Congressional Record – Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006

Congressional Record

House – June 27, 2007

 

[Pages H6765-H6785]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office 
[www.gpo.gov]




                 FEDERAL ELECTION INTEGRITY ACT OF 2006

  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 1015, I call up 
the bill (H.R. 4844) to amend the National Voter Registration Act of 
1993 to require any individual who desires to register or re-register 
to vote in an election for Federal office to provide the appropriate 
State election official with proof that the individual is a citizen of 
the United States to prevent fraud in Federal elections, and for other 
purposes, and ask for its immediate consideration.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 1015, the 
amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in the bill is adopted 
and the bill, as amended, is considered read.
  The text of the bill, as amended, is as follows:

                               H.R. 4844

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Federal Election Integrity 
     Act of 2006''.

     SEC. 2. REQUIRING VOTERS TO PROVIDE PHOTO IDENTIFICATION.

       (a) Requirement to Provide Photo Identification as 
     Condition of Receiving Ballot.--Section 303(b) of the Help 
     America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15483(b)) is amended--
       (1) in the heading, by striking ``for Voters Who Register 
     by Mail'' and inserting ``for Providing Photo 
     Identification''; and
       (2) by striking paragraphs (1) through (3) and inserting 
     the following:
       ``(1) Individuals voting in person.--
       ``(A) Requirement to provide identification.--
     Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as 
     provided in subparagraph (B), the appropriate State or local 
     election official may not provide a ballot for an election 
     for Federal office to an individual who desires to vote in 
     person unless the individual presents to the official--
       ``(i) a government-issued, current, and valid photo 
     identification; or
       ``(ii) in the case of the regularly scheduled general 
     election for Federal office held in November 2010 and each 
     subsequent election for Federal office, a government-issued, 
     current, and valid photo identification for which the 
     individual was required to provide proof of United States 
     citizenship as a condition for the issuance of the 
     identification.
       ``(B) Availability of provisional ballot.--If an individual 
     does not present the identification required under 
     subparagraph (A), the individual shall be permitted to cast a 
     provisional ballot with respect to the election under section 
     302(a), except that the appropriate State or local election 
     official may not make a determination under section 302(a)(4) 
     that the individual is eligible under State law to vote in 
     the election unless the individual presents the 
     identification required under subparagraph (A) to the 
     official not later than 48 hours after casting the 
     provisional ballot.
       ``(2) Individuals voting other than in person.--
       ``(A) In general.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     law and except as provided in subparagraph (B), the 
     appropriate State or local election official may not accept 
     any ballot for an election for Federal office provided by an 
     individual who votes other than in person unless the 
     individual submits with the ballot--
       ``(i) a copy of a government-issued, current, and valid 
     photo identification; or
       ``(ii) in the case of the regularly scheduled general 
     election for Federal office held in November 2010 and each 
     subsequent election for Federal office, a copy of a 
     government-issued, current, and valid photo identification 
     for which the individual was required to provide proof of 
     United States citizenship as a condition for the issuance of 
     the identification.
       ``(B) Exception for overseas military voters.--Subparagraph 
     (A) does not apply with respect to a ballot provided by an 
     absent uniformed services voter who, by reason of active duty 
     or service, is absent from the United States on the date of 
     the election involved. In this subparagraph, the term `absent 
     uniformed services voter' has the meaning given such term in 
     section 107(1) of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens 
     Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff--6(1)), other than an 
     individual described in section 107(1)(C) of such Act.
       ``(3) Specific requirements for identifications.--For 
     purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2)--
       ``(A) an identification is `government-issued' if it is 
     issued by the Federal Government or by the government of a 
     State; and
       ``(B) an identification is one for which an individual was 
     required to provide proof of United States citizenship as a 
     condition for issuance if the identification displays an 
     official marking or other indication that the individual is a 
     United States citizen.''.
       (b) Conforming Amendments.--Section 303 of such Act (42 
     U.S.C. 15483) is amended--
       (1) in the heading, by striking ``FOR VOTERS WHO REGISTER 
     BY MAIL'' and inserting ``FOR PROVIDING PHOTO 
     IDENTIFICATION''; and
       (2) in subsection (c), by striking ``subsections 
     (a)(5)(A)(i)(II) and (b)(3)(B)(i)(II)'' and inserting 
     ``subsection (a)(5)(A)(i)(II)''.
       (c) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents of such Act 
     is amended by amending the item relating to section 303 to 
     read as follows:

``Sec. 303. Computerized statewide voter registration list requirements 
              and requirements for providing photo identification.''.

       (d) Effective Date.--
       (1) In general.--This section and the amendments made by 
     this section shall apply with respect to the regularly 
     scheduled general election for Federal office held in 
     November 2008 and each subsequent election for Federal 
     office.
       (2) Conforming amendment.--Section 303(d)(2) of such Act 
     (42 U.S.C. 15483(d)(2)) is amended to read as follows:
       ``(2) Requirement to provide photo identification.--
     Paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b) shall apply with 
     respect to the regularly scheduled general election for 
     Federal office held in November 2008 and each subsequent 
     election for Federal office.''.

     SEC. 3. MAKING PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS AVAILABLE.

       (a) Requiring States to Make Identification Available.--
     Section 303(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 
     U.S.C. 15483(b)), as amended by section 2(a)(2), is amended--
       (1) by redesignating paragraphs (4) and (5) as paragraphs 
     (5) and (6); and
       (2) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following new 
     paragraph:
       ``(4) Making photo identifications available.--
       ``(A) In general.--During fiscal year 2008 and each 
     succeeding fiscal year, each State shall establish a program 
     to provide photo identifications which may be used to meet 
     the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) by individuals who 
     desire to vote in elections held in the State but who do not 
     otherwise possess a government-issued photo identification.
       ``(B) Identifications provided at no cost to indigent 
     individuals.--If a State charges an individual a fee for 
     providing a photo identification under the program 
     established under subparagraph (A)--
       ``(i) the fee charged may not exceed the reasonable cost to 
     the State of providing the identification to the individual; 
     and
       ``(ii) the State may not charge a fee to any individual who 
     provides an attestation that the individual is unable to 
     afford the fee.
       ``(C) Identifications not to be used for other purposes.--
     Any photo identification provided under the program 
     established under subparagraph (A) may not serve as a 
     government-issued photo identification for purposes of any 
     program or function of a State or local government other than 
     the administration of elections.''.
       (b) Payments to States to Cover Costs.--Subtitle D of title 
     II of such Act (42 U.S.C. 15321 et seq.) is amended by adding 
     at the end the following new part:

``PART 7--PAYMENTS TO COVER COSTS OF PROVIDING PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS TO 
                          INDIGENT INDIVIDUALS

     ``SEC. 297. PAYMENTS TO COVER COSTS TO STATES OF PROVIDING 
                   PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS FOR VOTING TO INDIGENT 
                   INDIVIDUALS.

       ``(a) Payments to States.--The Commission shall make 
     payments to States to cover the costs incurred in providing 
     photo identifications under the program established under 
     section 303(b)(4) to individuals who are unable to afford the 
     fee that would otherwise be charged under the program.
       ``(b) Amount of Payment.--The amount of the payment made to 
     a State under this part for any year shall be equal to the 
     amount of fees which would have been collected by the State 
     during the year under the program established under section 
     303(b)(4) but for the application of section 
     303(b)(4)(B)(ii), as determined on the basis of information 
     furnished to the Commission by the State at such time and in 
     such form as the Commission may require.

     ``SEC. 297A. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

       ``There are authorized to be appropriated for payments 
     under this part such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 
     2008 and each succeeding fiscal year.''.
       (c) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents of such Act 
     is amended by adding at the end of the item relating to 
     subtitle D of title II the following:

``Part 7--Payments to Cover Costs of Providing Photo Identifications to 
                          Indigent Individuals

``Sec. 297. Payments to cover costs to States of providing photo 
              identifications for voting to indigent individuals.
``Sec. 297A. Authorization of appropriations.''.

       (d) Effective Date.--This section and the amendments made 
     by this section shall take effect October 1, 2007.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Ehlers) and 
the gentlewoman from California (Ms. Millender-McDonald) each will 
control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Michigan.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 4484, the Federal Election 
Integrity Act of 2006, and ask all my colleagues to support this 
important bill.
  This bill will require presentation of a government-issued photo ID 
to vote

[[Page H6766]]

in Federal elections, effective November 2008. Though most of the 
voting public already has an ID that can meet this requirement, there 
is a percentage of eligible voters who do not have an ID, so these 
extra 2 years will give them time to acquire it.
  To ensure that only citizens are voting, the amendment will require 
presentation by 2010 of an ID that could not have been obtained without 
providing proof of citizenship. Once obtained, this ID can be used to 
prove both citizenship and identity when voting.
  This Congress has previously enacted the REAL ID Act which will 
require people to prove their legal status in the country to get a REAL 
ID. That act has to be implemented by May 2008. Citizens will be able 
to use the IDs they obtain under this process to vote in elections 
starting in 2010 and for all elections thereafter. H.R. 4844 will 
require the ID to include some indicia of citizenship, so poll workers 
and other election officials will be able to tell that the bearer is a 
citizen.
  Those who arrive at the polls without an ID will be permitted to cast 
a provisional ballot. These ballots will be counted if the person 
returns and presents to an election official a qualifying ID within 48 
hours. To help those who need but cannot afford the ID to vote, the 
amendment requires States to provide them free of cost to the indigent 
and authorizes funds to reimburse States for the cost of doing so.
  To most people this proposal is a simple, commonsense proposal and a 
necessary safeguard against vote fraud. To others it represents a 
dangerous threat to some citizens' ability to access the polls. While 
this debate may be heated in Washington, D.C., it seems the American 
people have made up their mind. A recent NBC-Wall Street Journal poll 
showed that 81 percent of those surveyed favored an ID requirement for 
voting. A Rasmussen poll during that same time period showed a similar 
result. Seventy-seven percent surveyed favored an ID requirement for 
voting.
  Likewise, the bipartisan Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election 
Reform recommended a national voter ID requirement in the report they 
issued last year. While the division on this issue may be partisan here 
in Congress, it certainly was not on this bipartisan commission. It 
seems a large bipartisan majority there concluded by an 18-3 vote that 
requiring ID is a necessary reform.
  Once implemented, H.R. 4844 will put an important safeguard in place 
that will enhance the integrity of our system and help restore 
confidence in it. By putting in place procedures that ensure voting is 
limited to eligible citizens, we can encourage participation and 
increase turnout.
  The experience in Arizona is instructive here. Despite all the claims 
that disenfranchisement would ensue after the enactment of the proof of 
citizenship and ID requirements in Proposition 200, testimony in 
Phoenix revealed that registration went up 15 percent after the 
requirement to prove citizenship went into effect. The fact is, people 
are encouraged to vote when they believe their vote will count and know 
that their vote will not be canceled out by an illegal vote.
  I know there will be some who oppose the action we will take today, 
and there will be some controversy generated by the proposal. I wish it 
were not so. It seems we should all be able to agree that voting should 
be limited to citizens of the United States, because that has been the 
law for years. If we can agree on that, we should be able to agree that 
our voting systems must have procedures in place to ensure that.
  We should all be able to agree that every eligible citizen should be 
able to vote, should be encouraged to vote, to vote only once, and to 
be assured that their vote will not be diluted by an illegal vote. If 
we agree on that, we should be able to agree that making people 
identify themselves when they vote is a simple and necessary safeguard.
  It was not always so. I grew up in a small town, Edgerton, Minnesota, 
with 800 people. They did not need photo IDs. They knew everyone in 
town. If a stranger had showed up to vote, he would have been ushered 
out of the hall. But today we live in urban cities, by and large. We do 
not know each other well, and we need some means of foolproof 
identification.
  I am sure that we will hear from the other side of the aisle today 
that an ID requirement is not necessary and is too much trouble. But 
every day millions of Americans show a photo ID to pay by check, board 
a plane or buy alcohol or tobacco. Surely the sanctity of the ballot 
warrants as much protection as these other activities.
  In too many States, lax identification requirements mean people can 
cast votes without ever having to prove their eligibility. Our voting 
rights are too important to rely on an honor system. We need to make 
sure we have procedures in place that protect the right to vote and 
make sure only eligible citizens are able to do so.
  I hope all Members will recognize the need for these necessary 
reforms. They will advance the security of our electoral systems, 
increase confidence in their integrity and reduce the opportunities for 
fraud. I ask all Members to support this important bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I never thought as a girl growing up in Birmingham, 
Alabama, that I would meet, again, a present-day poll tax. My goodness. 
My father would be really amazed.
  Therefore, I rise today in strong opposition to H.R. 4844, the so-
called Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006, which requires all 
States to demand that voters provide government-issued identification 
in order to vote in the 2008 election and proof of citizenship in order 
to vote in the 2010 election.
  The Republican Party has acted without expressing any concern for the 
millions of American citizens who currently do not have the necessary 
documentation and consequently will be denied their right to vote. 
Further, the majority has not been moved by the realization that the 
burden of this legislation falls disproportionately on the elderly, the 
disabled, and ethnic minorities. Unfortunately, the Republicans made no 
effort to determine how many would be affected and be disenfranchised 
by this legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, with H.R. 4844, this Republican legislation devises a 
modern-day poll tax in the form of a proof of citizenship requirement 
that will keep some eligible voters from voting and make it harder for 
all American citizens to vote. No citizen should have to pay in order 
to exercise his or her constitutional right to vote.
  I have heard today on this Floor that President Carter's and 
Secretary of State Baker's reference to IDs fit within the intent of 
this bill. Allow me to clarify this assertion. Their ID proposal does 
not have requirements for citizenship, and they wish that everyone, not 
just those who can not afford IDs, possess them free of charge. They 
have not endorsed this piece of legislation.
  Proof of citizenship requirements place on the voter the difficult, 
time-consuming and costly burden of obtaining the necessary 
documentation to prove citizenship or identity in order to cast a vote. 
For example, our State Department reports that only 23 percent of all 
Americans possess a passport, and the cost of obtaining one exceeds 
$100. A majority of Americans do not currently possess the 
identification required by H.R. 4844, and requiring them to obtain one 
imposes an unconstitutional burden on their right to vote.
  Additionally, some Americans may be unable to acquire the necessary 
documents at any cost because they lack a birth certificate. We 
recognize that there are many minorities, especially African Americans, 
who were delivered by midwives, who did not have and do not have a 
birth certificate. There are some rural Americans who do not have birth 
certificates. We recognize that the State of Georgia indicates that 40 
percent of their seniors would be denied their right to vote if this 
piece of legislation passes.
  I believe, Mr. Speaker, that the Help America Vote Act, HAVA, strikes 
the appropriate balance between voter-ballot access and system-ballot 
integrity, and it was accomplished with bipartisan effort. The 
Committee on House Administration worked tirelessly to enact HAVA as a 
solution to the problems associated with the November 2000 general 
election. As a result of HAVA, $3.1 billion was appropriated to

[[Page H6767]]

the States to improve the voting process. My alternative calls for the 
$800 million in shortfall funding to ensure full funding of HAVA.
  The question of citizenship was directly addressed head on in HAVA 
whereby Congress mandated that the mail-in registration form includes a 
box that asks the question, ``Are you a citizen of the United States of 
America?'' If you answer no, your form is rejected automatically. If 
you answer yes, and you are discovered not to be a citizen, you are 
subject to Federal prosecution.
  Mr. Speaker, we have laws on the books that if someone votes 
illegally, he or she will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the 
law. The penalties are stiff and have successfully served as a 
deterrent to misrepresentation.
  The voter ID question was asked and answered by HAVA. HAVA provided a 
broad range of ID options for the narrow circumstances of first-time 
voters who register by mail or appear in person at the polls to cast 
their vote. A photo ID is only one option. All the other options 
include employment ID, student ID, a current utility bill, bank 
statement, paychecks, or a government document showing the name and 
address of the voter.

