwittingly to devalue the lawfully cast vote of citizens, our representatives have a duty to defend our votes. Election fraud is real and has been made more possible by states jeopardizing the security of our elections and, as a result, hollowing out our ability to trust the outcomes of our elections.

The 2020 election cycle brought unprecedented challenges and changes to the way we vote. Unfortunately, that also meant chaos, confusion, and last-minute rewriting or undermining of election laws. States around the country chose to waive or lower standards for voter registration, identity verification, vote-by-mail rules, and vote tabulations. These changes highlighted an existing concern around states’ lack of ability or willingness to protect the fairness, security, and integrity of federal elections. The Save Democracy Act would institute common-sense reforms to address these concerns and restore confidence in the principle of one-citizen, one-vote.

The Save Democracy Act’s first reforms are related to voter registration. It moves states away from automatic voter registration and instead favors citizenship and identification verified registration through the use of a voter’s social security number for federal elections. This would ensure that each voter is legally eligible to vote.

The legislation would also implement several changes related to the casting of ballots in federal elections. It would end the practice of unsolicited absentee ballots and instead ask registered voters to present proper identification and proactively request them from the state. The bill would also end the practice of ballot harvesting and late voting by requiring the voter, an election official, or post office to submit completed ballots by the end of Election Day.

Lastly, the legislation would address vote tabulation in federal elections. It would allow two representatives from each presidential campaign in a general election to observe polls and vote counting. And finally, it would require an audit of vote counts to be conducted within 30 days.

The reforms in the legislation are narrowly tailored, apply only to federal elections, and require no more than is needed to conduct other daily activities and transactions, like driving a car or making a purchase with a credit card. They are the most basic protections necessary to restore faith in our system and ensure the principle of “one citizen, one vote.” Americans simply want to know that their vote counts and won’t be minimized by fraud or poor administration. Heritage Action encourages members to support this legislation.

Heritage Action supports The “Save Democracy Act” (H.R. 322/ S. 459) and will include cosponsorship as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.