Today, Issue One joined with the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Elections Project to release a new report in partnership with Unite America, R Street, and American Enterprise Institute as the fight to protect our elections continue. Prioritizing Achievable Federal Election Reform builds on existing bipartisan agreements across four key areas — voter registration, casting a ballot, counting the vote, and cyber and physical security — in an effort to bring Republicans and Democrats together to pass key bipartisan election reforms.
“There is a bipartisan path forward to achieve meaningful reforms that will strengthen our elections,” said Issue One Founder and CEO Nick Penniman. “The proposals outlined in this report are rooted in a deep history of broad support across the political spectrum, but we will only cross the finish line if Republicans and Democrats are able to set aside partisan differences and do what’s right for our country. We cannot allow inaction to continue. Passing key bipartisan election reforms is absolutely crucial.”
The report was developed by organizations across the political spectrum who share the same commitment to the principle that American elections should be fair, accessible, secure, and transparent. Despite being the most secure election in American history, the 2020 election highlighted a failing infrastructure system in need of repair and revitalization, from federal funding shortfalls to the process of counting mail-in ballots.
In calling on Congress to pass bipartisan legislation, the report encourages states to adopt a set of best practices that will ensure election systems put voters first. States that meet these practices by 2024 would be eligible for federal grants.
Key policy proposals from the report include:
- Implementing automatic voter registration
- Ensuring at least 7 days of early voting before a federal election
- Providing absentee voting options to all voters
- Pre-processing mail-in ballots seven days before Election Day
- Performing voter list maintenance at regular intervals
- Adhering to minimum cybersecurity standards
- Strengthening efforts to protect election officials from threats and harassment
Red, blue, and purple states have demonstrated a remarkable capability to administer elections without favoring one party over another by prioritizing voters’ needs. According to the report, 71.6% of the recommended 14 standards are already being met by each state. Colorado and Georgia currently meet all recommended standards, while Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington meet all but one. The variety of states closely aligned with these election reform proposals reflects that dynamic.
Issue: Election Administration