                              {time}  1400

  Neither voters nor States are required to comply with a one-size-fit-
all Federal mandate. The unavoidable consequence of enacting H.R. 4844 
will be the decrease in the number of American citizens who are able to 
vote. H.R. 4844 will do far more to suppress turnout and intimidate 
voters than to prevent voter fraud, the purported objective of the 
majority.
  Now, we say to all of us here in Congress, if we know of fraud and of 
persons voting illegally, we should tell our district attorneys. We 
should not tarry on this type of thing, and I suggest to the majority, 
if they know of any fraud, please call their district attorneys. We do 
not need this type of bill to accomplish this task.
  We should be, as Members of Congress, representing the people and 
this people's House to do just that. For all the concern that the 
majority expresses about protecting the right to vote, this bill does 
nothing to stop voter suppression or correct the numerous 
administrative problems that are plaguing our elections and robbing our 
citizens of their right to vote.
  I also previously heard that Andrew Young is in support of this bill. 
In fact, we understand that Andrew Young is not in support of this bill 
and that his remarks have been taken out of context. He is opposed to 
this bill.
  H.R. 4844, as amended, will do nothing to stop the intentional forms 
of voter suppression such as the instances in 2004 when unsuspecting 
voters were misinformed about the time or place of the election or 
about the qualifications for voting. This bill will not remedy the long 
lines, misallocation of voting equipment, voting registration rules, or 
other election procedures that deny citizens their very critical 
opportunity to vote.
  These are the real issues that this Congress should be addressing. To 
that end, I have offered a substitute piece of legislation that 
addresses some of the problems of voter suppression and voter fraud 
that are not addressed in H.R. 4844. Our Congress should be improving 
voter access to the polls, preventing election fraud, paying for and 
supporting election integrity, but it was not made in order. In fact, 
this is a closed rule, which is what happens when the majority does not 
want us to bring real legislation to the floor.
  Mr. Speaker, because of the critical adverse impact of this bill and 
the affect it will have on our citizens' constitutional right to vote, 
I urge my colleagues to join me in opposing H.R. 4844. Instead of 
making it difficult to vote, our job should be, in the people's House, 
to promote civic participation more broadly.
  There are 40 percent of registered voters who are not voting in our 
elections. This issue is what we should be addressing. Instead of 
erecting new barriers to voting participation, we should be devoting 
our resources to prosecuting the illegal intimidation tactics and 
solving the election irregularities which continue to surface with each 
election cycle.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to yield 5 minutes to the 
gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde) one of the most honorable persons in 
the Chamber, one who has served well for so many years, the sponsor of 
this bill, who has worked tirelessly for this Congress and for the 
people of the United States, including on this bill.
  Mr. HYDE. Mr. Speaker, I thank Mr. Ehlers. I appreciate your warm, 
gracious words.
  There is a story that goes around in my hometown, Chicago. It says, 
Bury me when I die in Chicago because I want to stay active in politics 
after I am gone. This is not the problem we face here, but I thought I 
would mention that anyway.
  I rise in support of H.R. 4844, the Federal Election Integrity Act of 
2006, because the election system is the bedrock that our Republic is 
built on and its security and oversight is of paramount concern. The 
Constitution places the responsibility within this House to certify 
Federal elections, and we ``may at any time by law make or alter such 
regulations.''
  It is the law that only U.S. citizens have the right to vote in 
Federal elections, but our current system does not give State election 
officials the tools they need to ensure that this requirement is being 
met, which is why I have introduced this bill.
  This bill will help election officials ensure accuracy at the polls 
on election day. It amends Public Law 103-31, popularly known as the 
``motor-voter bill,'' to require voters to show a current official 
photo ID obtained with proof of their U.S. citizenship before voting. 
This bill's requirements will extend nationwide for all Federal 
elections.
  H.R. 4844's provisions take effect gradually, allowing voters time to 
adjust. In 2008, voters will have to show a current official photo ID, 
and in 2010, they will have to display a photo ID that was obtained by 
providing proof of their U.S. citizenship. A voter who forgets his ID 
on election day will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot and will 
have 48 hours to present an ID to an election official to validate the 
ballot. Furthermore, and this is so important, voters who cannot afford 
an ID will be issued a free ID at no cost. That is some kind of poll 
tax when somebody else pays for it. That is my kind of tax. Funds will 
be appropriated, they are contemplated by this legislation, to assist 
States in implementing the providing of a free ID.
  Opponents argue requiring a photo ID backed by proof of citizenship 
erects obstacles to citizen participation. That is certainly not true. 
This bill is designed to increase participation by ensuring that each 
legitimate vote will be counted and not be diluted by fraud.
  There are many elections in this country every cycle that are decided 
by just a handful of votes. How can we be certain that these elections, 
without measures to certify the identity of voters, are not being 
decided by fraudulent votes?
  Opponents often claim that requiring a photo ID is a solution in 
search of a problem. This argument is erroneous because election 
officials cannot determine if a problem exists because they do not have 
the tools to verify voters' identities on election day, nor when they 
register.
  Our laws operate largely on trust, trust that voters are truthful in 
checking a box certifying that they are U.S. citizens. No documentation 
is required. Under the current law, all you need to establish your 
identity when registering to vote by mail is a utility bill or bank 
statement, documents easily forged and which do not give any indication 
of citizenship.
  Our election system is too important to be safeguarded by mere 
honesty alone. We must have verification.
  Opponents claim that there are strict punishments already in place to 
deter voter fraud. I agree there are sanctions in place, but they are 
toothless measures when election officials do not have the tools they 
need to concretely establish a voter's identity on election day.
  Broad popular support exists for this bill. Photo IDs were called for 
in the 2005 report issued by the bipartisan Commission on Federal 
Election Reform.
  Many States have recognized voter fraud is a problem and passed photo 
ID laws as protective measures. Arizona

[[Page H6768]]

voters recently passed a law requiring valid photo IDs for elections, 
and 22 States have implemented laws that require all voters to show 
identification when casting a ballot.
  Let me summarize by saying our voting rights were won by Americans 
who were willing to lay down their lives for the freedom to elect our 
representatives, and it is our duty to safeguard that freedom. If we do 
not, our elections become meaningless.
  This bill upholds the integrity of this election system for 
everybody.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Zoe Lofgren), a distinguished and 
outstanding member of the Committee on House Administration.
  Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California. Mr. Speaker, there is something we can 
all agree on in this Chamber and that is that only Americans get to 
vote, and they only get to vote once. But what we are talking about in 
this bill is disenfranchising many of those Americans. It is already a 
felony for a non-American to vote.
  Now, when this bill was introduced, the committee made it part of 
Immigration August. We had hearings around the country, and what we 
found out was that the issue of so-called illegal aliens voting 
basically does not occur.
  As the League of Women Voters has said, the voter fraud addressed by 
this bill is a rare problem, and the witness in New Mexico said she had 
never seen it in her entire professional career. And if you think about 
it, it makes sense. Illegal aliens are sneaking across the border for a 
job, not to vote.
  We also got testimony that the impact of this will disproportionately 
affect poor people and African Americans. In fact, in a Milwaukee 
study, they found that 78 percent of the African American men aged 18 
to 24 had no driver's license. Why? Because they are too poor to have a 
car and they do not have a license.
  In New Mexico, we heard from Mr. Yahzee, a Navajo, who told us that 
the Navajos basically do not have this ID and they cannot get it either 
because they do not have birth certificates, they do not have 
electricity, they do not have phones. They do not have the document, 
but they are the original Americans. They were the code talkers. They 
are entitled to vote, but under this bill they would not be able to 
vote. I do not know about this poll, but I think if you ask 81 percent 
of Americans whether the Navajo should not be allowed to vote, they 
would say, well, of course not.
  Now, recently there was a measure put into place to have Medicaid 
recipients have a photo ID, and we had to repeal that rule. And you 
know why? Because we would have had to see old people evicted from 
nursing homes because they could not come up with that photo ID. Well, 
I tell you, if you cannot come up with a photo ID to save your life, 
you are not going to be able to come up with a photo ID to vote either. 
That must be why the AARP is against this measure.
  So why is this before us today? We have no evidence there is a 
problem. We have ample evidence in the testimony that this will 
disenfranchise many Americans.
  I must say that the Republican Party is doing this throughout the 
United States. This is the measure to disenfranchise African Americans, 
Native Americans. It is wrong and we will not stand for it.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to the 
distinguished gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Norwood).
  Mr. NORWOOD. Mr. Speaker, I thank very much the chairman for the 
time. I appreciate that.
  Mr. Speaker, we deal with an issue today that could likely determine 
the long-term fate of our Republic. As Mr. Hyde just pointed out, 
voting is the bedrock of our Republic, and today we deal with voter 
fraud.
  The U.S. Constitution and the constituents of several States clearly 
define the legal requirements to vote. A voter must be of minimum age. 
They must be a citizen of the United States, and each voter must vote 
only once. I do not think anybody in this body would disagree with 
that.
  What we discuss today or debate is over how do we enforce the voter 
laws we have on the books.
  A tamper-proof photo ID is the only practical way to prevent the mass 
input of fraudulent voters into our system. Some say, oh, we do not 
have any. How the heck do we know we do not have any? We do not check 
anybody to see if they are fraudulent or not.
  That was the recommendation of the nonpartisan Federal Election 
Reform Commission, headed by former Democratic President Jimmy Carter 
and former Republican Secretary of State James Baker.

                              {time}  1415

  It is also the opinion, by the way, if anybody is interested, of 80 
to 90 percent of the American public. It happens in every poll that is 
taken on this issue. My State of Georgia, in fact, has already passed 
such a requirement. They have even gone back and amended the law to 
include free State-issued photo IDs for anyone who needs one.
  But that is not good enough for some. Yesterday, the State Superior 
Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford, Jr., legislated on the court and ruled 
that requiring a photo ID, in his opinion, is unconstitutional because 
it imposes a duty on the voter not specifically required in our State 
constitution. I feel very certain our Supreme Court will satisfy this 
problem within the next couple of weeks. He did not address, however, 
Legislator Judge Jackson Bedford, Jr., the fact that, without the photo 
ID, the legal votes of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens could 
negate the legal ballots of hundreds of thousands of our citizens 
around the country. He did not address the fact that, without a photo 
ID, tens of thousands of partisans could fraudulently vote in another 
person's name and cast multiple ballots, negating the legal ballots of 
our citizens. He did not address the fact that legal voters of Georgia 
have spoken loud and clear over and over through their lawfully elected 
representatives that this measure is needed, and it is desired.
  He did not, meaning the legislative judge, address that the 
Constitution of the United States guarantees to each State a republican 
form of government, and this ruling directly conflicts with the perfect 
right of the citizens of Georgia. Our Governor and State legislature 
must fight this tyrant in Georgia.
  But we can speak loud and clear against those who show their contempt 
against the right of the American voters across our Nation. We can stop 
election fraud today by voting for this magnificent restoration of our 
constitutional rights by my friend and my colleague Chairman Hyde.
  Defend the Republic. Support this bill.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. The gentleman from Georgia is absolutely 
right. If we need to go after fraud, we need to get some quantitative 
information before we bring this bill to the floor.
  Mr. Speaker, I now would like to yield 1 minute to our distinguished 
minority leader.
  Ms. PELOSI. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  ``This cannot be.'' With those words, State Judge Jackson Bedford 
yesterday struck down the infamous Georgia photo ID law. Let me repeat. 
``This cannot be.'' Let these words guide us here, because right here 
in this House of Representatives we take an oath of office to uphold 
the Constitution of the United States. That Constitution guarantees all 
American citizens the right to vote and the right for their vote to be 
counted.
  I want to thank the distinguished gentlewoman from California, the 
ranking Democrat on the House Administration Committee, for her 
leadership on this issue. She has been an important force in protecting 
the integrity of elections. And that is why it is so sad to see this 
bill come here to the floor today, especially named the Federal 
Election Integrity Act.
  Integrity? It is not about integrity. It is about a tawdry attempt by 
Republicans to suppress the votes of millions of Americans. That is not 
integrity.
  America is a beacon of democracy to the world. We must continue to 
send a message to the world that we honor the oath of office that we 
take to protect and defend the Constitution. Every eligible citizen 
must be able to vote, to exercise his or her right to vote, and those 
votes must be counted.
  Only a short month ago, many of us stood here, stood proudly on the 
White

