WASHINGTON – Today, House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) delivered opening remarks at a joint committee hearing titled “American Confidence In Elections: The Path To Election Integrity In The District Of Columbia.” In his opening statement, Chairman Comer emphasized that Americans should have confidence in the nation’s electoral process. He noted that the lack of election policy safeguards and the ongoing abuse of ballot harvesting has delayed results and created uncertainty. He highlighted the importance of the American Confidence in Elections Act, or the ACE Act, which would ensure a safe, accessible, and secure election system. He stressed that the nation’s capital, which falls squarely under Congress’s jurisdiction, could adopt these best practices and serve as a model for the rest of the country. He concluded that this legislation works to restore confidence in our election systems.
Below are Chairman Comer’s remarks as prepared for delivery.
Today, we gather with our friends at the Committee on House Administration to consider the election laws of the District of Columbia and the provisions of Title One, Subtitle D of the American Confidence in Elections Act, or the ACE Act.
The right to vote is a hallmark of our Republic.
Americans’ voices are heard when their ballots are cast.
Americans must have confidence that our nation’s elections are free and fair.
Unfortunately, in recent years we have witnessed firsthand how a lack of safeguards delay election results creating uncertainty.
Political operatives are abusing the practice of ballot harvesting in many jurisdictions across the country.
Mail-in voting has been dramatically expanded without safeguards, hurting the voters’ confidence in our election systems.
For example, ballots are showing up at wrong or outdated addresses due to inaccurate voter lists. Ballots are even being sent to voters who have died.
The primary characteristics of the American voting system should be transparency and certainty, not confusion and doubt.
The American people should be confident in our voting processes and confident their vote counts.
And that includes in our Nation’s capital.
That is why we are introducing the ACE Act.
The ACE Act sets forth best practices to ensure a safe, accessible, and secure election system.
Our Nation’s capital, which falls squarely under Congress’s jurisdiction, will adopt these best practices and serve as a model for the rest of the country.
This system will:
The ACE Act also respects the federalist approach to our election system enshrined in the Constitution.
Instead of federalizing our electoral system—as our Democrat colleagues tried to do last Congress—the ACE Act respects the states to administer its elections in the best way for the voters of that specific state.
The reforms in the ACE Act will hopefully create a system that other states will look to as a model for a secure election system.
Americans need to have faith that their elections are secure, and this legislation works to restore confidence in these systems.
I look forward to hearing the testimony of our witnesses and to discussing how this body can legislate common-sense reforms to elections in Washington, D.C. that the states can look to as a model for secure and fair elections.