U.S. House: CLC Urges Support of Federal Election Integrity Act
On September 28, the Campaign Legal Center urged Members of Congress to move quickly to pass The Federal Election Integrity Act (H.R. 512) sponsored by Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA). The legislation addresses the inherent conflict of interest of top state election officials undertaking direct political activity for candidates over whose election they have supervisory responsibility. Specifically, the bill would bar top elections officials from serving on an authorized campaign committee, using official authority to affect election results, or soliciting donations for a candidate running for Federal office.
The full text of the letter to House Administration Committee Chairman Robert Brady follows below.
September 28, 2010
The Hon. Robert Brady
House Administration Committee
1309 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Brady:
The Campaign Legal Center strongly supports and urges the House to pass H.R 512, the Federal Election Integrity Act, as quickly as possible. The measure seeks to prohibit chief state election officials from serving on campaign committees or engaging in other direct political activity on behalf of Federal candidates in any election over which the official has supervisory authority. The bill includes an exemption when the official or an immediate family member is running for federal office.
Up to now, efforts to protect the integrity of the election process have focused significantly on machines and technology. But in a number of states over the past several years, secretaries of states or other chief election officials have overseen races in which they were candidates or in which they served as state campaign chair for a candidate on the ballot. As the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), has stated, “you can’t be both a player and a referee at the same time.”
In a democracy, it is essential that the citizens have faith in the election process and especially in the integrity of that process. Thus, it is important to ensure that those who oversee elections in a state are impartial and will be seen by the public as impartial. Not serving as a campaign manager for a candidate while overseeing the election should help give voters confidence that the election process will be administered fairly.
This is a nonpartisan issue that merits broad bipartisan support. The Legal Center urges every Member to support passage of H.R. 512 and requests that you enter this letter of support for H.R. 512 into the Record.
J. Gerald Hebert Meredith McGehee
Executive Director Policy Director