[[Page H6769]]

House lawn as the Voting Rights Act reauthorization was signed into 
law. We overcame many obstacles even for the reauthorization of that 
legislation to affirm the most precious right of our democracy, the 
right to vote.
  Today, however, we are undermining that right to vote, and we are 
undermining the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act, and, in doing 
so, we are undermining our democracy. Though the right to vote is the 
foundation of our democracy, the bill we debate today is indeed a 
disenfranchisement of millions of American voters, the elderly, African 
Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, and, get this, Native 
Americans. Native Americans, people here longer than any of our 
families, unless we can proudly boast of being Native American. People 
with disabilities. The list goes on.
  As the NAACP has said, this bill would disenfranchise many of the 
very citizens that the Voting Rights Act is designed to protect. And 
the Republicans call that integrity. I don't think so.
  A few weeks ago President Bush spoke before the NAACP in the first 
time in his Presidency. He quoted President Lyndon Johnson in saying 
that voting rights are the lifeblood of a democracy. And yet, here 
today, after making that great statement, quoting that great civil 
rights and voting rights President, President Bush is here today in a 
transparent, it is obvious to all, attempt to suppress the votes of 
millions of American citizens, cutting off the lifeblood of democracy. 
Is that integrity? I don't think so.
  Supporters of this Republican voter suppression bill would claim that 
this bill is about preventing noncitizens from voting. It is just the 
opposite; it is a bill designed to prevent citizens from voting. 
Noncitizens are strictly prohibited under law from voting and face 
tough penalties for breaking these laws. And that is right. No one 
condones fraud. There is little evidence anywhere in the country of a 
significant problem with noncitizen voters. As our distinguished 
ranking member pointed out, if you want to make a case, document it, 
just don't claim it and then come through with a clear and transparent 
attempt to cut off the votes of those who do not share your political 
point of view. You didn't take an oath of office to do that.
  This bill is not about noncitizens as its supporters claim. Rather, 
it affects all American citizens by making them prove that they are, in 
fact, citizens even if they have voted for years. By forcing voters to 
undergo time-consuming, burdensome, and expensive attempts to secure 
documents, this Republican voter suppression bill is a modern-day poll 
tax. It would especially impact our elderly citizens and low-income 
citizens, and disproportionately affect minority individuals and 
individuals with disabilities, many of whom do not drive and cannot 
afford passports. This bill suspiciously appears to target and 
disenfranchise American voters who might not be sympathetic to 
Republican policy goals. Again, a modern-day poll tax. And the 
Republicans call this modern-day poll tax integrity. I don't think so.
  We have a responsibility to remove all obstacles to participation to 
the right of all American citizens to participate in the electoral 
process. And yet, the AARP has said that the obstacles this bill throws 
up to voting, that they are particularly concerned about that such 
rules will prevent many eligible older voters from exercising their 
right to vote. That is why they join the NAACP, the League of Women 
Voters, and this long list of over 110 organizations, civil liberties, 
civil rights groups opposing this legislation.
  It even goes into health, United Church of Christ, the United 
Methodist Church, United States Steelworkers, United States Student 
Association. How about this. The list goes on. But it even talks about 
some of the groups that deal with the disabilities community in our 
country. The Navajo Nation. I will put it in the Record for all to see. 
The League of Women Voters, the NAACP, AARP. The list goes on.

          Groups Opposed to Voter ID Bill--September 20, 2006

       African American Ministers in Action
       ACORN
       Advancement Project
       Aguila Youth Leadership Institute
       Alliance for Retired Americans
       American Association of People with Disabilities
       American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
       American Association of University Women
       American Civil Liberties Union
       American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona
       American Federation of Labor--Congress of Industrial 
     Organizations (AFL-CIO)
       American Federation of State, County and Municipal 
     Employees
       American Immigration Lawyers Association
       American Jewish Committee
       American Policy Center
       Americans for Democratic Action
       Anti-Defamation League
       Arizona Advocacy Network
       Arizona Consumers Council
       Arizona Hispanic Community Forum
       Arizona Students' Association
       Asian American Justice Center
       Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
       Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIA Vote)
       Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
       Brennan Center for Justice
       Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
       Center for Digital Democracy
       Common Cause
       Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
       Concerned Foreign Service Officers
       Congressional Hispanic Caucus
       Consumer Action
       Cyber Privacy Project
       Democratic Women's Working Group
       Demos
       Demos: A Network for Ideas & Action
       Electronic Frontier Foundation
       Electronic Privacy Information Center
       Emigrantes Sin Fronteras
       Fairfax County Privacy Council
       FairVote
       Friends Committee on National Legislation
       Hispanic Federation
       Hispanic National Bar Association
       Interfaith Worker Justice of Arizona
       Intertribal Council of Arizona
       Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)
       Jewish Council for Public Affairs
       La Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE)
       Labor Council for Latin American Advancement
       Laborers International
       Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
       Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
       League of United Latin American Citizens
       League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson
       League of Women Voters of the United States
       League of Young Voters Education Fund
       Legal Momentum
       Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
       National Association for the Advancement of Colored People 
     (NAACP)
       National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed 
     Officials Educational Fund
       National Center for Transgender Equality
       National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
       National Congress of American Indians
       National Council of Jewish Women
       National Council of La Raza
       National Disability Rights Network
       National Education Association
       National Immigration Forum
       National Korean American Service & Education Consortium
       National Urban League
       National Voting Rights Institute
       Navajo Nation
       New York Public Interest Research Group, Inc./NYPIRG
       Ohio Taxpayers Association & OTA Foundation
       Philip Randolph Institute
       People for the American Way Foundation
       Project for Arizona's Future
       Project Vote
       Protection and Advocacy System
       Rainbow PUSH Coalition
       Republican Liberty Caucus
       Rock the Vote
       SEIU Local 5 Arizona
       Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
       Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF)
       Somos America/We Are America
       Southwest Voter Registration Education Project
       The Arc of the United States
       The Multiracial Activist
       The Rutherford Institute
       Tohono O'odham Nation
       Transgender Law Center
       U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
       U.S. PIRG
       Union for Reform Judaism
       Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
       United Auto Workers
       United Cerebral Palsy
       United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries
       United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and 
     Society
       United States Student Association
       United Steelworkers
       United Workers of America
       UNITE-HERE
       Velvet Revolution
       William C. Velasquez Institute

[[Page H6770]]

       YWCA USA

  Mr. Speaker, the general public should understand what this bill 
means to them. This doesn't mean that you don't have to prove your 
identity at the polls. Many States permit forms of identification such 
as Social Security cards and utility bills when voting. What this bill 
does do, though, is starting in 2008, voters would have to present a 
government-issued photo ID that many do not have. Or, if you are voting 
by mail, you have to send in your picture. I mean, what is this? Submit 
it before getting a ballot. And, starting in 2010, that ID would also 
have to show proof of U.S. citizenship. This cannot be.
  But just if you are a person out there listening to this debate, and 
you think, my Social Security card is not enough? The fact that I have 
voted in this community over time is not enough? Where is the basis of 
our democracy, which is truth and trust? It is completely lacking in 
this bill. And they call it integrity.
  As we know from experience, Republican promises to authorize funds 
for identification are meaningless. They say, oh, we are going to 
authorize. We are supposed to have had $800 million allocated to remove 
obstacles of participation and to facilitate voting, but because that 
would expand the universe of people who have access to the right to 
vote, the Republicans have rejected it for fear of the result of that 
turnout. Republicans have a history of underfunding electoral reform. 
Again, they have underfunded the Help America Vote Act by $800 million. 
How they can explain that, I don't know. I know one thing, it is not 
about integrity.
  Mr. Speaker, problems with voting that were apparent in the elections 
of 2000 and 2004 are well-known to the American people, and they are of 
great concern to the American people. Those elections have 
uncomfortable echoes to a past that had been long left behind. In the 
2004 elections, voters in predominantly minority districts reported 
higher rates of inactive voter registrations, a greater percentage of 
inadequately staffed and equipped polling places, inconsistent 
treatment of provisional ballots, many of which were never counted, and 
sometimes even a lack of an adequate number of ballots.
  Even with the best intentions, it is challenging, as we saw in the 
State of Maryland last week. But if the design is to thwart voter 
participation, how much of a disadvantage is the average voter?
  Mr. Speaker, 40 years ago, in one of our Nation's finest hours, our 
country came together as a Nation to overcome bigotry and injustice and 
to secure the fundamental right to vote. With the passage of the Voting 
Rights Act, we said that we would no longer tolerate the many nefarious 
methods, poll taxes, literacy tax, grandfather clauses, and, as our 
colleague John Lewis can attest, brutal violence that had been used to 
deny African Americans and other minority citizens the right to vote. 
Today this legislation seeks to turn back the clock. And they call it 
integrity.
  Those of us who take an oath of office, I go back to that oath over 
and over again, promise to uphold the Constitution. We are committing 
ourselves to ensuring that everyone who is eligible to vote is able to 
vote, and that every vote will be counted. Any diminishment, any 
diminishment of America's citizens voting is a diminishment of our 
democracy. This cannot be.

                              {time}  1430

  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Green), the future Governor of Wisconsin.
  Mr. GREEN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 4844, 
the Federal Election Integrity Act.
  Mr. Speaker, our democracy can withstand many things and that is what 
our history shows. But one thing it cannot withstand is doubt over the 
outcome of elections. We have to know whoever wins, your guy, my guy, 
conservative, liberal, Republican or Democrat, he or she really won. 
Won, in fact. It is the only way our leaders have the moral authority 
they need to take on the great challenges of our times.
  As others have noted, we have had far too many elections in recent 
years where serious questions have emerged over irregularities and even 
fraud. During the last Federal election in 2004 in my home State, 
Wisconsin, Wisconsin found itself mired with out-of-date voter lists, 
fake names, invalid addresses, double and triple voting, and ballots 
cast by convicted felons. Our State's largest newspaper found almost 
300 cases of felons voting illegally, at least 100 cases of double 
voting, and 1,200 votes from invalid addresses. And the list goes on 
and on and on.
  Every one of those illegal votes cancels out a vote legally cast, 
cancels out a vote from a citizen for whom that right is so precious 
and so fundamental to our Nation's future.
  A photo ID will not solve all of these problem, not by a long shot. 
But it is definitely a step in the right direction, a step that I 
believe most Americans support, a step that I know most Wisconsinites 
support. That is why last year I introduced comprehensive election 
reform legislation that would have required a valid photo ID to vote in 
any Federal election.
  It is also why I am proud to support this legislation from Chairman 
Hyde. It is legislation whose time has come. It is a way of ensuring 
integrity in elections.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to a great 
civil rights leader and icon from the great State of Georgia (Mr. 
Lewis).
  Mr. LEWIS of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friend, my 
colleague, the gentlewoman from California for yielding and for all of 
her great work.
  Mr. Speaker, just 3 months ago this body passed the reauthorization 
of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, admitting the sad fact that voter 
discrimination is still a reality in this great Nation. This Congress 
decided we could do better, that history required us to protect the 
right of all Americans to vote.
  Today this bill moves us in a different direction, the wrong 
direction. This bill, like the unconstitutional Georgia photo ID bill 
and so many other photo ID schemes throughout the country, is an attack 
on the voting rights of millions of American citizens.
  I am beyond disgusted. I am shocked. I find it hard to believe that 
the Republican leaders in Congress will put election year games ahead 
of the voting rights of American citizens. We fought too long, fought 
too hard, and suffered too long for the right to vote. People died to 
participate in the democratic process. We must not turn back the clock. 
We must not go back. We must go forward and open up the political 
process and let all American citizens come in.
  Call it what you may, this bill is a modern-day poll tax; $10 or $15 
for a birth certificate, $100 for a passport, this is a poll tax. There 
is no other way to say it. It costs money to get a birth certificate. 
It costs money to get a passport. Why put an extra burden on American 
citizens to exercise their most precious right, their right to vote? 
There is no reason.
  Citizens will be denied the right to vote. This is no less than voter 
suppression. We should open up the process to each and every American 
citizen. Instead, this bill returns us to our dark past. Vote ``no'' on 
this photo ID bill.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I would just like to observe for a moment 
there will be no expense to any voter. It will be paid by the Federal 
Government if the voter has to pay money to get a birth certificate or 
a photo ID.
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to another member of the 
House Administration Committee, Mr. John Mica of Florida.
  Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Ehlers for yielding me this 
time, and I thank him for bringing out a bill that is both a reasonable 
bill, a bill that looks out for the interests of the poor and those 
that could be deprived of the right to vote.
  I have the greatest respect for the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. 
Lewis). He is a hero among heroes, and I am here to tell you if this 
bill in any way infringed on anyone's ability to vote or discriminated 
on any basis of allowing them to have access to the polls, I would not 
support it.
  But what we have in this legislation which has been so ably crafted 
is legislation by a bipartisan commission, 21 members led by two very 
distinguished individuals, the gentleman from Georgia, the former 
President Carter, and the gentleman from Texas, former Secretary of 
State Jim Baker, a 21-member commission, and by a vote of 18-21,

