Recent elections have revealed serious and concerning safeguard gaps in the election process. It’s time your state leaders address the vulnerable areas that currently exist in the election system by swiftly passing state legislation.
It is the responsibility of your state legislature to ensure the election process is fair and legal.
The Heritage Foundation put together nine best practice recommendations for state legislatures to implement. This list is not comprehensive of all election reforms that may be needed in your state, but it is a good starting place to protect against election fraud.
Contact your state legislators and urge them to make sure all nine of these practices are part of your state law.
- Verify the accuracy of voter registration lists. Make sure computerized statewide lists can be compared to other state record databases for voters’ latest information on any change of address.
- Verify citizenship of voters. States should have laws in place requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote and should cross-reference the information with the Department of Homeland Security records. It is federal law that only American citizens can cast a ballot.
- Require voter ID. A voter should be required by state law to provide identification with a government-issued ID.
- Limit absentee ballots. This process of voting should be reserved only for those who have disabilities or who will be out of town on election day.
- Prevent vote trafficking, also known as ballot harvesting. This is when third parties (such as Facebook, candidates, and political parties) collect ballots and bring them to the polling place. There is no supervision for this practice and, therefore, it is a practice prone to fraud. State law should prohibit all forms of ballot harvesting.
- Allow election observers complete access to the election process. The only limitation that should be placed on an election observer is that they are not permitted to interfere with the voting and counting process. Otherwise, election observers should have access to observe the process, including the verification of ballots and opening of absentee ballots to help ensure a legal election.
- Provide voting assistance. Any individual providing assistance to a voter due to a disability should be required to fill out a form with their name, address, and reason their assistance is needed. The form should be filed with the poll election officials.
- Prohibit early voting counting. Ballots should not be counted until the polls close on election day to avoid any premature release of election results. However, if a state must allow for early vote counting, states should ensure that any early release of election results before the evening of Election Day is subject to criminal penalties.
- Provide state legislatures with legal standing. States should ensure they have legal standing (through a constitutional amendment or state law) to sue other state officials if necessary for making unauthorized changes to state election laws.