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John L.
Democrat CT 1

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  • Rules of the House

    by Representative John B. Larson

    Posted on 2013-01-03

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    LARSON of Connecticut. Madam Speaker, on January 3, 2013--I was not present for rollcall vote 4. If I had been present for this vote, I would have voted: ``Nay'' on rollcall vote 4.



    Motion to Commit Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Madam Speaker, I have a motion to commit at the desk.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Emerson). The Clerk will report the motion.

    The Clerk read as follows: Mr. George Miller of California moves that the resolution (H. Res. 5) be committed to a select committee composed of the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader with instructions to report it forthwith back to the House with the following amendment: At the end of the resolution, add the following new sections: SEC. 6. TO SHORTEN VOTING LINES AND PROTECT EARLY VOTING OPPORTUNITIES.

    Not later than January 31, 2013, the Speaker shall, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for consideration of a bill consisting of the text specified in section 8 of this resolution, to amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to promote early voting in elections for Federal office and to prevent unreasonable waiting times for voters at polling places used in such elections, and for other purposes. The first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. All points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. General debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on House Administration. After general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. All points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. At the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the Committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. If the Committee of the Whole rises and reports that it has come to no resolution on the bill, then on the next legislative day the House shall, immediately after the third daily order of business under clause 1 of rule XIV, resolve into the Committee of the Whole for further consideration of the bill.

    Sec. 7. Clause 1(c) of rule XIX shall not apply to the consideration of the bill specified in section 8 of this resolution.

    Sec. 8. The text referred to in section 6 is as follows: Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Streamlined and Improved Methods at Polling Locations and Early (SIMPLE) Voting Act of 2013''.

    SEC. 2. MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR EARLY VOTING AND FOR REDUCING WAITING TIMES FOR VOTERS IN FEDERAL ELECTIONS.

    (a) Requirements for States.-- (1) In general.--Subtitle A of title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15481 et seq.) is amended-- (A) by redesignating sections 304 and 305 as sections 306 and 307; and (B) by inserting after section 303 the following new sections: ``SEC. 304. EARLY VOTING.

    ``(a) In General.--Each State shall allow individuals to vote in an election for Federal office on each day occurring during the 15-day period which ends on the second day immediately preceding the date of the election, in the same manner as voting is allowed on such date.

    ``(b) Minimum Early Voting Requirements.--Each polling place which allows voting prior to the date of a Federal election pursuant to subsection (a) shall-- ``(1) allow such voting for not less than 10 hours on each day; and ``(2) have uniform hours each day for which such voting occurs.

    ``(c) Location of Polling Places Near Public Transportation.--To the greatest extent practicable, a State shall ensure that each polling place which allows voting prior to the date of a Federal election pursuant to subsection (a) is located within reasonable walking distance of a stop on a public transportation route.

    ``(d) Standards.-- ``(1) In general.--The Commission shall issue standards for the administration of voting prior to the date scheduled for a Federal election. Such standards shall include the nondiscriminatory geographic placement of polling places at which such voting occurs.

    ``(2) Deviation.--The standards described in paragraph (1) shall permit States, upon providing adequate public notice, to deviate from any requirement in the case of unforeseen circumstances such as a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or a change in voter turnout.

    ``(e) Effective Date.--This section shall apply with respect to elections held on or after January 1, 2014.

    ``SEC. 305. PREVENTING UNREASONABLE WAITING TIMES FOR VOTERS.

    ``(a) Preventing Unreasonable Waiting Times.-- ``(1) In general.--Each State shall provide a sufficient number of voting systems, poll workers, and other election resources (including physical resources) at a polling place used in any election for Federal office, including a polling place at which individuals may cast ballots prior to the date of the election, to ensure-- ``(A) a fair and equitable waiting time for all voters in the State; and ``(B) that no individual will be required to wait longer than one hour to cast a ballot at the polling place.

    ``(2) Criteria.--In determining the number of voting systems, poll workers, and other election resources provided at a polling place for purposes of paragraph (1), the State shall take into account the following factors: ``(A) The voting age population.

    ``(B) Voter turnout in past elections.

    ``(C) The number of voters registered.

    ``(D) The number of voters who have registered since the most recent Federal election.