[[Page H6771]]

only three dissenters, they asked for and recommend this for protection 
of the ballot.
  Now we have been discussing here, day after day, border security. And 
we want our borders safe. This issue is what Americans want. They want 
safe borders and they want safe ballots.
  I come from the State of Florida where we had the question of who 
voted. This gives us protection because it asks for minimal 
identification. So it is a good recommendation and it is a 
recommendation because we don't want 50 States and some States with 
different levels of requirements. We have a national standard, and that 
is what was recommended by the commission to ensure that we have a safe 
and secure ballot, ensure that we not only are protecting our borders 
but we are protecting our ballots.
  In Florida you can have a requirement for identification to buy a 
six-pack or a pack of cigarettes. The very least we can ask is for 
someone who is going to cast a ballot that is so precious in our 
democratic process to show some identification, and I think this is a 
good measure. I urge its passage.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Mica, perhaps you do want to consider not 
voting for the bill because 60 percent of new registrants in Pima 
County, AZ who are all eligible voters, were initially rejected. And 
for every 1 percent of individuals who do not have the necessary 
documentation of citizenship, 2 million voters are disenfranchised.
  Mr. Speaker, at this time I would like to yield 1\1/2\ minutes to a 
man who does know about all of this, a former Secretary of State, the 
Honorable Jim Langevin from Rhode Island.
  (Mr. LANGEVIN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. LANGEVIN. Mr. Speaker, today I rise in strong opposition to H.R. 
4844 because of the dangerous impact it would have on voter 
participation in the United States. When I was Secretary of State, I 
led an effort to reform our elections. We replaced our outdated voting 
equipment, made polling places accessible, and significantly reduced 
error rates.
  My job was to make voting open and accessible to eligible citizens, 
and to encourage people to participate in the process. From that 
experience, I know this legislation would practically do nothing to 
reduce fraud, while creating new barriers for Americans to vote.
  Should H.R. 4844 become law, fewer eligible citizens will be able to 
vote because they lack proper identification or documentation. Maybe it 
is an elderly woman who leaves her home of 50 years to enter an 
assisted-living facility. It could be a resident of New Orleans whose 
public records were lost in Hurricane Katrina. The list goes on and on. 
However, these people have one thing in common: Once they are turned 
away from voting, it is unlikely they will return. They may not return 
that day because of a lack of time or transportation; or they may not 
return in future elections because of the hassle they experienced. New 
obstacles to voting will cause many to drop out of the Nation's 
election system because it failed them.
  Not only would the bill make it harder for every American to vote, 
but it would also add massive new compliance requirements for election 
officials. It also unnecessarily duplicates current law, which requires 
that voters in Federal elections be U.S. citizens.
  Fraudulent voter registration is a felony punishable by 5 years in 
prison. Furthermore, the bill does not address other, more prevalent 
forms of voter fraud and additional problems that we have witnessed in 
recent elections.
  Mr. Speaker, Congress has a proud record of removing barriers and 
increasing the opportunity of all Americans to vote. It guaranteed the 
right to vote to citizens whose only disqualification was the color of 
their skin. It opened polling places to the disabled. It extended the 
franchise to Americans living overseas. It did all of this on a 
bipartisan basis and while maintaining the integrity of our elections.
  H.R. 4844 is a step away from that proud tradition because it would 
erect new barriers for eligible citizens and disenfranchise many 
Americans. I urge my colleagues to vote against H.R. 4844 so that we 
may preserve the most precious right, the right to vote.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New 
Mexico (Mr. Pearce) who was kind enough to host us when we held a 
hearing in his State.
  Mr. PEARCE. Mr. Speaker, I heartily support H.R. 4844. On election 
day in 2000, President Bush was ahead by 31,000 votes. Before the 
Secretary of State of New Mexico certified the election 23 days later, 
the last State to certify, that gap had been closed to just 5,000 
votes, and the voting was about 80-20 the reverse direction. The 
estimate of fraud in that particular election was 7 percent in 
statewide fraud.
  One of the greatest frauds that is perpetrated in New Mexico is that 
voting workers, campaign workers, come in and read over the shoulder of 
the poll workers and find out names that have not been signed in. And 
magically, that is the next name that appears. That is the next person 
in line that comes up and signs his name, and it works over and over 
again through the day.
  It was against the law, and when candidates began to enforce the law, 
in 2004 the New Mexico legislature went in and cured the problem. They 
went in and said it is okay, it is okay for that worker to come in, 
look over the shoulder and find a blank line and sign in. In fact, in 
New Mexico it is against the law, it is against the law to check for 
photo ID or any kind of registration even if you know that the person 
is not the right person that is signing.
  So that is the reason that I think a bipartisan commission supported 
this bill. At the end of the day, the integrity of the election process 
is the confidence in the process.
  This is not about who gets elected. This is about making sure that 
each person gets one vote and one vote only. For those who would say 
call the district attorney, I would tell you when the college students 
signed in and called us at 8, saying someone had already voted in their 
place, I am here with my picture ID and they say I am already signed in 
and it was someone else, the district attorney says if you can't find a 
warm body signing the line at the time, then you have no case.
  The county clerk in the county where these problems occurred was 
convicted of four counts of felony fraud on election day; yet the 
Secretary of State would not pursue the case. I support this bill 
because it begins to restore some integrity to the election process. We 
on this side will not allow disenfranchisement. We will not allow votes 
to be suppressed, but we do need to clean up the mess that exists in 
many States. I thank the gentleman for bringing this bill to the floor.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the 
gentleman from the great State of Georgia (Mr. Scott).
  Mr. SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Millender-McDonald) for yielding me this time.
  We have had eloquent testimony and speeches dealing with the 
practicality of why this bill is unconstitutional. But more than that, 
let it be clear, let's pull the covers off of this, this is nothing but 
a bold attempt, a shameless attempt by the Republican Party to target 
those types of voters that they believe will not vote for them but 
would vote for Democrats. That is exactly what it is.
  I am here to tell you the truth about this because I am from Georgia 
where this very same bill has been ruled not unconstitutional once, not 
unconstitutional twice, three times it has been ruled unconstitutional 
by a Federal judge, and just yesterday by the Superior Court of Fulton 
County, the largest county in my State.

                              {time}  1445

  It has been ruled unconstitutional. And the reason is this: The 
Constitution and the Framers of the Constitution made it very clear. 
They said that the right to vote shall not be abridged, shall not be 
infringed upon. That is the anchor. That is the basic thrust.
  You come here and talk about needing a picture ID to get on a plane, 
to get on a bus. Well, the right to get on a plane must not be 
infringed was not written into the Constitution, but the right to vote 
was. And if Alexander Hamilton was right, if Thomas Jefferson was 
right, ought not we be right? If Madison was right, shouldn't we be 
right? If Abraham Lincoln was right, shouldn't we be right? If Martin 
Luther King, Jr., was right, shouldn't we be

[[Page H6772]]

right? When Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, he said 
the same thing. All throughout our history, and why?
  Here are you, the Republicans, doing this dastardly un-American act. 
And if John Lewis, who got his head bloodied on Edmund Pettus Bridge, 
says it is right, then it should be right. And the right thing to do is 
to vote down this dastardly un-American bill.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield such time as he may 
consume to Mr. Walden for purpose of a colloquy.
  Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for yielding.
  As the chairman knows, I support the fact that citizens should have 
the right to vote and that the citizens' vote should be counted, and 
the way to do that is to prove your citizenship. That is what American 
elections are all about, so we do not have people here illegally who 
are voting.
  My concern with this legislation applies specifically to my State of 
Oregon, which is entirely vote by mail, and the provisions contained in 
this bill before us today give me some pause. And I would like to know 
that I have the chairman's support in working with us in a conference 
to address these issues.
  In my district, 70,000 square miles, if every voter every time has to 
photocopy their ID and put it with a ballot that they send in, it 
raises some issues. I think there are other ways to guarantee that only 
citizens get ballots to vote, and I would appreciate your support in 
trying to address that issue in conference.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, if the gentleman will yield, I recognize the 
concern of the gentleman from Oregon, and we will certainly try to work 
with him. We will solicit ideas not only from his State, but also from 
the State of Washington, which has a considerable amount of mail-in 
voting. And I would certainly like also to hear from the secretary of 
state of both States and several county clerks from each State for ways 
that we can accomplish the goal of the bill, which is to ensure that 
every citizen has the right to vote, and only those who have the right 
to vote will be allowed to vote. There may be more than one way to 
accomplish that.
  We will be happy to work with you when the bill reaches conference 
with the Senate.
  Mr. WALDEN of Oregon. I appreciate that commitment, Mr. Chairman.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Pitts) for another colloquy.
  Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask my colleague from 
Michigan how this bill will impact those whose religious convictions 
prevent them from having their photo taken for government ID. I 
represent some 25,000 members of the Amish community. Many of them do 
vote, but, because of their religious beliefs, will not allow their 
photo to be taken. They wouldn't object to a fingerprint or biometrics. 
But I would respectfully ask the gentleman to explain how the bill 
deals with this issue, given our Nation's long tradition of protecting 
freedom of religion, and if this matter could be addressed as the bill 
moves along.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, if the gentleman will yield, I thank the 
gentleman for raising the question. This is not the first time it has 
come up. There are other groups. Many of the American Indians have 
raised a similar objection, and I am quite sure that once we get in 
conference with the Senate, we will be able to hear from that group and 
all the other groups, the Amish, the Native Americans, and find another 
method to ensure identity.
  Clearly biometrics would be equally acceptable as a photo ID. 
Thumbprints are generally not reproducible for other fraud; so I 
believe this will help deal with the issue.
  Mr. PITTS. I thank the gentleman.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, this just shows you how flawed 
this bill is. This bill should have remained in committee so we could 
really crank out and clear up some of these problems. We have heard two 
colloquies from the majority on issues that are not a part of this 
bill, for heaven's sake.
  At this time I would like to yield 1 minute to the gentleman whose 
State has thrown out a similar type of law, the gentleman from 
Missouri, the Honorable William Clay.
  Mr. CLAY. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  With little to no evidence of past fraud, it is outrageous that my 
Republican colleagues are going to extraordinary lengths to suppress 
Democratic votes.
  H.R. 4844 would impose undue hardship on seniors, women, minorities, 
the disabled, and lower-income voters, who are all less likely to have 
proof of citizenship. This bill qualifies as nothing more than a 21st 
century poll tax, which is unconstitutional.
  The malicious intent of this law was recently acknowledged in 
Missouri when a State judge ruled it an impermissible additional 
qualification to vote and in violation of the State constitution. It 
would have disenfranchised over 170,000 voters.
  Mr. Speaker, it is clear that this bill is nothing more than a sham 
and fraudulent. In Missouri, for instance, we were not able to find any 
cases of vote fraud over the last 50 years. So would the proponents 
tell me where the fraud comes in?
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Indiana (Mr. Burton).
  Mr. BURTON of Indiana. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding.
  I have great respect for my colleagues on the other side of the 
aisle, but I can't for the life of me figure out why they oppose making 
sure that the people who vote in this country are American citizens.
  We have 12 million illegal aliens in this country, and we all know 
that there have been phony Social Security cards purchased and other 
documents purchased, and, as a result, these people have been getting 
benefits from this country, and many of them, we believe, have been 
voting illegally.
  The Constitution, as the minority leader said a while ago, guarantees 
the rights of American citizens to be able to vote, and the 
Constitution is supposed to protect the rights of American citizens. 
She talked about the oath of office that we took to protect the rights 
of the citizens of this country, and one of those rights is the right 
to make sure that their vote counts. And if you have illegal voting 
taking place, then every illegal vote takes away the right of one 
American's vote to count in that election. And you have to guarantee 
that right, that the American's vote is going to count. Now, how do you 
do that?
  We know that there has been fraudulent voting in the past. I know 
some of my colleagues have said that hasn't taken place, but we know it 
has happened. So with all the illegal aliens coming into this country, 
all the border security problems that we have had, how do you guarantee 
that only Americans have the right to vote? You have to have some kind 
of an identification mechanism.
  Now, one of the arguments that was made a while ago was that, well, 
some people cannot afford it. This bill provides that anybody who 
cannot afford this documentation, the government will pay for it. The 
State and the Federal Government will pay for it. So the fact of the 
matter is there are guarantees that people's right to vote, even if 
they cannot afford an ID card, will be taken care of.
  Now, I have listened to all the arguments. I have heard of all the 
things that were said by my colleagues on the other side, and I have 
great respect for them and their opinions. But the fact of the matter 
is this boils down to whether or not Americans should have their vote 
counted and not negated by an illegal alien or somebody else who comes 
into this country who has phony documentation. And that is why a photo 
ID is very, very important, and other documentation, which will be 
worked out by my chairman here when it goes to conference.
  This is very important for every American citizen, especially if they 
are concerned about the problem of illegal aliens and border security 
and their right to vote.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Burton, you are speaking about an 
immigration bill at this point; so perhaps you should get that bill 
out.
  Mr. Speaker, at this time I would like to yield 1 minute to the great 
gentleman who walks in the footsteps of his great father, the Honorable 
Charles Gonzalez.

[[Page H6773]]

  Mr. GONZALEZ. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for giving me 1 
minute.
  The only thing phony about documentation, it is not the 
documentation, it is the phony argument that is being advanced today.
  And I am going to ask the authors, the sponsors, and those 
individuals that espouse and support this bill to please stand at this 
time if you were asked at any time in seeking your office that you hold 
today for documentation such as a passport or a birth certificate to 
seek this office.
  The answer is no. All you did was what we all do. We attest that we 
are citizens of this great Nation. And guess what? You get your name on 
the ballot. But when it comes to the voters, we are going to say that 
is not enough. Give us a passport. Give us a birth certificate. Prove 
it to us. We may hold the office. You can vote for us. But lo and 
behold, you cannot vote.
  Think of the pure idiocy of the law that is being proposed today. And 
the reason that it fails on logic, it was never meant to be logical. It 
was meant to be political. And that is what we have here today.
  And I am asking you to give up this charade. Give up November 7, 
2006, politics and do the right thing and vote this down.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, at this time I would like to 
yield 1 minute to a great leader from the great State of California, 
the Honorable Sam Farr.
  Mr. FARR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the ranking member for yielding.
  The first thing you learn when you are elected to be a lawmaker is 
not to pass laws that you can't enforce.
  Why is this a bad bill? Because it cannot be enforced. What is in 
your wallet that shows you are a citizen? None of the people sitting 
here watching, listening has anything in their wallet that shows they 
are a citizen of the United States.
  This bill requires proof of United States citizenship. How are you 
going to prove it? Your driver's license? You don't have to be a 
citizen to have a driver's license. Your Social Security card? You 
don't have to be a citizen to have a Social Security card. What is in 
your wallet that shows you are a citizen? You don't have it. You don't 
have it. So what this bill says is we distrust most the people we asked 
to create a government.
  Members of Congress couldn't even qualify because they do not have 
cards in their wallet that shows they are a citizen. They can say, ``I 
have got my voting card.'' Yes. Well, there are 435 of those. How many 
people in the United States recognize a congressional voting card? You 
can't even show it in the airport and get by.
  So this bill is not enforceable because there is no proof of 
citizenship card in the United States, which this bill requires. You 
shouldn't enact a bad bill.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, at this time I would like to 
yield 1 minute to another great leader out of the State of Texas, the 
Honorable Sheila Jackson-Lee.
  (Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas asked and was given permission to revise 
and extend her remarks.)
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, let me offer my great 
appreciation to Juanita Millender-McDonald. I cannot think of a Member 
of this House who has been so persistent on these issues.
  But I do want to say to the American people that we understand that 
we want to secure the vote, but you might note and might want to 
understand that out of 197 million people that have voted since 2002, 
there have only been 52 voter fraud cases.
  I want to join you in stamping out voter fraud. I want to make sure 
that we have one vote/one person. But I do not want to step on the 
Constitution.
  This legislation steps on your rights, one vote/one person. And for 
every 1 percent of the electorate who does not have the necessary 
documentation, where you were born with a midwife, you have lost your 
documents, you were in Hurricane Katrina or a volcano or an earthquake 
or a mudslide, 2 million voters will be disenfranchised. And, my good 
friends, this is a 21st century poll tax.
  I will include in the Record ``The Long Shadows of Jim Crow'' because 
this is voter intimidation.

