The Dodd-McConnell Bill
The Senate passed S.565, sponsored by Senators Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), by 99-1 on April 11, 2002. While numerous election reform bills have been proposed, only one, S. 565, has passed a branch of Congress with strong national voting standards: enabling voters to correct errors, providing access to the polls for the disabled and those with limited English proficiency, and mandating state-wide computerized registration systems. It has a $3.5 billion grant program focused on achieving these standards.
However, S. 565 contains some significant flaws. These include an excessive and discriminatory photo ID requirement for voting that will disenfranchise immigrants, students, and disabled voters, changing the Motor Voter Act so that registrants can be removed from voter rolls without their knowledge, allowing a "safe harbor" provision for states to delay implementation of minimum national voting standards until 2010, and exempting punch-card and certain other machines from guaranteeing that voters can correct ballots. We oppose these harmful provisions and believe that they must be removed as the two bills get resolved in a House-Senate conference.