| Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 5665 (ih) To amend title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to adjust the monthly multiemployer plan benefit guaranteed thereunder. [Introduced in House] ...
H.R. 5665 (ih) To amend title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to adjust the monthly multiemployer plan benefit guaranteed thereunder. [Introduced in House] ...
106th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 5664 To establish the 21st Century Bipartisan Electoral Commission to make recommendations to carry out a Voters' Bill of Rights for the 21st century, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES December 14, 2000 Mr. Markey introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration, and in addition to the Committees on the Judiciary, and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To establish the 21st Century Bipartisan Electoral Commission to make recommendations to carry out a Voters' Bill of Rights for the 21st century, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Voters' Bill of Rights for the 21st Century''. SEC. 2. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING RIGHTS OF AMERICAN VOTERS. It is the sense of Congress that American voters in the 21st century should be entitled to the following rights: (1) The right to a ballot format that permits clear identification of candidates and the accurate implementation of voter's preferences in the selection of candidates. (2) The right in the Information Age to use a technology to select candidates that is fair and user friendly. (3) The right to vote in a manner not prejudiced by media announcements of election results in time zones where the polls have closed or when races are too close to call. (4) The right to vote in a manner not subject to intimidation. (5) The right of members of the uniformed service and civilians who vote by absentee ballot to have their votes counted on Election Day. (6) The right to have a uniform statewide standard for counting and recounting all votes. (7) The right to have an Electoral College which reflects the preferences of voters in a fair and accurate manner. (8) The right to have complaints about elections and election contests resolved fairly, accurately, and efficiently. (9) The right to vote on a day of the week which maximizes voter turnout. (10) The right to make the most informed decision on Election Day. TITLE I--21ST CENTURY BIPARTISAN ELECTORAL COMMISSION SEC. 101. ESTABLISHMENT; PURPOSE. (a) Establishment.--There is hereby established the 21st Century Bipartisan Electoral Commission (hereafter in this Act referred to as the ``Commission''). (b) Purpose.--It is the purpose of the Commission to protect and enforce the rights described in section 2 by carrying out the duties specified under this title. SEC. 102. MEMBERSHIP; APPOINTMENT. (a) Membership.--The Commission shall be composed of 20 members with the qualifications described in subsection (b), who shall be appointed as follows: (1) 5 shall be appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, of whom not more than 2 may be elected officials and not fewer than 3 shall be individuals who are not officers or employees of the Federal Government. (2) 5 shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, of whom not more than 2 may be elected officials and not fewer than 3 shall be individuals who are not officers or employees of the Federal Government. (3) 5 shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, of whom not more than 2 may be elected officials and not fewer than 3 shall be individuals who are not officers or employees of the Federal Government. (4) 5 shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, of whom not more than 2 may be elected officials and not fewer than 3 shall be individuals who are not officers or employees of the Federal Government. (b) Qualifications of Members.-- (1) In general.--Members shall be appointed from among individuals who have expertise in Federal and State election laws, the United States Constitution, voting rights, voting technology or other pertinent qualifications or experience. (2) Other considerations.--In appointing members of the Commission, every effort shall be made to ensure that the members represent a broad cross section of regional and demographic perspectives in the United States. (c) Period of Appointment; Vacancies.--(1) Members of the Commission shall be appointed not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act. Appointments shall be for the life of the Commission. (2) Any vacancy in the Commission shall not affect the powers of the Commission, and shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. (d) Chair and Vice Chair.--The members of the Commission shall elect a chair and vice chair from among the members of the Commission, except that the chair and vice chair may not belong to the same political party. (e) Schedule of Meetings and Hearings.--The Commission shall hold meetings and hearings under such schedule as the chair may determine in consultation with the vice chair. (f) Quorum.--A majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. SEC. 103. DUTIES. (a) In General.