  The Long Shadow of Jim Crow: Voter Intimidation and Suppression in 
                             America Today


                                Overview

       In a nation where children are taught in grade school that 
     every citizen has the right to vote, it would be comforting 
     to think that the last vestiges of voter intimidation, 
     oppression and suppression were swept away by the passage and 
     subsequent enforcement of the historic Voting Rights Act of 
     1965. It would be good to know that voters are no longer 
     turned away from the polls based on their race, never 
     knowingly misdirected, misinformed, deceived or threatened.
       Unfortunately, it would be a grave mistake to believe it.
       In every national American election since Reconstruction, 
     every election since the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, 
     voters--particularly African American voters and other 
     minorities--have faced calculated and determined efforts at 
     intimidation and suppression. The bloody days of violence and 
     retribution following the Civil War and Reconstruction are 
     gone. The poll taxes, literacy tests and physical violence of 
     the Jim Crow era have disappeared. Today, more subtle, 
     cynical and creative tactics have taken their place.


                          Race-Based Targeting

       Here are a few examples of recent incidents in which groups 
     of voters have been singled out on the basis of race:
        Most recently, controversy has erupted over the use in the 
     Orlando area of armed, plainclothes officers from the Florida 
     Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to question elderly 
     black voters in their homes. The incidents were part of a 
     state investigation of voting irregularities in the city's 
     March 2003 mayoral election. Critics have charged that the 
     tactics used by the FDLE have intimidated black voters, which 
     could suppress their turnout in this year's elections. Six 
     members of Congress recently called on Attorney General John 
     Ashcroft to investigate potential civil rights violations in 
     the matter.
       This year in Florida, the state ordered the implementation 
     of a ``potential felon'' purge list to remove voters from the 
     rolls, in a disturbing echo of the infamous 2000 purge, which 
     removed thousands of eligible voters, primarily African-
     Americans, from the rolls. The state abandoned the plan after 
     news media investigations revealed that the 2004 list also 
     included thousands of people who were eligible to vote, 
     and heavily targeted African-Americans while virtually 
     ignoring Hispanic voters.
       This summer, Michigan State Representative John Pappageorge 
     (R-Troy) was quoted in the Detroit Free Press as saying, ``If 
     we do not suppress the Detroit vote, we're going to have a 
     tough time in this election.'' African Americans comprise 83 
     percent of Detroit's population.
       In South Dakota's June 2004 primary, Native American voters 
     were prevented from voting after they were challenged to 
     provide photo IDs, which they were not required to present 
     under State or Federal law.
       In Kentucky in July 2004, Black Republican officials joined 
     to ask their State GOP party chairman to renounce plans to 
     place ``vote challengers'' in African-American precincts 
     during the coming elections.
       Earlier this year in Texas, a local district attorney 
     claimed that students at a majority Black college were not 
     eligible to vote in the county where the school is located. 
     It happened in Waller County--the same county where 26 years 
     earlier, a Federal court order was required to prevent 
     discrimination against the students.
       In 2003 in Philadelphia, voters in African-American areas 
     were systematically challenged by men carrying clipboards, 
     driving a fleet of some 300 sedans with magnetic signs 
     designed to look like law enforcement insignia.
       In 2002 in Louisiana, flyers were distributed in African-
     American communities telling voters they could go to the 
     polls on Tuesday, December 10--three days after a Senate 
     runoff election was actually held.
       In 1998 in South Carolina, a State representative mailed 
     3,000 brochures to African-American neighborhoods, claiming 
     that law enforcement agents would be ``working'' the 
     election, and warning voters that ``this election is not 
     worth going to jail.''


                           Recent Strategies

       As this report details, voter intimidation and suppression 
     is not a problem limited to the southern United States. It 
     takes place from California to New York, Texas to Illinois. 
     It is not the province of a single political party, although 
     patterns of intimidation have changed as the party 
     allegiances of minority communities have changed over the 
     years.
       In recent years, many minority communities have tended to 
     align with the Democratic Party. Over the past two decades, 
     the Republican Party has launched a series of ``ballot 
     security'' and ``voter integrity'' initiatives which have 
     targeted minority communities. At least three times, these 
     initiatives were successfully challenged in Federal courts as 
     illegal attempts to suppress voter participation based on 
     race.
       The first was a 1981 case in New Jersey which protested the 
     use of armed guards to

[[Page H6774]]

     challenge Hispanic and African-American voters, and exposed a 
     scheme to disqualify voters using mass mailings of outdated 
     voter lists. The case resulted in a consent decree 
     prohibiting efforts to target voters by race.
       Six years later, similar ``ballot security'' efforts were 
     launched against minority voters in Louisiana, Georgia, 
     Missouri, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana. Republican 
     National Committee documents said the Louisiana program alone 
     would ``eliminate at least 60-80,000 folks from the rolls,'' 
     again drawing a court settlement.
       And just three years later in North Carolina, the State 
     Republican Party, the Helms for Senate Committee and others 
     sent postcards to 125,000 voters, 97 percent of whom were 
     African-American, giving them false information about voter 
     eligibility and warning of criminal penalties for voter 
     fraud--again resulting in a decree against the use of race to 
     target voters.


                         Historical Perspective

       This report includes detailed accounts of the recent 
     incidents listed above, and additional incidents from the 
     past few decades. The report also lays out a historical 
     review of more than 100 years of efforts to suppress and 
     intimidate minority voters following emancipation, through 
     Reconstruction and the ``Second Reconstruction,'' the years 
     immediately following the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
       The 1965 Voting Rights Act was among the crowning 
     achievements of the civil rights era, and a defining moment 
     for social justice and equality. The stories of the men and 
     women who were willing to lay down their lives for the full 
     rights of citizenship, including first and foremost the right 
     to vote, are the stuff of history.
       Their accomplishments can never be erased. Yet as this 
     report details, attempts to erode and undermine those 
     victories have never ceased. Voter intimidation is not a 
     relic of the past, but a pervasive strategy used with 
     disturbing frequency in recent years. Sustaining the bright 
     promise of the civil rights era, and maintaining the dream of 
     equal voting rights for every citizen requires constant 
     vigilance, courageous leadership, and an active, committed 
     and well-informed citizenry.


             The Challenges of the 2004 Election and Beyond

       The election problems in Florida and elsewhere that led to 
     the disenfranchisement of some four million American voters 
     in the 2000 elections cast a harsh spotlight on flaws in our 
     voting system, problems that involved both illegal actions 
     and incompetence by public officials, as well as outdated 
     machines and inadequate voter education. As election 
     officials nationwide struggle to put new voting technology 
     into place, redesign confusing ballots and educate voters, 
     the opportunities for voter intimidation and suppression 
     have proliferated along with opportunities for 
     disenfranchisement caused by voter confusion and technical 
     problems.
       With widespread predictions of a close national election, 
     and an unprecedented wave of new voter registration, 
     unscrupulous political operatives will look for any 
     advantage, including suppression and intimidation efforts. As 
     in the past, minority voters and low-income populations will 
     be the most likely targets of dirty tricks at the polls.

                   Voter Intimidation in Recent Years

       Voter intimidation and suppression efforts have not been 
     limited to a single party, but have in fact shifted over time 
     as voting allegiances have shifted. In recent decades, 
     African American voters have largely been loyal to the 
     Democratic Party, resulting in the prevalence of Republican 
     efforts to suppress minority turnout. Those efforts have also 
     been extended in recent years to Latino communities.
       During the 2003 mayoral election in Philadelphia, fully 
     seven percent of a poll of 1000 African American voters 
     described troubling experiences at the polls. Men with 
     clipboards bearing official-looking insignia were reported at 
     many precincts in African American neighborhoods.
       Tom Lindenfeld, who ran the counter-intimidation campaign 
     for Democratic candidate John Street, said this deployment 
     included a fleet of 300 cars that featured decals closely 
     resembling those of federal law enforcement agencies, such as 
     the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, 
     Tobacco and Firearms. Many prospective voters reported being 
     challenged for identification by such workers. Lindenfeld 
     told reporters from the American Prospect that ``What 
     occurred in Philadelphia was much more expansive and 
     expensive than anything I'd seen before, and I'd seen a 
     lot.''
       In fact, the scope of such efforts during the past two 
     decades is startling. Based primarily on reports gleaned from 
     newspapers across the nation, there have been documented 
     instances of the following:
       Challenges and threats against individual voters at the 
     polls by armed private guards, off-duty law enforcement 
     officers, local creditors, fake poll monitors, and poll 
     workers and managers.
       Signs posted at the polling place warning of penalties for 
     ``voter fraud'' or ``noncitizen'' voting, or illegally urging 
     support for a candidate.
       Poll workers ``helping'' voters fill out their ballots, and 
     instructing them on how to vote.
       Criminal tampering with voter registration rolls and 
     records.
       Flyers and radio ads containing false information about 
     where, when and how to vote, voter eligibility, and the false 
     threat of penalties.
       Internal memos from party officials in which the explicit 
     goal of suppressing black voter turnout is outlined.
       A Republican effort in New Jersey in 1981 provided a model 
     that was repeated across the country in the last two decades. 
     The Republican National Committee and the New Jersey 
     Republican State Committee engaged in a ``concerted effort to 
     threaten and harass black and Hispanic voters'' via a 
     ``ballot security'' effort. It involved widespread 
     challenging of individual voters and an Election Day presence 
     at African American and Latino precincts featuring armed 
     guards and dire warnings of criminal penalties for voting 
     offenses. A legal challenge eventually led to a court order 
     and an agreement by the GOP groups not to employ such 
     intimidation tactics.
       But such tactics persist.

                              {time}  1500

  This is voter intimidation. And this intimidation cannot stand. This 
is a bad bill. It is not about those who are not documented, it is 
about you, America. You will be prevented from the right to vote with 
this bill. We should defeat it.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the 
gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Corrine Brown).
  Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I am the person from 
Florida where in the 2000 election, 27,000 votes was thrown out in my 
precincts, 7, 8, 9 and 10, that are 95 percent Democratic. And they say 
that President Bush won by 527 votes. But the unique thing is in the 
primary recently, in every single African American precinct, they sent 
thousands of Republican ballots, and only hundreds of Democratic 
ballots.
  That is unheard of. In every single precinct they sent thousands of 
Republican ballots and not sufficient Democratic ballots. Now, that is 
the stupid, incompetent right trying to disenfranchise those same 
voters. Let me just say that in the supervisor's office, they carried 
the equipment home the night before the election.
  Where our men and women are dying in Iraq for the right for them to 
vote, we do not have the right right here in the United States of 
America. It is a crying shame. Shame on them. Vote down this terrible 
bill.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the 
gentlewoman from Ohio (Mrs. Jones).
  Mrs. JONES of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I thank Ms. Millender-McDonald for 
yielding me time and her leadership on the issue.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 4844. It is a shame that 
this Congress, who just months earlier joined together in a bipartisan 
effort to renew the Voting Rights Act, would now propose such a 
divisive piece of legislation that has the potential to disenfranchise 
millions of Americans.
  Mr. Speaker, I witnessed firsthand in my home State, Ohio, the great 
lengths that people have gone to in order to suppress votes. Now 
Congress is trying to implement its own brand of voter suppression. I 
have heard them argue that funds will be provided to allow people to 
get ID cards. Funds were provided in HAVA to allow the Secretary of 
State to educate voters, but instead our Secretary of State took $2.5 
million, put his own face on TV in order to lead his own gubernatorial 
race.
  Similar legislation was enacted in Ohio. On September 1, Judge 
Kathleen O'Malley granted a preliminary injunction that prohibits the 
enforcement of parts of that Ohio bill that would have allowed poll 
workers to inquire if a voter is a naturalized citizen and ask for 
proof. In her ruling, Judge O'Malley stated it was inconsistent with 
and undermined the purpose of the National Voting Rights Act. I ask 
each of my colleagues to vote against this legislation.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the chairman 
how many more speakers he does have.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I have one more speaker, then I will close.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
time.

