In January 2019, the first order of business for the House Democrats is HR1, a bill that will take up issues with voting rights, campaign finance reform, and lobbying. This bill was introduced by Maryland Rep. John Sarbanes, and a companion bill has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico.
HR1 proposes some of the following changes to voting rights at a Federal level:
- Automatic voter registration that allows voters to opt out rather than opting in.
- Promoting efforts for early voting, same day voter registration, and online voter registration
- Making Election Day a federal holiday that would give federal employees the day off, and encourage private businesses to do the same.
- Prohibit voter roll purging
- End partisan gerrymandering
- Increasing election security
- Recruiting and training more poll workers to cut down lines
- Felons would regain voting rights after serving their sentences
- Revives anti-discrimination provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act
The bill has little chance of passing the Senate this year, especially as is, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a future, especially with enough support from voters.