    ``(E) Census data for the population served by the polling place, such as the proportion of the voting-age population who are under 25 years of age or who are naturalized citizens.

    ``(F) The needs and numbers of voters with disabilities and voters with limited English proficiency.

    ``(G) The type of voting systems used.

    ``(H) The length and complexity of initiatives, referenda, and other questions on the ballot.

    ``(I) Such other factors, including relevant demographic factors relating to the population served by the polling place, as the State considers appropriate.

    ``(3) Guidelines.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this section, the Commission shall establish and publish guidelines to assist States in meeting the requirements of this subsection.

    ``(4) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this subsection may be construed to authorize a State to meet the requirements of this subsection by closing any polling place, prohibiting an individual from entering a line at a polling place, or refusing to permit an individual who has arrived at a polling place prior to closing time from voting at the polling place.

    ``(b) Development and Implementation of Contingency Plans.-- ``(1) In general.--Each State shall develop, and implement to the greatest extent practicable, a contingency plan under which the State shall provide additional poll workers, machines, ballots, and other equipment and supplies (as the case may be) on the date of the election to any polling place used in an election for Federal office, including a polling place at which individuals may cast ballots prior to the date of the election, at which waiting times exceed one hour.

    ``(2) Approval of plan by commission.--The State shall ensure that the contingency plan developed under paragraph (1) is approved by the Commission prior to the date of the election involved, in accordance with such procedures as the Commission may establish.

    [[Page H21]] ``(c) Effective Date.--This section shall apply with respect to elections held on or after January 1, 2014.''.

    (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of contents of such Act is amended-- (A) by redesignating the items relating to sections 304 and 305 as relating to sections 306 and 307; and (B) by inserting after the item relating to section 303 the following new items: ``Sec. 304. Early voting.

    ``Sec. 305. Preventing unreasonable waiting times for voters.''.

    (b) Report by Election Assistance Commission.--Not later than June 30 of each odd-numbered year, the Election Assistance Commission shall submit to Congress a report assessing the impact of sections 304 and 305 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (as added by subsection (a)) on the administration of elections for Federal office during the preceding 2-year period, and shall include in the report such recommendations as the Commission considers appropriate.

    (c) No Effect on Authority of State to Provide for Longer Periods of Early Voting or Greater Amount of Resources at Polling Places.--Nothing in this section or in any amendment made by this section may be construed to prohibit a State, with respect to any election for Federal office-- (1) from providing (in an equitable and nondiscriminatory manner) a longer period for early voting than the minimum period required under section 304 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (as added by subsection (a)); or (2) from providing (in an equitable and nondiscriminatory manner) a greater number of systems, poll workers, and other election resources at any polling place than the minimum number required under section 305 of such Act (as added by subsection (a)).

    SEC. 3. REQUIREMENTS FOR COUNTING PROVISIONAL BALLOTS; ESTABLISHMENT OF UNIFORM AND NONDISCRIMINATORY STANDARDS.

    (a) In General.--Section 302 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15482) is amended-- (1) by redesignating subsection (d) as subsection (f); and (2) by inserting after subsection (c) the following new subsections: ``(d) Statewide Counting of Provisional Ballots.-- ``(1) In general.--For purposes of subsection (a)(4), notwithstanding the precinct or polling place at which a provisional ballot is cast within the State, the appropriate election official shall count each vote on such ballot for each election in which the individual who cast such ballot is eligible to vote.

    ``(2) Effective date.--This subsection shall apply with respect to elections held on or after January 1, 2014.

    ``(e) Uniform and Nondiscriminatory Standards.-- ``(1) In general.--Consistent with the requirements of this section, each State shall establish uniform and nondiscriminatory standards for the issuance, handling, and counting of provisional ballots.

    ``(2) Effective date.--This subsection shall apply with respect to elections held on or after January 1, 2014.''.

    (b) Conforming Amendment.--Section 302(f) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 15482(f)), as redesignated by subsection (a), is amended by striking ``Each State'' and inserting ``Except as provided in subsections (d)(2) and (e)(2), each State''.

    SEC. 4. AVAILABILITY OF CIVIL PENALTIES AND PRIVATE RIGHTS OF ACTION TO ENFORCE HELP AMERICA VOTE ACT OF 2002.