[[Page H6775]]

  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Royce).
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I think the question is should we put forward 
a modicum of effort to keep political machines from stealing elections? 
Do they? Yes. Yes, they do. Just last year, a judge in the State of 
Washington ruled that 1,678 fraudulent votes were cast in that 
election.
  As we look at the work of the FBI, we see that their investigation in 
the city of Milwaukee found 4,500 more votes cast in that election than 
there were people on the rolls. They found evidence of people voting 
multiple times, people voting for the deceased, people voting 
illegally. And we have the example in the State of Georgia where an 
audit showed that 5,412 votes had been cast by deceased voters. 
Personally I am tired of constituents of mine telling me that someone 
else voted for them at the polls. It seems to me that an ID system or 
showing an identification, a photo ID, will take care of this problem.
  How do the American public, how do they react to this? Well, an NBC-
Wall Street Journal poll recently found that 81 percent of the American 
people support requiring a photo ID to vote.
  By requiring voters to provide a valid form of identification, we can 
handicap those trying to undermine the process. We can ensure the 
sanctity of one person-one vote. And we should not have to deal with a 
situation where our voters go to the polls and repeatedly tell us, 
somebody else already voted for me.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, we have heard many folks on the floor talking about 
fraud in our election process. We have heard various speakers talking 
about getting rid of this alleged fraud. There is no Member on this 
floor who does not want to get rid of fraud. But, Mr. Speaker, this 
bill does not address real fraud. This is not a good bill.
  We have heard many speakers on the floor today delivering colloquies, 
trying to see whether or not this will fit or that will fit, when, in 
essence, this legislation merely does not get to the bottom of the real 
fraud, the problem of voter suppression.
  Mr. Speaker, I will be submitting for the Record letters from the 
National Association of Counties and local election administrators who 
are objecting to this piece of legislation because they say it imposes 
a fee on themselves and voters all of whom assert that they cannot 
afford to comply with this legislation is mandate.
  We have heard from the chairman and others on the other side who say 
that if one cannot pay for the ID, it will be paid for. But what they 
are doing is establishing an unfunded mandate with this piece of 
legislation, which is why NACO is objecting to this bill.
  We also have heard from the election commissioner and county clerk 
out of Fairbury, Nebraska and the administrator of elections from 
Anderson County, TN. I will submit these letters opposing H.R. 4844 for 
the Record.
  Mr. SPEAKER, the proponents of H.R. 4844 characterize this 
legislation merely as an administrative protection that it is simple to 
implement and necessary to prevent fraud. The truth is, H.R. 4844 is a 
misguided measure that will suppress voter turnout and undermine laws 
that Congress has already passed to assure all citizens will have a 
full and equal right to participate.
  We know, Mr. Speaker, that HAVA is in place now, which is a 
bipartisan bill that was passed out of this House with bipartisan 
support.
  To enact this law would be an affront to that bill, to all Americans 
who take pride in the progress our country has made in extending the 
franchise to all of its citizens, and to all individuals who take 
offense to the political manipulation of the majority.
  Partisan attempts to burden our Nation with troublesome proof of 
citizenship requirements are not the direction this Congress or this 
country should be taking. We know that the States of Georgia and 
Washington, have already thrown out legislation similar to this one.
  Democrats, along with well-intended Republicans, have fought for and 
won the extension of the Voting Rights Act for eligible Americans. 
During the last century, our country has expanded the right to vote to 
millions of Americans with the passage of the 19th amendment, gives 
which women the right to vote. The Voting Rights Act (VRA) was 
reauthorized on this floor just a couple of months ago, and we know 
that the VRA prevented institutional voter suppression. The 26th 
amendment, which gives 18-years-old the right to vote, is another bill 
that we have passed. Why should we consider a bill like this that does 
nothing to address voter suppression? This is an intimidation-type 
bill. It is a partisan attempt to allow the Republicans to maintain the 
majority.
  I tell you, this bill violates State constitutions and the U.S. 
Constitution because it disenfranchises citizens who are otherwise 
qualified to vote. The Democrats will not shirk our responsibility to 
defend the gains put forth by the bills already on the books. We will 
not shirk our responsibility to ensure that every eligible American has 
the right to vote. And we will not let these gains be lost to 
undocumented allegations of fraud that have not been quantitatively 
proven and have not proven by any empirical data that reveals this so-
called type of fraud is widespread.
  The right to vote, Mr. Speaker, is too precious to allow any 
citizen's vote to be sacrificed by those who would treat it carelessly. 
I would hope that the other side thinks about this and not vote for 
this bad bill. This is not a good bill. It does nothing but hamper the 
American people.
  This bill creates a poll tax. I want the American people to know that 
Democrats are against all types of voter fraud and we are against your 
paying a poll tax to be able to vote. So I say to the other side that 
if you really want integrity, then let's look at these electronic 
voting machines that voters are worried stiff about because they do not 
know whether their votes will be counted.
  Mr. Speaker, I would ask that every Member who really has good 
intentions of trying protect the laws that are on the books will vote 
this legislation down.

                             National Association of Counties,

                               Washington, DC, September 19, 2006.
     Re H.R. 4844, the ``Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006''

     Hon. Dennis Hastert,
     Speaker of the House, House of Representatives, Washington, 
         DC.
     Hon. Nancy Pelosi,
     Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Speaker Hastert and Minority Leader Pelosi: On behalf 
     of county governments across the nation, I am writing to urge 
     a ``NO'' vote on H.R. 4844, the ``Federal Election Integrity 
     Act of 2006''.
       This bill would impose a staggering unfunded mandate on 
     states and counties. We fear that it could require county 
     clerks and registrars across the country to take on the major 
     new responsibility and expense of issuing photo voter 
     registration cards that would duplicate the Real ID and 
     existing state driver licenses. These cards would have to be 
     issued to every voter in the nation who does not possess a 
     current U.S. passport. Further, we fear that counties would 
     likely have to issue these cards entirely at their own or at 
     state expense.
       While regulations have not yet been issued by the 
     Department of Homeland Security, we are given to understand 
     that federal structures will likely not be in place before 
     the statutory deadline for states to be prepared to issue the 
     Real ID. Even if states do have the capacity by 2010 to issue 
     a Real ID to and confirm the citizenship of every voter, H.R. 
     4844 creates an incentive for states to separate this 
     function from driver licensing and place it within the 
     existing apparatus of voter registration. States that 
     incorporate the requirements of this law into their Real ID 
     for voter identification purposes would be ineligible for 
     even the weak commitment of funding in H.R. 4844.
       H.R. 4844 bars counties from imposing a fee on voters who 
     assert that they cannot pay it. States and/or counties may or 
     may not receive sufficient federal funds to pay these costs 
     depending on annual federal appropriations. Furthermore, we 
     fear that any fee imposed on other voters could be 
     characterized as a poll tax and be subject to challenge in 
     court.
       If you have any questions about our position on this or any 
     related issue, please feel free to contact me or Alysoun 
     McLaughlin at amclaughlin@naco.org. Thank you for your 
     attention to this urgent matter.
           Sincerely,
                                                   Larry E. Naake,
     Executive Director.
                                  ____

       Representatives Ehlers and Millender-McDonald: I wish to 
     express my concern about the voter IDs where we are to 
     provide at no cost to indigent voters. We live in a rural 
     area that a lot of the voters are under poverty level. I do 
     not think the county should have to pay for these. You may be 
     going to reimburse the state for the program, but you know it 
     will come back down

[[Page H6776]]

     to the counties to do the IDs. If you will fund this for the 
     counties I probably wouldn't have any problem with this, but 
     the way the election is going now it has cost the county more 
     over $6,500.00 for the primary election than ever before for 
     an election. This is all because of the HAVA regulations. 
     This was not to cost the counties anything. I hate to see 
     what this general election is going to cost me. I did not 
     have any rotations in the primary, but with the general I 
     have a bunch. Just got my proofs for the ballots and had 256 
     pages for 10 precincts. This is because of all the splits I 
     now need to have because of the consolidations everyone 
     wanted also. I'm sure this election will more than cost me 
     all of the budget of $26,000.00. You may think this is a drop 
     in the bucket, but for our small area it isn't, since I have 
     never spent more than $12,800 in any other budget year.
       Our county is up against the levy limit now so don't know 
     where this money is going to come from.
       Please provide for all of the funding, not just to the 
     state, for these IDs.
           Thank you

                                              Sandra Stelling,

                                           Jefferson County Clerk,
     Register of Deeds.
                                  ____

       Dear Representative Millender-McDonald: I am vehemently 
     opposed to H.R. 4844. As an election official in Anderson 
     County, TN, I can assure you that the provisions of this 
     legislation will have an adverse affect on many of the people 
     I serve every day.
       During my tenure as an election administrator, the trend 
     has been to remove barriers to voting, this bill throws logs 
     in the roadway to exercising the right to vote. The need to 
     prove citizenship has never been required and doing so now 
     will deny voting rights to many who have voted all their 
     adult lives.
       Many individuals in our east Tennessee county do not have 
     birth certificates let alone passports--furthermore they do 
     not have the money or the wherewithal to secure either.
       You need to know that our voter registration forms require 
     that an individual registering to vote attests to their 
     citizenship when they register and to answer untruthfully 
     subjects that person to prosecution.
       What bothers me as much as anything is that the bill has a 
     disproportionate impact on the elderly, the disabled, the 
     poor and ethnic minorities in our county.
       Our constitution guarantees the right to vote and this law 
     can potentially affect that basic right.
       I urge you to vote against this legislation when it comes 
     before your committee.

                                               Jo Ann Garrett,

                                       Administrator of Elections,
                                              Anderson County, TN.

  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of the time.
  Mr. Speaker, I wish I had more time to respond to all of the 
erroneous comments that have been made. Some of them may have been 
pertinent as relating to the original bill as introduced. But I wish 
all those commenting would have read the amended bill that we have 
before us now.
  There has been much discussion about poll taxes. Absolute nonsense. I 
would never stand for putting a poll tax on any citizen of this 
country. There is no poll tax. We specifically provided that the State 
and the Federal Government will pay for any cost. There is no poll tax 
in this bill.
  Furthermore, it is said the burden falls on the poor. Again, 
nonsense. We help the poor. There is no burden on the poor. We assist 
them by helping them prove citizenship and paying for it. So when they 
apply for Social Security, when they apply for Medicare, when they 
apply for prescription drug coverage, they will have proof of 
citizenship in hand.

                              {time}  1515

  This benefits the poor. It benefits those who do not have 
citizenship, because we help them to prove citizenship and we pay for 
it.
  This bill is designed to cut down fraud. I put the question, Where is 
the fraud? Several have said, there is no fraud. There is fraud.
  In the 2000 election in Philadelphia, they had 103 percent of the 
voter turnout in one precinct. That is fraud. When you have the number 
of voters who appeared was greater than the number registered for a 
district, that is fraud.
  Then there is the gubernatorial race in the State of Washington. The 
final result that judges certified, was that the number of illegal 
votes cast was over 1,000 percent greater than the margin of victory 
for the winner of that race. That is fraud. Conclusioin: There is fraud 
in voting in this Nation.
  It is time for us to get rid of fraud in voting in this Nation. This 
bill will make a big step towards doing it. It will not endanger 
anyone's right to vote. It is not a poll tax. It helps citizens to vote 
legally.
  Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, I want to take a minute to explain my 
opposion to H.R. 4844, the so-called Federal Election Integrity Act. 
Proponents of this legislation claim to be ensuring the integrity of 
our election system against voter fraud and voting by noncitizens. That 
is a goal I share. However, the hastily written legislation threatens 
the privacy of Oregonians due to the unique nature of our full vote-by-
mail system.
  I do strongly support the goal of establishing more secure 
identification for American citizens. That is why I voted in favor of 
the REAL ID Act. The legislation fulfilled a recommendation made by the 
bipartisan 9/11 Commission that the federal government set standards 
for the issuance of driver's licenses. The REAL ID Act established 
minimum document standards for issuing drivers licenses and limited the 
issuance of licenses only to those who can prove they are American 
citizens or are migrants who are legally in the United States. This 
bill, when fully implemented by 2008, will address many of the concerns 
about proving citizenship that H.R. 4844 raises.
  The problem with H.R. 4844 is not its requirement of proof of 
citizenship when registering to vote, but its continual requirement to 
present such proof every time a citizen votes.
  In my state we conduct all elections by vote-by-mail. This bill 
requires citizens voting by mail to submit photocopies of documents 
proving their citizenship along with their ballot every single time 
they vote. That means, at least twice a year, the 2.1 million 
Oregonians registered to vote will have to provide the same photocopied 
birth certificate, passport, driver's license etc. along with their 
ballot to election officials. This extra paperwork creates a big burden 
for citizens and election officials alike in Oregon. Under the current 
system in Oregon, election officials match the signature on your ballot 
with our signature that's on file. That should be sufficient to confirm 
your identity. Repeatedly submitting photocopied proof of sensitive 
documents is not necessary.
  I also have serious privacy concerns about what is done with the 
sensitive, personally identifiable information that will be required to 
be submitted by millions of Oregonians. How long must election 
officials keep these sensitive documents on file? How should they be 
disposed of? Who has access to the documents and under what 
circumstances? How can the information in the documents be used? The 
bill is silent on these issues.
  Further, this bill requires Oregonians to repeatedly submit this 
personal information despite the lack of evidence of a voting fraud 
problem in Oregon. According to the Oregon Secretary of State, since 
1991, over 10 million votes have been cast in Oregon. Of those 10 
million votes, only 10 people have met the criteria that would want an 
investigation into their citizenship. Of those ten, two have been 
prosecuted. So the level of fraud in Oregon over the last 15 years has 
been 1 in 5 million votes, and these two instances were prosecuted. It 
is important to keep in mind that the penalties for voting fraud are 
already severe. Immigrants who try to vote are automatically given a 
one-way ticket home, no criminal conviction is necessary.
  If the majority was truly concerned about guaranteeing the integrity 
of federal elections, we should be focusing on widespread concerns 
about new electronic voting technology. Concerns and questions over the 
integrity of these machines have been proven in recent elections. 
Machines fail, votes are lost, hard drives are damaged. Secure and 
auditable electronic voting machines that provide a paper ballot for 
verification should be the focus of Congress, not this hastily written 
bill.
  Mr. CARDIN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 4844, the 
Federal Election Integrity Act.
  This legislation would require individuals voting in federal 
elections to provide photo identification that also shows proof of 
citizenship in order to vote.
  I am extremely concerned that this legislation would disenfranchise 
many eligible voters and depress voter turnout. Congress and the states 
should pass measures to increase, not decrease, voter turnout, and to 
encourage eligible voters to go to the polls.
  Studies indicate that illegal voting or voter fraud is extremely 
rare, and such behavior is already punishable by law. However, we have 
numerous documented instances of actual problems in our electoral 
systems which are not addressed by this legislation, such as improper 
purging of voters from the rolls and distributing false information 
about when and where to vote. In my own state of Maryland in last 
Tuesday's primary election, we experienced numerous problems with 
voters being turned away because of malfunctioning computer voting 
machines, a lack of provisional paper ballots, and poorly trained or 
absent poll workers.
  This legislation would have a disproportionate impact on economically 
disadvantaged persons--such as the homeless, the elderly, persons with 
disabilities, frequent movers, and

