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Congressman John Larson

Representing the 1st District of Connecticut

Larson Announces Introduction of Legislation to Help Strengthen Our Democracy

January 3, 2013
Press Release

Washington - Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01), Chairman of the Task Force on Election Reform, announced today that following the swearing in of the U.S House of Representatives, members of the Task Force on Election Reform introduced legislation aimed at strengthening our democracy by addressing several major problems with our electoral process. Congressman Chris Van Hollen reintroduced the DISCLOSE Act, and Congressman George Miller and Congressman James Clyburn reintroduced the SIMPLE Voting Act.

"The urgent need to address flaws in the electoral system became even clearer after our most recent election," said Larson. "It is crucial that we work to end voter suppression and civil rights abuses, make it easier for citizens to cast ballots, and inject much needed transparency into the campaign finance system. These two bills are important and practical steps toward correcting the problems facing our electoral system, and I look forward to continuing to work with the task force on this effort to restore the government to the people."

"I'm pleased today to reintroduce the DISCLOSE Act. Coupled with the SIMPLE Voting Act introduced by Congressmen Miller and Clyburn, we are making important strides to reform the electoral process by ensuring timely access to the ballot box and disclosure of secret outside spending. Voters deserve a political system that is fair, transparent, and accountable. These bills will help return our democratic process to the American people," said Van Hollen.

"Americans shouldn't have to wait for hours and hours to cast a ballot – and the fact that they had to do so in the 2012 election is absolutely unacceptable. Voting is one of the most fundamental rights in our democracy and we must ensure that that right is protected," said Rep. George Miller. "The framers of the Constitution established a government determined and defined by the will of the people, shaped by the decisions of the voters, and sustained by free and fair elections. The SIMPLE Voting Act is one important step in the effort to restore the vision of the framers."

Passed by the House in 2010, the DISCLOSE Act ensures greater transparency in the electoral process by requiring greater disclosure from corporations and organizations that make political expenditures.

The SIMPLE Voting Act requires states to provide 15 days for early voting and ensure that no voter is forced to wait more than one hour in line to vote, and provides the Department of Justice with greater authority to enforce this law and bring civil action against states and jurisdictions that fail to comply with its provisions.

The Task Force on Election Reform was created by Leader Nancy Pelosi to develop a legislative agenda for reforms to the electoral process under the D.A.R.E. (Disclose, Amend, Reform, and Empower) framework for the 113th Congress.