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February 24, 2021

ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL URGES PASSAGE OF THE FOR THE PEOPLE ACT OF 2021

Act is a Comprehensive Package of Reforms to Address Voter Suppression, Foreign Interference in Elections and Raise Ethical Standards of Federal Officials

Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 21 attorneys general, today sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging support for H.R. 1/S. 1, the For the People Act of 2021. The legislation is an omnibus package of democracy reforms designed to expand access to the ballot, protect elections from foreign interference, force disclosure of dark money in federal elections and raise ethical standards for federal officials.

According to a Brennan Center report, at least 165 bills in 33 states have been introduced to restrict voting access this year – four times the number of similar bills introduced last year. Despite confirmation that there was no evidence of widespread fraud or irregularity in the 2020 election, state legislators have seized upon baseless voter-fraud allegations to curtail mail-in voting options, impose stringent voter ID requirements, limit voter registration opportunities and allow even more aggressive purging of voter rolls.

“Despite confirmation that there was absolutely no widespread fraud during the 2020 election, a disturbingly high number of state legislatures are using baseless allegations of irregularities to support efforts to restrict voting access,” Raoul said. “With so many states seeking to prevent their citizens from exercising their right to vote, I am urging Congress to pass this legislation to improve access to the ballot and protect our elections.”

The act includes several measures that would neutralize efforts to suppress voter turnout and modernize access to the ballot by:

  • Requiring states to implement online registration.
  • Establishing automatic voter registration.
  • Prohibiting unnecessary purges of the voting rolls.
  • Requiring states to permit voters in federal elections to submit a sworn statement to meet ID requirements.
  • Expanding access to federal elections through early voting and mail-in voting.
  • Prohibiting the knowing dissemination of false information about elections and stiffening penalties for voter intimidation.

Additionally, the act would close dark-money loopholes by requiring disclosure when wealthy donors give $10,000 or more to a group that spends money on elections.

Finally, the act seeks to close legal loopholes that allow the president and certain federal officials to evade accountability for personally profiting from their offices by:

  • Heightening disclosure requirements applicable to the president.
  • Requiring the holder of the Office of the President to divest from financial interests that pose a conflict of interest.
  • Providing the Office of Government Ethics with enhanced enforcement powers.
  • Prohibiting members of Congress from serving on the board of directors of for-profit entities during their terms in office.
  • Requiring the Judicial Conference of the United States to develop a code of ethics applicable to Supreme Court justices.

Joining Raoul in sending the letter are the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

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