Just What is H.R. 1, Anyway?
H.R. 1, named the "For the People Act of 2021," is legislation originally proposed by the House of Representatives in 2019 to fight electoral corruption and shore up our representative democracy through changes in federal election law.
Since fighting corruption is a primary concern of Represent San Diego, we've taken a keen interest in this legislation. That this bill is getting traction in the Capitol is notable because lawmakers rarely embrace changes to a system that put them in their positions of influence in the first place.
As a testament to the growing support for election reform, H.R. 1 has already been noted as key legislation by House leadership. The Senate is now drafting a sister bill, S.B. 1, that further boosts the chances we will see major reform in 2021.
As a testament to the growing support for election reform, H.R. 1 has already been noted as key legislation by House leadership.
H.R. 1 includes a variety of provisions, among which are:
- Numerous reforms to make registration and voting easier and more accessible to all eligible voters
- Restrictions on states' abilities to remove voters from the rolls
- Prohibitions on interference, deception and intimidation in voter registration and voting
- Clarification of rights of systematically disenfranchised categories such as Native Americans, residents of the District of Columbia and US Territories
- Establishment of independent, non-partisan redistricting commissions
- Increased funding and rules to improve election security
- Changes in the rules and greater enforcement of campaign financing
- Increased transparency in campaign financing
- Guidelines and funding for public financing of elections to increase citizen engagement
- Strengthened ethics requirements for many federal offices, including the judiciary
This bill is comprehensive; the table of contents alone runs to twelve pages, so we can't cover it all here. While it doesn't resolve all concerns about legalized corruption in our electoral system, Represent San Diego feels that this bill is a substantial step in the right direction, because it addresses a significant list of systemic problems at the federal level. We’re mobilizing our grassroots team at the local and national levels to make sure this important bill makes it into law.
If you are interested in researching the details of the bill for yourself, you can find it online at H.R.1 - For the People Act of 2021.
We’d love to hear from you. What do you think about H.R. 1? What else would you do to build a democracy that works for us all?
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