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Press Release Published: Jun 7, 2023

Hearing Wrap Up: Americans Should Be Confident that Elections are Safe and Secure

Lawmakers champion the ACE Act, which will ensure a safe, accessible, and secure election system

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability and Committee on House Administration held a joint hearing titled “American Confidence In Elections: The Path To Election Integrity In The District Of Columbia.” At the hearing, members and witnesses highlighted how local elections suffer from a lack of election safeguards, outdated voter rolls, and rampant ballot harvesting tactics. As a result, election uncertainty has dramatically increased, and Americans are losing confidence in the electoral process. Congress has a responsibility to examine election integrity reforms and members noted the District of Columbia, the nation’s capital city, can set an example for the country. Members championed the the American Confidence in Elections (ACE) Act, which will advance best practices, serve as a blueprint for state election laws, and ensure a safe, accessible, and secure election system for all Americans.  

Key Takeaways:

Americans are rapidly losing confidence in the nation’s electoral process because of inadequate election policy safeguards and a failure by local leaders to prioritize transparency.

  • Mr. Charlie Spies, Attorney, Dickinson Wright: “We are facing a crisis of voter confidence in this county. As recent polls demonstrated, 37% of Democratic-leaning voters and 71% of Republican-leaning voters shared concerns about the election system accurately reflecting the will of the voters… Well-run and transparent elections that ensure every eligible voter is able to cast their ballot create confidence in our elections.”
  • Mr. Kenneth Cuccinelli, Chairman, Election Transparency Initiative Committee: “D.C. should be the gold standard for fair and honest elections in which every legal vote is cast and counted openly, equally, and with the highest standard of integrity. Current D.C. election laws are fraught with a host of anti-election integrity procedures and practices which unfortunately do more to sow doubt, confusion, and mistrust than they do to inspire confidence and trust in elections that are fair, secure, and transparent.

Congress needs to get serious about election integrity reforms and implement a comprehensive plan to restore confidence in D.C.’s electoral system.

  • Mr. Kenneth Cuccinelli, Chairman, Election Transparency Initiative Committee: “Our constitution provides that Congress has exclusive jurisdiction over D.C. elections but limited jurisdiction over the states. Congress can require reforms to D.C. elections because Article I, Section 8, Clause 17 of the Constitution gives Congress the power.

The American Confidence in Elections Act, or ACE Act, can serve as a model for the rest of the country. The legislation would build voter confidence, equip states, protect Americans’ political speech, and ensure overdue election integrity measures for the District of Columbia. 

  • Mr. Charlie Spies, Attorney, Dickinson Wright: “The Ace Act contains numerous provisions to ensure DC elections are well-run and transparent. It would ensure D.C. elections are a model for the nation, by cleaning up the voter rolls, adding voter ID requirements, prohibiting ballot harvesting, ending noncitizen voting, and expanding effective election observation.

Member Highlights:

Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) emphasized that the lack of election policy safeguards and the abuse of ballot harvesting has delayed election results and created uncertainty. He noted that Americans should have confidence in the nation’s electoral process and highlighted the importance of the ACE Act.

Chairman Comer: “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. 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.”

Chairman Comer also stressed that the radical D.C. Council pushed to allow noncitizens the right to vote in local elections. Congress has constitutional jurisdiction over the nation’s capital, and he emphasized that the ACE Act would enable D.C. local elections to be a model for the country.

Chairman Comer: “Mr. Cuccinelli do you agree that allowing foreign nations, including foreign nations from countries that are opening hostile to the United States, to cast votes in the elections in the U.S. Capital and that these pose serious security risks?”  

Mr. Kenneth Cuccinelli: “I certainly do. I find it a rather brazen invitation to foreign interreference in a local election.”

Chairman Comer: “The ACE Act would prohibit a noncitizen from voting in a D.C. election… The ACE Act implements best practices and has our capital become a poster child for safe and secure elections. Do you believe the reforms contemplated by the ACE Act would bring us closer to this goal?”

Mr. Kenneth Cuccinelli: “Much closer.”

Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.) highlighted the importance of promoting policy safeguards to prevent election fraud. He noted that the ACE Act would require a photo ID before casting a ballot.   

Rep. Palmer: “I want talk about the ACE Act and requiring the presence of voter ID before casting a ballot. Would that lessen the probability of election fraud?

Mr. Kenneth Cuccinelli: “It would.”

Rep. Palmer: “There is a large percentage of Americans that have lost confidence in our elections. From my perspective, there should be zero election fraud. How do you feel about that?”

Mr. Kenneth Cuccinelli: “I agree… We want the best run, cleanest, most accessible elections. We also want them to be clearly run with integrity. The appearance is important to the confidence and the outcome.”    

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) stressed that Congress has a responsibility to evaluate and reform election laws to ensure a safe and secure electoral system.       

Rep. Grothman: “We have no idea when ballots are filled out fairly or if people are being coached… Hopefully Congress can step in and address these flaws.”

Rep. Nick Langworthy (R-N.Y.) pointed out that election laws pushed by radical Democrats in the nation’s capital threaten the integrity and security of its local elections. He emphasized that the ACE Act is set to be a blueprint for states to adopt commonsense election laws.  

Rep. Langworthy: “Americans should have confidence in their elections. Congress is given tremendous authority over the District of Columbia. This includes authority over elections within the District. What actions could Congress take to help secure elections?”

Mr. Kenneth Cuccinelli: “The ACE Act is a good step. You have the greatest authority in the District of Columbia… There are problems across the country. Many places don’t have measures in place to catch fraudulent activity. Certainly, what’s contained in the ACE Act, like photo ID, is good…” 

Rep. Langworthy: “I will continue to fight for American values. Elections should be safe and secure. We shouldn’t throw away centuries of progress. This isn’t only a national security threat, but a slap in the face to American citizens who cherish our freedom.”

Comer: Americans Must Have Confidence That Our Nation’s Elections Are Free and Fair

CLICK HERE to watch the hearing.