Last week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., introduced a reform proposal for voting by mail.
On Thursday, Scott brought out the “Verifiable, Orderly, & Timely Election Results (VOTER) Act” which, he insists, will “establish uniform standards for vote-by-mail systems across the country and ensure the timely and efficient counting of ballots, with important safeguards to prevent fraud.”
Scott’s office offered some of the rationale behind his proposal.
“Currently, mail-based absentee voting in federal elections is governed by a patchwork of state laws, with varying deadlines for requesting, returning and receiving mailed ballots. As states pursue the expanded use of mail-in ballots, the VOTER Act will ensure the security, reliability and orderly conduct of federal elections. The bill also creates a deadline for state election officials to tally and report the election results to avoid prolonged uncertainty in the outcome of a federal election,” Scott’s office noted.
“Voting is fundamental to our democracy and it is a sacred right that we must protect and cherish,” Scott said on Thursday. “I always say we need 100 percent participation and 0 percent fraud in our elections. Florida has absentee voting and it works well. But the standards for mail-in voting vary widely across the country, causing confusion and a distrust in the system. We need standards nationwide to ensure voters decide the outcomes of elections – not the courts. We can’t wait weeks or months to find out the results of this election or any election in our future – a scenario made all the more likely by the Democrats’ push to change laws late in the game and eliminate standards that protect against fraud. The VOTER Act will create uniform standards for voting-by-mail, provide important protections against fraud, and make sure we have a timely federal election result. We need to pass this bill now to ensure a smooth and secure election.”
The bill would create standards for voting by mail in federal elections, including having by-mail ballots requested 21 days before the election and having them turned in when polls close on Election Day. Scott’s proposal would also make voters attest they are the person to whom the ballot was sent and that they will also note vote in person. Under Scott’s proposal, all mail-in ballots must be counted within 24 hours of when polls close.
Scott’s bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee. So far, there are no cosponsors in the Senate. There is no companion measure over in the U.S. House.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.