(Washington, DC) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa issued the following statement after he, Congressman Bob Gibbs (OH-07), and Congressman Ted Budd (NC-13) introduced H.R. 8815, the Election Certainty Act, a bill that prioritizes election security by fortifying ballots and putting safeguards around the ballot collecting process. The bill comes as a response to widespread distrust of voting systems among many Americans. Recent polls continue to show that everyday Americans are losing trust in the electoral system, especially mailed ballots, and need to see that elections are fair and transparent. To address those concerns, this bill institutes common sense requirements that create a standard for mail in ballots. Specifically, the Election Certainty Act would require:
- Signatures to be completed for all mail-in ballots
- All mail-in and absentee ballots to arrive at the election office by Election Day. No ballots will be accepted after Election Day, ensuring a consistent deadline across the country.
- Ballots may only be turned in on behalf of a voter by a direct family member, and requires they also provide a signature, ending “ballot harvesting”.
LaMalfa said: “America has gone from election day to election months, due to early voting, extensive mail balloting, and late ballots being accepted. Many of these ballots are turned in by paid operatives through ‘ballot harvesting’ or mailed and arrive after the election, giving rise to claims of fraud. This extends the counting of ballots for weeks, rather than Americans having the results on election night. I am focused on creating simple common-sense reforms that ensure the election is transparent and protect all citizens right to vote. If Americans don’t trust the way ballots are counted, they will never trust the outcome of the election and we cannot move forward. Why can’t we have election results on election night or within a few days in the closest of races? Why is California accepting mailed ballots all the way to November 20th, but in Georgia that ended on election day? This election was a complete fiasco with rules being changed repeatedly by out-of-control Governors, a prime example being Gavin Newsom. A clear federal standard fixes those problems and restores Americans’ trust in a most sacred institution -- our right to vote.”
“It is clear there are significant ballot integrity gaps within our elections process. We need clear, definitive rules and secure methods to ensure the mail-in ballot process is transparent and accountable with safeguards that prevent fraud,” said Congressman Bob Gibbs (OH-07). “Signature verifications and serious restrictions on the practice known as ballot harvesting must be the bare minimum for states to conduct early and mail-in voting. Neither should elections officials be waiting around for days and weeks after Election Day for non-military ballots to trickle in. As voting habits change, so must our laws to safeguard our election results.”
“Making sure everyone citizens’ vote is certified, authentic, and on-time are among the most common sense ways for Congress to secure the integrity of our elections,” said Congressman Ted Budd (NC-13). “Now more than ever, the American people deserve some certainty and clarity, and Rep. LaMalfa’s outstanding bill achieves that.”
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.