FREEDOM TO VOTE ACT
Sponsored by Senator Klobuchar with Senators Kaine, King, Manchin, Merkley, Padilla, Tester, and
The Freedom to Vote Act improves access to the ballot for Americans, advances commonsense
election integrity reforms, and protects our democracy from emerging threats. Importantly, this
proposal reflects feedback from state and local election officials to ensure that the people
responsible for implementing these reforms are able to do so effectively. This bill also elevates the
voices of American voters by ending partisan gerrymandering and rooting out the undue influence
of special interest money in our politics.
VOTER ACCESS & ELECTION ADMINISTRATION
This section advances voter access by implementing reliable state best practices for voter
registration and election administration to ensure all Americans can easily exercise their freedom
to vote regardless of where they live.
● Automatic Voter Registration and Online Voter Registration: Enacts an automatic voter
registration system for each state through the state’s motor vehicle agency and ensures voters
in all states have access to online voter registration.
● Election Day Holiday: Makes Election Day a public holiday.
● Uniform Early Voting: Ensures voters have access to at least 15 consecutive days of early
voting for federal elections, including two weekends, while accommodating small election
jurisdictions and vote-by-mail jurisdictions.
● Same Day Voter Registration: Ensures every state offers same day registration at a limited
number of locations for the 2022 elections and at all polling locations by 2024, allowing
election officials, especially in rural areas, time to implement the new requirements.
● Federal Minimum Standards on Vote by Mail and Drop Boxes: Ensures all voters can
request a mail-in ballot, improves the delivery of election mail, and puts in place minimum
standards to ensure drop boxes are available and accessible to all voters.
● Strengthens Voter List Maintenance Standards: Requires that the removal of voters from
the rolls is done on the basis of reliable and objective evidence and prohibits the use of
returned mail sent by third parties to remove voters.
● Counting of Provisional Ballots: Requires provisional ballots to count for all eligible races
within a county, regardless of the precinct they were cast in.
● Standards for Voter Identification: Promotes voter confidence and access by requiring a
uniform national standard for states that require identification for in-person voting, and
allowing voters to present a broad set of identification cards and documents in hard copy and
● Voting Rights Restoration for Returning Citizens: Restores the right to vote in federal
elections for people who have served their time for felony convictions after they are released
● Expanded Voting Access Protections for the Disabled, Native Americans, Military,
Overseas Voters, and Underserved Communities: Includes targeted protections to promote
accessible voting to communities facing unique challenges.
This section includes measures to promote confidence in elections, stop partisan election
subversion, and protect against election interference, both foreign and domestic.
● Preventing State Election Subversion: Establishes federal protections to insulate
nonpartisan state and local officials who administer federal elections from undue partisan
interference or control.
● Protection of Election Records, Election Infrastructure, and Ballot Tabulation:
Strengthens protections for federal election records and election infrastructure in order to
protect the integrity and security of ballots and voting systems.
● Voter-Verified Paper Ballots, Reliable Audits, and Voting System Upgrades: Requires
states to use voting systems that use paper ballots that can be verified by voters and to
implement reliable post-election audits. Also provides grants for states to purchase new and
more secure voting systems and make cybersecurity improvements.
● Non-Partisan Election Official Recruitment and Training: Tasks the Election Assistance
Commission with developing model training programs to recruit a new generation of election
workers and provides dedicated grants for training and recruitment.
● Comprehensive Voting System Security Protections: Puts in place election vendor
cybersecurity standards, including standards for manufacturing and assembling voting
machines, among other key security measures.
● Establishing Duty to Report Foreign Election Interference: Creates a reporting requirement
for federal campaigns to disclose certain foreign contacts.
CIVIC PARTICIPATION & EMPOWERMENT
This section prevents partisan manipulation of the redistricting process, establishes uniform
disclosure standards for money in politics, and empowers states to make critical investments in
their election systems.
● Non-Partisan Redistricting Reform and Banning Partisan Gerrymandering: Requires
states to abide by specific criteria for congressional redistricting and makes judicial remedies
available for states’ failure to comply. Allows states to choose how to develop redistricting
plans, including the option of having an independent redistricting commission.
● Combatting Secret Money and Election Interference (DISCLOSE Act and Honest Ads
Act): Requires super PACs, 501(c)(4) groups, and other organizations spending money in
elections to disclose donors and shuts down the use of transfers between organizations to
cloak the identity of contributors. Ensures that political ads sold online have the same
transparency and disclosure requirements as ads sold on TV, radio, and satellite.
● State Election Assistance & Innovation Fund: Establishes a self-sustaining fund to
finance critical investments in state-led innovations for our democracy and election
infrastructure. The fund is financed through an additional assessment paid on federal fines,
penalties, and settlements for certain tax crimes and corporate malfeasance. States would be
allotted an annual distribution for eligible democracy and election-related investments.
States could select to access their full distribution or a partial distribution, or roll over their
distribution for future use.
● Nonpartisan Oversight of Federal Election Law: Improves the ability of the Federal
Election Commission to carry out oversight and enforcement responsibilities.
● Stopping Illicit Super PAC Coordination: Creates “coordinated spender” category to
ensure single-candidate super PACs do not operate as arms of campaigns.