What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Ensuring Fair Elections : (H.R. 512) Final passage of legislation prohibiting chief state election officials (state officials charged with supervising state and federal elections) – including secretaries of state -- from taking an active role in campaigns for federal elections over which they have supervisory authority
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(H.R. 512) Final passage of legislation prohibiting chief state election officials (state officials charged with supervising state and federal elections) – including secretaries of state -- from taking an active role in campaigns for federal elections over which they have supervisory authority
house Roll Call 563     Sep 29, 2010
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This was a vote on a motion to suspend the rules and pass legislation prohibiting chief state election officials (state officials charged with supervising state and federal elections) – including secretaries of state -- from taking an active role in federal campaigns for elections over which they have supervisory authority. (For example, if a state official were responsible for supervising an election for U.S. Senate, he or she would be prohibited from taking in active role in any campaign for that U.S. Senate seat.) The bill did not, however, prohibit state election officials from taking an active role in campaigns for state offices.

Motions to suspend the rules limit time allowed for debate, and prohibit members from offering amendments. A two-thirds vote is required to approve the motion and pass a bill, rather than the usual majority.

Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) urged support for the bill: “…This isn't a partisan issue. It's an issue of preserving the American people's faith and the integrity of our democracy. This bill will finally close the door on inherent conflict of interest. It certainly won't solve everything, but it will help prevent future controversies.”

Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) urged opposition to the bill: “…We should proceed with great caution before depriving any individual state…of their full rights as citizens to participate in the electoral process….The bill does prohibit the chief state election administrator from taking an active role in a political campaign of any federal office. And while this bill places significant restrictions on the ability of secretaries of State to participate in the political process, it does so, in my judgment, without producing any justification why such a drastic action is warranted.”

The House agreed to the motion to suspend the rules and pass this bill by a vote of 296-129. 251 Democrats and 45 Republicans voted “yea.” 128 Republicans and 1 Democrat voted “nay.” As a result, the House passed legislation prohibiting chief state election officials from taking an active role in federal campaigns for elections over which they have supervisory authority.

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