--The duties of the Commission shall be as follows: (1) The Commission shall develop a uniform ballot format for Presidential elections that is clear, accurate, and presents candidates in a readily recognizable way. The ballot must be easy to use for all age groups and America's diverse population. (2) The Commission shall evaluate existing voting technologies to determine their accuracy and effectiveness in reflecting voter's intentions and report back to Congress on the results with the intent of utilizing the most effective methods in future elections. (3) The Commission shall make recommendations to Congress about the feasibility of a Federal matching grant program for States to implement changes in ballot formats and to purchase new, more accurate, and user-friendly voting machines and tabulation technologies. (4) The Commission shall make recommendations about a method of voter identification to ensure accurate recognition of voters, while insuring that no voter is subject to intimidation of any kind in casting votes. (5) The Commission shall establish, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense and the Postmaster General of the United States, standards for military voting that address issues of postmarks, witnessing, and time of receipt of ballots to ensure that the votes of members of the uniformed services are counted on Election Day. (6) The Commission shall establish standards for civilian absentee ballots that address issues of voter identification, witnessing, and time of receipt to ensure that these ballots are counted on Election Day. (7) The Commission shall make recommendations to establish a uniform poll closing time. (8) The Commission shall make recommendations on the appropriateness of changing Election Day in Presidential election years to the first Sunday in November to increase voter participation. (9) The Commission shall reassess the electoral college and evaluate strategies to better reflect voters intentions across the country for electing the President and Vice President in the 21st century, whether by leaving the current provisions unchanged, using only the direct popular vote, using proportional electoral college votes depending on the popular vote in each State, or by such other strategies as it may consider. (10) The Commission shall examine State laws to determine whether or not each State has a uniform statewide standard for vote tabulation, protests, and contests of national, State, and local elections which would protect against equal protection violations under the Constitution. (11) The Commission shall make recommendations on conducting a 21st Century Voter Education Campaign to make its recommendations and the implementation of those recommendations available to the public through a variety of media. (b) Consultation With Officials.--In carrying out its duties under this section, the Commission shall seek guidance from the governors of the States and from State and local election officials. SEC. 104. FINAL REPORT. (a) In General.--Not later than 24 months after the date of the initial meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall submit to the President and the Congress a final report including-- (1) the findings and conclusions of the Commission with respect to each duty specified under section 103(a); and (2) recommendations for addressing the problems identified as part of the Commission's analysis. (b) Separate Views.--Any member of the Commission may submit additional findings and recommendations as part of the final report. SEC. 105. POWERS. (a) Hearings.--The Commission may hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the Commission may find advisable to fulfill the requirements of this Act. (b) Information From Federal Agencies.--The Commission may secure directly from any Federal department or agency such information as the Commission considers necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act. Upon request of the chairperson of the Commission, the head of such department or agency shall furnish such information to the Commission. (c) Postal Services.--The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the Federal Government. SEC. 106. COMMISSION PERSONNEL MATTERS. (a) Compensation.--Members of the Commission shall serve without pay, but shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, at rates authorized for employees of agencies under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States Code, while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Commission. (b) Staff.--(1) The chairperson of the Commission may appoint staff of the Commission, request the detail of Federal employees, and accept temporary and intermittent services in accordance with section 3161 of title 5, United States Code. (2) The employment of an executive director of the Commission shall be subject to the approval of the Commission. (3) The rate of pay for the executive director and other personnel of the Commission may not exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of such title. SEC. 107. SUPPORT SERVICES. The Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission on a reimbursable basis such administrative support services as the Commission may request. SEC. 108. WEBSITE. The Commission shall establish and operate a website to facilitate public comment on and participation in its activities. SEC. 109. TERMINATION. The Commission shall terminate not later than 30 days after the date the Commission submits its final report under section 104. SEC. 110. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. There are authorized to be appropriated $10,000,000 for the Commission to carry out this Act, to remain available for the first 3 fiscal years which begin after the date of the enactment of this Act. TITLE II--REVIEW OF ROLE OF MEDIA SEC. 201. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING VOLUNTARY AGREEMENT ON ELECTION REPORTING BY MEDIA. It is the sense of Congress that broadcasters and other members of the media should review and take steps to strengthen their participation in the voluntary agreement on election reporting described in the report entitled ``Single Poll Closing Time for Presidential General Elections in the Continental United States'' (Part 1 of House Report 101-15, One Hundred First Congress, as printed on March 23, 1989). <all>
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