U.S. Rep. Dan Goldman Introduces Early Voting and Ballot Counting Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, Feb. 23, U.S. Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) introduced the Early Voting Act, a bill that would expand early voting and the pre-processing of mail-in voting. The Early Voting Act would amend the Help America Vote Act of 2002 by requiring every state to offer at least 14 consecutive days of early in-person voting, including during the weekends. The bill would also require polling places to be open over 10 hours per day, placed on college campuses and within walking distances to public transportation.

Currently, all but four states — Alabama, Connecticut, Mississippi and New Hampshire — offer early in-person voting options (Connecticut is likely to enact early voting this legislative session). Yet, for the other 46 states and Washington, D.C., the early voting period can range from 5 days to over 45 days. This legislation would set a minimum floor of 14 days.

Additionally, the bill would ensure that election officials can start opening and processing mail-in ballots 14 days before Election Day. Goldman noted that this provision was included “in order to eliminate misinformation and efforts to undermine our elections” and “eliminate long wait-times for official results and have results available on election night.” In recent years and with the increased use of mail-in ballots, some Republican leaders have made bad faith arguments that the slower release of election results suggests that something improper or fraudulent is ongoing.

The Early Voting Act is unlikely to advance through the House chamber narrowly-controlled by Republicans.

Read the Early Voting Act here.