[[Page H6777]]

other minority groups and persons of color--who are far less likely to 
have current state-issued identification. Requiring voters to bring 
identification to the polls will serve as a poll tax for some eligible 
voters, who can afford neither the cost nor time to obtain a new or 
duplicate drivers' license, passport, or birth certificate. The bill 
contains weak provisions to reimburse states that cover the cost of 
issuing identifications to indigent individuals. Indeed, Congress has 
yet to fully fund implementation of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 
2002, passed after the 2000 presidential election which disenfranchised 
many eligible voters.
  Finally, proof of citizenship requirements will severely hamper the 
ability of nonpartisan organizations to conduct voter registration 
campaigns within minority communities, by limiting what documents can 
be accepted as valid identification for the purpose of registration.
  I note that several leading voting rights groups have opposed this 
legislation, including the NAACP, League of Women Voters, and the U.S. 
Public Research Interest Group. The AARP has also opposed this 
legislation, which may disenfranchise older Americans.
  The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the National 
Association of Counties (NACO) also oppose this legislation. NCSL wrote 
that this ``ill-advised bill . . . places a potentially huge unfunded 
mandate on states . . . and would preempt current states' voter 
identification requirements.''
  Just a few months ago I was pleased to co-sponsor and vote for 
legislation to reauthorize the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965 for 
another 25 years. Discrimination and prejudice still exist against 
minority voters, in addition to disenfranchisement at the polls caused 
by faulty equipment or poorly trained poll workers. We must redouble 
our efforts to make sure that every eligible vote is counted, and that 
this democracy does not continue to shamefully turn away eligible 
voters at the polls.
  Mr. DOOLITTLE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 4844, the 
Federal Election Integrity Act.
  Since the passage of the Help America Vote Act, this body--led by the 
Committee on House Administration on which I proudly serve--has paid 
careful attention to our electoral process and has considered several 
recommendations on how we can improve the way we vote.
  One such recommendation came from the bipartisan Commission on 
Federal Election Reform which was headed by Former President Jimmy 
Carter and Former Secretary of State James Baker and recommended that 
in order to deter and detect voter fraud, we should require photo IDs 
at the polls.
  In this day and age, it is shocking that we still do not verify U.S. 
citizenship when people vote. Motor-voter laws have allowed driver's 
license applicants to simply check a box to register to vote regardless 
of whether they are a U.S. citizen.
  This loophole has facilitated the many instances of non-citizen 
voting that I we have heard about today.
  While there may be disputes about the nature and extent of voter 
fraud, there can be no dispute that it occurs. In close elections even 
a small amount of fraud can affect the outcome. Do we really want 
foreigners to cast the deciding votes in our elections?
  When an illegal immigrant casts an illegal vote he does more than 
break the law. He is canceling out a legal vote and robbing Americans 
of our constitutional right to be heard in an election.
  The Federal Election Integrity Act that we are debating today can 
help restore integrity to our elections.
  Requiring individuals who vote in a Federal election to provide proof 
that they are a United States citizen will help prevent voter fraud--
plain and simple. It is the best way to ensure the utmost accuracy in 
realizing the will of the American people.
  In short, requiring a photo ID is the best way to make sure that only 
U.S. citizens are casting ballots.
  Contrary to what the critics would have you believe, this isn't a 
radical idea. Showing proof of identification and citizenship is 
warranted and commonplace in today's society.
  Individuals are required to have photo identification to engage in 
routine activities such as boarding an airplane, entering a government 
building, purchasing cigarettes and cashing a check. Our voting system 
deserves at least as much protection as these other activities.
  Democrats have argued that this bill will disproportionately affect 
racial minorities and have even alleged that this is one of the motives 
behind our Republican Leadership bringing this bill to the floor today. 
These claims are outrageous and unsubstantiated--voter fraud affects us 
all.
  In fact, under this bill states must provide the necessary photo ID 
free of charge to individuals who cannot afford to pay. This bill is 
simply about protecting the will of all Americans.
  When an illegal vote is cast, an American citizen with the 
constitutional right to have his vote counted becomes disenfranchised, 
regardless of race.
  When voting, our citizens should be able to trust that the system 
will honor their voice and reveal the will of the American people. I 
urge all my colleagues to join me in protecting the rights of every 
American by supporting the Federal Election Integrity Act.
  Mr. HOLT. Mr. Speaker, today I rise to object strongly to the voter 
disenfranchisement proposal before us.
  According to the Election Assistance Commission's comprehensive 
Survey of the 2004 election, there were more than 197 million voting-
age American citizens at that time. According to the Brennan Center for 
Justice in its September 2006 voter identification study, as many as 
10% of eligible voters do not have, and maybe will not get, the 
documents required by strict voter ID laws. Thus, the very first thing 
this bill will do is disenfranchise as many as 20 million eligible 
voters.
  Who are these 20 million voters? The poor. The elderly. The disabled. 
Persons of color. Native Americans. Students. Why would anyone vote in 
favor of disenfranchising these citizens?
  The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was an imperfect bill, but it did 
reach a bipartisan compromise on voter identification. HAVA's already-
existing requirements for voter identification and the integrity of 
voter registration rolls go on for pages. Among the requirements:
  States must make ``a reasonable effort to remove registrants who are 
ineligible to vote from the official list of eligible voters;''
  Voter registration applications may not be ``accepted or processed'' 
unless they include an applicants driver's license number or, in the 
case of voters who don't have one, ``the last 4 digits of the 
applicants Social Security number;'' or, in the case of voters with 
neither, a ``unique identifying number'' assigned by election 
officials;
  First time voters who registered by mail and did not present ID must 
show photo ID at the polls when they vote.
  Voters can't get around that requirement by voting absentee--first 
time voters who registered by mail and did not present ID must send a 
copy of a photo ID with their mail-in ballot.
  And HAVA provides for criminal penalties for violations for the 
foregoing--``any individual who knowingly commits fraud or knowingly 
makes a false statement with respect to the naturalization, citizenry, 
or alien registry of such citizen . . . shall be fined, imprisoned [for 
up to five years], or both.''
  The measure before us is a solution in search of a problem. The 
Department of Justice (DOJ), in its ``Report to Congress on the 
Activities and Operations of the Public Integrity for 2004,'' reported 
that at the end of 2004, the Public Integrity Section had approximately 
133 election crime matters pending nationwide. That is an average of 
just over two cases per state for the entire year--hardly an avalanche. 
In addition, most of the cases described in the report concerned 
campaign finance violations, not voter fraud. Only one described a 
vote-buying scheme, and none referred specifically to non-citizen or 
double voting. On the other hand, the same Report noted that a total of 
1,213 public officials had been charged with corruption in 2004, that 
1,020 of them had been convicted of corruption, and that 419 cases 
remained pending. In other words, according to the DOJ's own findings, 
the problem of corruption among public official is at the very least 
ten times worse than the problem of citizens cheating in elections.
  Meanwhile, other studies have found that instances of double voting 
and voting using another's identity are virtually non-existent.
  Washington State--a study of 2.8 million ballots cast in 2004 showed 
that only 0.0009 percent of them reflected double voting or voting in 
the name of deceased individuals.
  Ohio--a statewide survey found a mere four instances out of more than 
9 million votes cast where ineligible persons voted or attempting to 
vote in 2002 and 2004--a rate of 0.00004%.
  Georgia--(which recently passed one of the strictest voter ID laws, 
which was subsequently struck down); Secretary of State Cathy Cox 
stated that in her ten-year tenure, she could not recall one documented 
case of voter fraud involving the impersonation of a registered voter 
at the polls.
  I have introduced legislation, the Electoral Fairness Act of 2006 
(H.R. 4989), that would require that all voters, upon being duly 
registered, be issued a durable voter registration card at no cost to 
the voter, ``which shall serve as proof that the individual is duly 
registered to vote'' at the polling place which services the 
individual's address. The bill would preserve HAVA's existing voter ID 
requirements, but add no more, an the voter registration cards would 
serve strictly to protect voters who are removed from the voter rolls 
wrongfully or erroneously.
  My legislation would protect the 1.2 million voters who were, in 
fact, wrongfully denied access to a regular ballot in 2004 when they

[[Page H6778]]

showed up at polling places. The legislation before us, in the absence 
of meaningful or documented justification, would leave those 1.2 
million voters in jeopardy of wrongful disenfranchisement and add 20 
million more to the pile. In the name of solving a problem that is 
evidently a tiny problem these legislators--at great expense to 
individuals and to states--would add requirements that will turn away 
legitimate, deserving, honest voters. This is poll tax, pure and 
simple, and I urge my colleagues to vote it down.

                       Groups Opposing H.R. 4844

       A. Philip Randolph Institute; ACORN; Advancement Project; 
     Aguila Youth Leadership Institute; Alliance for Retired 
     Americans; American Association of People with Disabilities; 
     American Association of Retired Persons (AARP); American 
     Civil Liberties Union; American Civil Liberties Union of 
     Arizona; American Federation of Labor--Congress of Industrial 
     Organizations (AFL-CIO); American Federation of State, County 
     and Municipal Employees; American Immigration Lawyers 
     Association; American Policy Center; Americans for Democratic 
     Action; Arizona Advocacy Network; Arizona Consumers Council; 
     Arizona Hispanic Community Forum; Arizona Students' 
     Association; Asian American Justice Center; Asian American 
     Legal Defense and Education Fund; Asian and Pacific Islander 
     American Vote (APIAVote); and Asian Pacific American Labor 
     Alliance, AFL-CIO.
       Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law; Center for 
     Digital Democracy; Common Cause; Computer Professionals for 
     Social Responsibility; Concerned Foreign Service Officers; 
     Congressional Hispanic Caucus; Consumer Action; Cyber Privacy 
     Project; Democratic Women's Working Group; Demos : A Network 
     for Ideas & Action; Electronic Privacy Information Center; 
     Emigrantes Sin Fronteras; Fairfax County Privacy Council; 
     Friends Committee on National Legislation; Hispanic 
     Federation; Hispanic National Bar Association; Interfaith 
     Worker Justice of Arizona; Intertribal Council of Arizona; 
     Japanese American Citizens League (JACL); La Union Del Pueblo 
     Entero (LUPE); Labor Council for Latin American Advancement; 
     and Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
       Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; League of United 
     Latin American Citizens; League of Women Voters of Greater 
     Tucson; League of Women Voters of the United States; Legal 
     Momentum; Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational 
     Fund; National Association for the Advancement of Colored 
     People (NAACP); National Association of Latino Elected and 
     Appointed Officials Educational Fund; National Center for 
     Transgender Equality; National Congress of American Indians; 
     National Council of Jewish Women; National Council of La 
     Raza; National Disability Rights Network; National Education 
     Association; National Korean American Service & Education 
     Consortium; National Urban League; National Voting Rights 
     Institute; Navajo Nation; New York Public Interest Research 
     Group, Inc./NYPIRG; Ohio Taxpayers Association & OTA 
     Foundation; People for the American Way Foundation; and 
     Project for Arizona's Future.
       Protection and Advocacy System; RainbowPUSH Coalition; 
     Republican Liberty Caucus; SEIU Local 5 Arizona; Service 
     Employees International Union (SEIU); Sikh American Legal 
     Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF); Somos America/We Are 
     America; Southwest Voter Registration Education Project; The 
     Multiracial Activist; The Rutherford Institute; Tohono 
     O'odham Nation; Transgender Law Center; U.S. PIRG; Unitarian 
     Universalist Association of Congregations; United Auto 
     Workers; United Church of Christ Justice & Witness 
     Ministries; United Methodist Church, General Board of Church 
     and Society; United States Student Association; United 
     Steelworkers; UNITE-HERE; Velvet Revolution; William C. 
     Velasquez Institute; and YWCA USA.

