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.

Click here for Comparison of House and Senate Election Reform Proposals Fact Sheet

Click here for Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook s statement on Dodd-McConnell Election Reform Bill and Two Key Amendments

Click here for Public Citizen s press release on the Senate-Passed bill.

Click here for Letter to Senator Dodd Endorsing Senate Consideration of S. 565

Click here for Letter to the Senate Supporting, with reservations, the Dodd-McConnell-Bond-Schumer-Torricelli Legislation

Click here to return to Public Citizen's Election Reform page.