    (a) Availability of Civil Penalties and Private Rights of Action.--Section 401 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15511) is amended to read as follows: ``SEC. 401. ENFORCEMENT.

    ``(a) Action by Attorney General.-- ``(1) In general.--The Attorney General may bring a civil action against any State or jurisdiction in an appropriate United States District Court for such declaratory and injunctive relief (including a temporary restraining order, a permanent or temporary injunction, or other order) as may be necessary to carry out the requirements of subtitle A of title III.

    ``(2) Assessment of civil money penalty.--In a civil action brought under paragraph (1), if the court finds that the State or jurisdiction violated any provision of subtitle A of title III, it may, to vindicate the public interest, assess a civil penalty against the State or jurisdiction-- ``(A) in an amount not to exceed $110,000 for each such violation, in the case of a first violation; or ``(B) in an amount not to exceed $220,000 for each such violation, for any subsequent violation.

    ``(3) Intervention.--Upon timely application, a person aggrieved by a violation of subtitle A of title III with respect to which a civil action is commenced under paragraph (1) may intervene in such action, and may obtain such appropriate relief as the person could obtain in a civil action under subsection (b) with respect to that violation, along with costs and a reasonable attorney fee.

    ``(4) Report to congress.--Not later than December 31 of each year, the Attorney General shall submit to Congress an annual report on any civil action brought under paragraph (1) during the preceding year.

    ``(b) Private Right of Action.-- ``(1) Availability.--A person who is aggrieved by a State's or jurisdiction's violation of subtitle A of title III may bring a civil action in an appropriate United States District Court for such declaratory or injunctive relief as may be necessary to carry out the requirements of such subtitle.

    ``(2) Costs and attorney fees.--The court may award to a person aggrieved by a violation of subtitle A of title III who prevails in an action brought under paragraph (1) the costs of the action, including a reasonable attorney fee.''.

    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents of such Act is amended by amending the item relating to section 401 to read as follows: ``Sec. 401. Enforcement.''.

    (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to violations alleged to have occurred on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.

    Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California (during the reading). Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to dispense with the reading of the motion.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from California? There was no objection.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the previous question is ordered on the motion to commit.

    There was no objection.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion to commit.

    The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that the noes appeared to have it.

    Recorded Vote Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Madam Speaker, I demand a recorded vote.

    A recorded vote was ordered.

    The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 194, nays 229, not voting 6, as follows: [Roll No. 5] YEAS--194 Andrews Barber Barrow Bass Beatty Becerra Bera Bishop (GA) Bishop (NY) Bonamici Brady (PA) Braley (IA) Brown (FL) Brownley (CA) Bustos Butterfield Capps Capuano Cardenas Carney Carson (IN) Cartwright Castor (FL) Castro (TX) Chu Cicilline Clarke Clay Cleaver Clyburn Cohen Connolly Conyers Cooper Costa Courtney Crowley Cuellar Cummings Davis (CA) Davis, Danny DeFazio DeGette Delaney DeLauro DelBene Deutch Dingell Doggett Doyle Duckworth Edwards Ellison Engel Enyart Esty Farr Fattah Foster Frankel (FL) Fudge Gabbard Gallego Garamendi Garcia Grayson Green, Al Green, Gene Grijalva Gutierrez Hahn Hanabusa Hastings (FL) Heck (WA) Higgins Himes Hinojosa Holt Honda Horsford Hoyer Huffman Israel Jackson Lee Jeffries Johnson (GA) Johnson, E. B.

    Jones Kaptur Keating Kennedy Kildee Kilmer Kind Kirkpatrick Kuster Langevin Larsen (WA) Larson (CT) Lee (CA) Levin Lipinski Loebsack Lofgren Lowenthal Lowey Lujan Grisham (NM) Lujan, Ben Ray (NM) Lynch Maffei Maloney, Carolyn Maloney, Sean Markey Matheson Matsui McCarthy (NY) McCollum McDermott McGovern McNerney Meeks Meng Michaud Miller, George Moore Moran Murphy (FL) Nadler Napolitano Neal Negrete McLeod Nolan O'Rourke Owens Pallone Pascrell Pastor (AZ) Payne Pelosi Perlmutter Peters (CA) Peters (MI) Peterson Pingree (ME) Pocan Polis Price (NC) Quigley Rahall Rangel Richmond Ruiz Ruppersberger Rush Ryan (OH) Sanchez, Linda T.

