Gus Bilirakis, Rodney Davis Talk Up Election Integrity Bill

In New Port Richey last week, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., hosted U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., who leads Republicans on the U.S. House Administration Committee, and they talked up an election integrity bill championed by the Illinois congressman. 

At the end of last month, David filed the “American Confidence in Elections (ACE) Act” with more than two dozen Republican co-sponsors, including U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla. According to Davis’ office, the bill “focuses on strong election integrity reforms while respecting the Constitution, federalism, and conservative principles” and “continues to address disappointing challenges faced by military and overseas voters and makes the biggest legislative effort in a generation to protect political speech in a climate where Democrats are doing everything in their power to determine ‘truth’ and silence conservative voices.” Bilirakis’ office noted the bill is “focused on three main pillars: providing states with tools to implement election integrity measures/removing federal impediments, exercising Congress’ responsibility to implement election integrity measures in D.C., and protecting free speech.”

Bilirakis weighed in on election integrity last week. 

 “The integrity of our elections process is vital to the foundation of our society,” said Bilirakis.  “I’m thankful for the tireless efforts of Ranking Member Davis, as part of a nationwide effort to educate, engage, and reform as needed.  Florida has a unique electoral history.  I served in the Florida Legislature during the 2000 election when we were the laughingstock of the nation because of our hanging and dimpled chads.  We have come a very long way in the last 22 years which saw common sense and effective measures put into place to ensure that every legitimate vote is counted, and every illegitimate vote is invalidated.  In his 2021 State of the State Address to the Legislature, Governor DeSantis asked members of the Legislature to take a moment to enjoy the fact that Florida ran perhaps the most transparent and efficient election in the nation in 2020.  People throughout the country were asking why other states could not be more like Florida.  As someone who had a front row seat to the election debacle in 2000, I can assure you that such a sentiment was unthinkable twenty years ago.

“One thing is clear,” Bilirakis continued. “If the American electorate does not have confidence that elections are free and fair, it undermines our republic.  Through my work on the Election Integrity Congressional Caucus, I have sought to strengthen that confidence.  We have an obligation to understand what transpired during the 2020 election and implement mechanisms to ensure it never happens again.   I do believe Florida is truly a role model when it comes to achieving this goal, and I look forward to providing a framework for other states seeking improvement.  

“The American Confidence in Elections Act gives states the tools to run free, fair and secure elections, implements model state election integrity best practices in DC, and makes the biggest legislative effort in a generation to protect political free speech,” said Davis. “I thank Congressman Bilirakis for hosting today’s roundtable to discuss the importance of election integrity and how the ACE Act complements efforts made by states like Florida to restore faith in elections.”

Davis’ bill is not expected to gain much traction with both chambers of Capitol Hill controlled by Democrats. The bill was sent to the  U.S. House Administration; Judiciary; Oversight and Reform; Ways and Means; Science, Space, and Technology; Financial Services; Intelligence; Energy and Commerce; and the Homeland Security Committees. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate. 

Kevin Derby
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