WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott introduced the Verifiable, Orderly, & Timely Election Results (VOTER) Act to 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.

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. 

Senator Rick Scott said, “Voting is fundamental to our democracy and it is a sacred right that we must protect and cherish. I always say we need 100% participation and 0% 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 Verifiable, Orderly, & Timely Election Results (VOTER) Act:

  •  Establishes uniform standards for mail-in voting in federal elections
    • Defines deadlines to request and return vote-by-mail ballots
      • Mail-in ballots must be requested at least 21 days before a federal election
      • Mail-in ballots must be returned and received by the time polls close on Election Day
    • Protects the integrity of federal elections with fraud prevention measures 
      • Requests for mail-in ballots must enable the local elections official to confirm the requester’s identity, voter registration, and registered address
      • Mail-in ballots must include an attestation that the voter:
        • Is the person to whom the mail-in ballot was sent, and
        • Will not attempt to vote in-person after voting by mail
      • Voter rolls provided to physical polling locations must identify which registered voters received a mail-in ballot to enable poll workers to inquire about the mail-in ballot if the individual appears in-person to vote
      • Prohibits the possession of another person’s mail-in ballot, with limited exceptions for immediate family members and caregivers
  • Promotes the timely reporting of election results
    • Requires voting precincts to report the total number of in-person and mail-in ballots received one hour after polls close to identify the total universe of votes to be counted in the election
    • Requires all eligible ballots to be counted and reported within 24 hours after polls close on Election Day to promote certainty in the outcome of a federal election

 

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