    Sanchez, Loretta Sarbanes Schakowsky Schiff Schneider Schrader Schwartz Scott (VA) Scott, David Serrano Sewell (AL) Shea-Porter Sherman Sinema Sires Slaughter Smith (WA) Swalwell (CA) Thompson (CA) Thompson (MS) Tierney Titus Tonko Tsongas Van Hollen Vargas Veasey Vela Velazquez Visclosky Walz Wasserman Schultz Waters Watt Waxman Welch Wilson (FL) Yarmuth NAYS--229 Aderholt Alexander Amash Amodei Bachmann Bachus Barletta Barr Barton Benishek Bentivolio Bilirakis Bishop (UT) Black Blackburn Bonner Boustany Brady (TX) Bridenstine Brooks (AL) Brooks (IN) Broun (GA) Buchanan Bucshon Burgess Calvert Camp Campbell Cantor Capito Carter Cassidy Chabot Chaffetz Coble Coffman Cole Collins (GA) Collins (NY) Conaway Cook Cotton Cramer Crawford Crenshaw Culberson Daines Davis, Rodney Denham Dent DeSantis DesJarlais Diaz-Balart Duffy Duncan (SC) Duncan (TN) Ellmers Emerson Farenthold Fincher Fitzpatrick Fleischmann Fleming Flores Forbes Fortenberry [[Page H22]] Foxx Franks (AZ) Frelinghuysen Gardner Garrett Gerlach Gibbs Gibson Gingrey (GA) Gohmert Goodlatte Gosar Gowdy Granger Graves (GA) Graves (MO) Griffin (AR) Griffith (VA) Grimm Guthrie Hall Hanna Harper Harris Hartzler Hastings (WA) Heck (NV) Hensarling Herrera Beutler Holding Hudson Huelskamp Huizenga (MI) Hultgren Hunter Hurt Issa Jenkins Johnson (OH) Johnson, Sam Jordan Joyce Kelly King (IA) King (NY) Kingston Kinzinger (IL) Kline Labrador LaMalfa Lamborn Lance Lankford Latham Latta LoBiondo Long Lucas Luetkemeyer Lummis Marchant Marino Massie McCarthy (CA) McCaul McClintock McHenry McKeon McKinley McMorris Rodgers Meadows Meehan Messer Mica Miller (FL) Miller (MI) Miller, Gary Mullin Murphy (PA) Neugebauer Noem Nugent Nunes Nunnelee Olson Palazzo Paulsen Pearce Perry Petri Pitts Poe (TX) Pompeo Posey Price (GA) Radel Reed Reichert Renacci Ribble Rice (SC) Rigell Roby Roe (TN) Rogers (AL) Rogers (KY) Rogers (MI) Rohrabacher Rokita Rooney Ros-Lehtinen Roskam Ross Rothfus Royce Runyan Ryan (WI) Salmon Scalise Schock Schweikert Scott, Austin Sensenbrenner Sessions Shimkus Shuster Simpson Smith (NE) Smith (NJ) Smith (TX) Southerland Stewart Stivers Stockman Stutzman Terry Thompson (PA) Thornberry Tiberi Tipton Turner Upton Valadao Wagner Walberg Walden Walorski Weber (TX) Webster (FL) Wenstrup Westmoreland Whitfield Williams Wilson (SC) Wittman Wolf Womack Woodall Yoder Yoho Young (AK) Young (FL) Young (IN) NOT VOTING--6 Eshoo McIntyre Mulvaney Pittenger Speier Takano {time} 1639 Messrs. McHENRY and JOYCE changed their vote from ``yea'' to ``nay.'' Mrs. NEGRETE McLEOD changed her vote from ``nay'' to ``yea.'' So the motion to commit was rejected.

    The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

    Stated for: Mr. TANAKO. Mr. Speaker, during rollcall vote No. 5, on the Motion to commit, I was unavoidably detained. Had I been present, I would have voted ``yea.'' Stated for: Mr. PITTENGER. Mr. Speaker, on rollcall No. 5, I was unavoidably detained. Had I been present, I would have voted ``nay.'' The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Latham). The question is on the resolution.

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