WASHINGTON, D.C. — At the end of July, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) introduced H.R. 8528, the American Confidence in Elections Act. The bill includes a section that, if enacted, would make major changes to how Washington, D.C. conducts its elections. Since the district is not a state, Congress retains the right to modify its laws whenever it wants — even though the city’s congressional delegate is unable to vote on proposed laws. Among other changes, the bill would require a photo ID to vote, prohibit same-day registration and universal vote by mail to voters, enact a ban on ballot assistance and give poll watchers virtually unlimited access to polling sites.
Washington’s delegate to Congress, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), vowed to defeat the bill, stating that it “is ironic that Republicans are abusing their undemocratic power over D.C. to try to make voting harder in a jurisdiction that is denied voting representation in Congress.” She also stressed the proposed bill is an example of the steps Republicans will take to interfere with Washington if they take control of Congress next year.