  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I strongly support ensuring 
that only American citizens vote in our Nation's elections. The right 
to vote of all Americans is diminished if ineligible and illegal votes 
are cast. That is the goal and intent of this bill, which is why I vote 
to move this bill forward today.
  There are provisions of the bill, however, that have me greatly 
concerned about the impact it would have on Washington state voters who 
are required to vote by mail. The bill would mandate that voters 
photocopy their driver's license and mail that copy in with their 
ballot. This places a heavier burden on mail voters than poll voters. 
It creates a higher hurdle for mail voters to get their vote counted. 
And it raises serious questions about personal privacy and the 
potential for identity theft. These requirements are not acceptable and 
must be addressed during any conference committee talks with the 
Senate.
  Chairman Ehlers has given his assurance that the mail voting 
provisions will be addressed in a conference, and specifically that the 
views of Washington's Secretary of State will be heard. I appreciate 
this commitment and believe there are certainly far less burdensome 
ways to ensure only citizens are casting mail-in ballots.
  Clearly, Washington and Oregon stand out among other states when it 
comes to voting by mail and federal law must respect differences among 
the fifty states.
  Action needs to be taken to ensure only citizens are casting ballots 
in elections and that is why I vote to move this bill forward today, 
but I will oppose and vote against any final bill or conference report 
if my concerns on the mail voting requirements are not addressed.
  Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong opposition to 
H.R. 4844, the so-called Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006. 
Beginning in 2008, this bill imposes a requirement that eligible voters 
must present a government-issued photo identification and beginning in 
2010, eligible voters must present a government-issued photo 
identification that would prove they are a citizen.
  Proponents of this bill claim that requiring a photo identification 
and proof of citizenship to vote will combat voter fraud. But, too 
often, anecdotal stories are put forth as evidence to prove the claim 
they are using to make the case for this bill. However, there is no 
concrete evidence to back up the need for this proposal. According to 
Demos and People for the American Way, to date there have been no major 
studies to document actual election fraud in the United States. 
Furthermore, according to the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, 
nationally since October 2002, only ``86 individuals have been 
convicted of federal crimes relating to election fraud, while 
196,139,871 ballots have been cast in federal general elections.'' 
There needs to be more safeguards to protect the integrity of the 
electoral process, but this can only be done by addressing actual 
problems that are currently undermining voting rights, almost all of 
which have the effect of disenfranchising eligible voters. The bill 
doesn't address voter intimidation and discrimination at the polls and 
it doesn't take into account the costs to states to implement the 
requirements of H.R. 4844, making it an unfunded mandate.
  This bill is not just guilty of being a solution in search of 
problem. It actually will create a problem. The real impact of this 
bill will undoubtedly be an increase in voter disenfranchisement, 
because the burden and cost involved in obtaining the identification 
required would likely discourage many Americans from voting, an 
essential Constitutional right. Also, even though H.R. 4844 has a 
provision that requires states to give free photo identification to 
those who cannot afford them, it does not take into account the time 
and cost that eligible voters would incur to get the supporting 
documents needed to obtain this required identification. Essentially 
this forces people to pay for their Constitutionally guaranteed right 
to vote.
  Mr. Speaker, the burden that this legislation creates falls squarely 
on the shoulders of seniors, and the disabled. The AARP is strongly 
opposed to this bill because of the disproportionate impact it has on 
seniors. Many seniors no longer drive and therefore do not have a 
driver's license, many were born at home by midwives and do not have a 
birth certificate, and have limited mobility, making it extremely 
difficult for them to obtain a government-issued identification to meet 
this bill's requirements. Even those who wish to vote by provisional 
ballot are required to present the required identification for their 
vote to be counted.
  Elections should be open to all eligible voters and as Members of 
Congress we should be enacting legislation that encourages more 
Americans to vote, not erecting new barriers to voting. Laws such as 
the groundbreaking Voting Rights Act of 1965 were enacted to create a 
more inclusive democracy by making voting easier. H.R. 4844 will 
seriously undermine that goal and will be a disservice to the memories 
of those courageous civil rights heroes who fought for its 
implementation.
  I urge all of my colleagues to oppose H.R. 4844.
  Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, three months ago we stood on this floor 
debating the reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act (H.R. 9) in an 
effort to make sure elections are fair, that every vote is counted, and 
that people have equal access to the polls. Yet today we are faced with 
the Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006 (HR 4844) which would 
directly disenfranchise people of color, rural voters, young people, 
low-income people, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities.
  At a time of decreased voter participation, it seems unwarranted to 
impose extraneous burdens on eligible citizens who want to participate 
in the democratic process. The identification requirements imposed by 
this legislation serve as a strong reminder of the poll taxes imposed 
by many Southern states in the 1950s to prevent poor and black 
Americans from voting.
  According to the Department of Transportation, currently 6-12 percent 
of eligible voters do not have the proper identification mandated by 
this legislation. Acquiring the required documents places a huge time 
and financial burden on those least able to afford. For instance, a 
U.S. passport costs approximately $85, while replacing naturalization 
documents can cost up to $210.

[[Page H6779]]

  This legislation creates an outrageous burden on my state of Oregon. 
In 1998, Oregon voters passed an initiative requiring that all 
elections be conducted by mail. Should this bill pass, our voters would 
be required to photocopy their identification every time they wanted to 
vote which further hampers the accessibility to vote by mail. As for 
voter fraud, during the last 15 years of general elections over 10 
million votes have been cast by Oregon voters and yet only 10 people 
have met the criteria to warrant an investigation.
  This legislation discourages voter participation, many who continue 
to lose confidence in our electoral system, while enabling voter 
discrimination in select communities. Overall, this legislation tries 
to create a solution to a voter fraud problem regarding voter 
identification that does not exist, while overlooking obvious and real 
problems.
  Just last week during Maryland's primary elections many voters were 
delayed or turned away. In one county computer cards were not delivered 
to precinct workers while in another computers incorrectly read party 
affiliation and could not be tabulated.
  Anyone who examined what happened in Ohio last election cycle, 
including voting problems and potential abuse due to the under funded 
and ill-thought-out congressional meddling, must wonder what will 
happen in the 2008 election.
  Every American should be alarmed and outraged by Congress indulging 
in partisan political shenanigans regarding elections rather than 
implementing long overdue protections for the integrity of the ballot 
box.
  Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this so-
called Voter ID Act.
  Sensing electoral defeat in the fall, the Republicans have done what 
they always do--act desperate and deflect attention.
  Mandating voter IDs to prove citizenship will do nothing to protect 
our homeland security, make the voting process more secure, insure 
every vote is counted or keep non-citizens from voting.
  News flash to my colleagues, the fear that non-citizens may vote is 
not what is keeping my constituents up at night.
  Completing the war on terror, finding Osama bin Laden, bringing our 
troops home, and figuring out how to pay for their kids college 
education are the issues my constituents care about.
  Not passing a not-needed bill for a total non issue.
  Today, we are mandating citizenship IDs at the polling places, in a 
voter disenfranchisement act that would make Bull Connor smile from 
below.
  The Republicans continue to place all the blame on immigrants instead 
of accepting the blame themselves that they dropped the ball on 
comprehensive immigration reform, they dropped the ball on homeland 
security by underfunding our ports and border security and they dropped 
the ball on the war on terror.
  There is a problem at the ballot box, but it isn't illegal immigrants 
voting, The problem is that American citizens aren't voting.
  Instead of promoting voter participation, this bill creates 
disincentives.
  Instead of encouraging voter participation by all Americans, we are 
adding roadblocks.
  Instead of building one America, we are creating a divisive America.
  This is a solution in search of a problem.
  I urge my colleagues to oppose this legislation.
  Ms. MATSUI. Mr. Speaker, while this bill is entitled the Federal 
Election Integrity Act, that is highly deceptive. Make no mistake; 
there is no integrity in trying to deny thousands of legal voters their 
right to vote.
  Voting is a sacred right. A right that, unfortunately, seems to be 
under attack in this Congress. It was barely two months ago that this 
body voted on a bipartisan basis to reauthorize crucial provisions of 
the Voting Rights Act--the nation's most effective mechanism for 
protecting minority voting rights. But now, as we debate H.R. 4844, 
that vote seems disingenuous. H.R. 4844 is a misguided approach that 
would add unnecessary obstacles to the voting process. Congress should 
not be in the practice of disenfranchising voters under the guise of 
protecting the right to vote. Unfortunately, that's precisely what this 
bill would do.
  This legislation is quite likely to be struck down by the Supreme 
Court. As recently as yesterday, state photo ID laws were found to be 
unconstitutional. This is because photo ID laws disproportionately 
affect racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, people with 
disabilities, rural voters, students, the homeless, low-income people, 
and frequent movers.
  Many of our constituents would be at risk of not being able to vote 
because they do not have the time, money or ability to obtain their 
birth certificates or their passports. And let us not forget the 
hundreds of thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims, now dispersed 
across the country, who lost their birth certificates in the muddy 
waters left by the hurricane.
  Since consideration of this bill began, many of our colleagues have 
shared their own personal stories of not being able to obtain their 
birth certificates, or being turned away at the voting booth. The same 
is true for one of my constituents in Sacramento who contacted me 
because he was experiencing difficulty proving he was an American 
citizen. Adopted as a child by a member of the Armed Forces, the crux 
of the problem centered around the fact that his adopted father was 
born in the south and did not have a birth certificate. If this 
legislation were in place, my constituent may have been turned away at 
the polls. That is unforgivable and it is unconstitutional. I am sure 
this is just one example of many.
  What's even more alarming is that we are debating a bill that seeks 
to rectify a problem that hardly exists. Worse still, there are already 
laws on the books to address this very issue. Instead of just enforcing 
those laws, this bill is an attempt to scare voters by inferring that 
illegal immigrants and others in our country are misrepresenting their 
identity when they go to vote. The truth is that there is little proof 
of that.
  What we do have proof of are the problems with our voting system. 
That's what Congress should be working on now. We need to be working on 
laws that ensure that our voting machines are not susceptible to 
tampering and that those machines have a paper trail--laws that ensure 
every vote is counted.
  That is what my constituents are writing to me in the hundreds about. 
They are distrustful of the voting machines and with good reason. Just 
last week, a professor at Princeton hacked into a Diebold e-voting 
machine. Clearly our voting machines are vulnerable to malicious 
attacks and potential voter fraud.
  Rather than address these serious concerns before a major election, 
this Congress has decided to take up a bill that seeks to limit the 
rights of legal voters. Congress must work on ways to encourage voter 
participation, not create undue obstacles to vote. I urge Members to 
vote against this denial of voting rights.
  Mr. GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to oppose H.R. 4844.
  I am a strong supporter of re-establishing the integrity of our 
elections. The last 6 years have exposed serious flaws in the way we 
conduct elections.
  We use electronic forms of voting that cannot be audited, there is no 
verification system in place and we all remember the month that this 
country stood still while we tried to figure out who won the 
Presidential election in 2000.
  In the countless election problems this country has seen recently, 
none of them were because of voting by non-citizens.
  H.R. 4844 would require voters to present government-issued I.D. in 
order to vote. Currently, that document is a U.S. Passport. Aside from 
the impact this would have on minority voters, this will also impact 
the elderly.
  Under the bill, mail-in ballots would have to include a photo copy of 
an ID proving that you are a citizen. Currently, that document is a 
U.S. passport.
  Seventy-five percent of Americans don't have a passport and many of 
the senior citizens in my district don't have the resources to pay $97 
dollars to get a passport.
  Forcing Americans to spend their hard earned money to get a passport 
or some other form of identification in order to vote sounds a lot like 
a poll-tax.
  Finally, it is already illegal to vote if you are not a citizen. 
State and local officials are already able to enforce these laws. 
Secretaries of State and County Clerks have the authority to remove 
ineligible voters from the rolls to prevent voter fraud.
  This system works and there is no need for this legislation.
  If we want to address election integrity, let's talk about providing 
a paper-trail and having audits of election returns so we can ensure 
every vote is counted come election day.
  I urge my colleagues to vote against H.R. 484.
  Mr. CONYERS. Mr. Speaker, it is amazing to me that during the 40th 
Anniversary of the historic passage of the Voting Rights Act, that 
anyone could propose mandating nationwide photo ID requirements. Given 
the cost, difficulty and bureaucracy involved in obtaining photo ID for 
many minorities, elderly, and indigent, the idea of a national voter ID 
and proof of citizenship requirement amounts to nothing less than a 
21st Century Poll Tax, that could disenfranchise as many as 20 million 
American voters.


       a national voter id requirement will operate as a poll tax

  We all know that the States will never fund an unfunded mandate, and 
even if they do, for many Americans it will be quite difficult, 
extensive, and time consuming to obtain the requisite ID cards. 
Georgia, which just enacted a new voter ID requirement did not even 
bother to provide an office in Atlanta.
  Data developed during the debate over the Georgia voter ID bill 
indicated that 36 percent of Georgians over the age of 75 do not have a 
driver's license and that African-Americans in Georgia are nearly five 
times less likely

[[Page H6780]]

than whites to have access to a motor vehicle and thus even to need a 
driver's license.
  Moreover, in Georgia, residents who do not have a driver's license 
must buy a State ID card to vote, at a cost of $20 for a five-year card 
or $35 for 10 years. For many living on a fixed or low income, $20 to 
$35 is cost-prohibitive. People should not be forced to choose between 
a bag of groceries, needed medications, or the right to vote.
  In addition, the proof of citizenship requirements that are outlined 
in this bill will place on the voter the difficult, time consuming, and 
costly burden of obtaining the necessary documentation to prove 
citizenship in order to cast a ballot.


 a national voter id and proof of citizenship requirement will lead to 
discriminatory implementation and will disproportionately burden people 
                                of color

  There is strong empirical evidence that photo ID requirements 
disproportionately burden people of color.
  In 1994, the Justice Department found that African-Americans in 
Louisiana were 4 to 5 times less likely to have government-sanctioned 
photo ID than white residents. As a result, the DoJ denied pre-
clearance for that State's proposed photo ID requirement because they 
found that ``it would lead to retrogression in the position of racial 
minorities with respect to their effective exercise of the electoral 
franchise.''
  Moreover, in 2001, the Carter-Ford National Commission on Election 
Reform found that identification provisions at the polls are 
selectively enforced. Even in places that do not require voters to show 
ID, poll workers are known to ask certain voters to prove their 
identity, in many cases demanding ID from minority voters, but not 
whites.


  many americans do not and will not have the requisite state-issued 
             photo ID or proof of citizenship requirements

  In 2005, the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform 
estimated that 10 percent of voting-age Americans do not have a drive's 
license or a state-issued non-driver's photo ID. That translates into 
as many as 20 million eligible voters who will not be allowed to vote 
on Election Day.
  Moreover, proof of citizenship requirements, such as the one proposed 
in this bill, are impossible for members of some communities to acquire 
and very hard for others. It is widely known that in certain parts of 
the country, elderly African-Americans and many Native Americans were 
born at home, under the care of midwives, and do not possess birth 
certificates. People of color, people with disabilities, the elderly, 
and low-income citizens are among the demographic groups least likely 
to have documents in their possession to prove citizenship.
  Further, for victims of natural disasters like hurricanes Katrina and 
Rita, it may be impossible to obtain birth certificates or other 
documents because they have been destroyed.


  an id card system will lead to a slippery slope of surveillance and 
                           citizen monitoring

  A national voter ID card system would significantly diminish freedom 
and privacy in the U.S. because once put in place, it is unlikely that 
such a system would be restricted to its original purpose. A national 
voter ID system would threaten the privacy that Americans have always 
enjoyed and will gradually increase the control that government and 
business wields over everyday citizens.


                               conclusion

  We all want clean elections. But that is not what legislation like 
H.R. 4844 will accomplish. A federally mandated voter ID and proof of 
citizenship requirement will make it harder for people to vote, and not 
just people generally, but lawfully registered voters who happen to be 
seniors, young people, living in cities, lower-income and minorities. 
That is an effect clearly at odds with our most fundamental values as 
Americans.
  Voting is an invaluable right--the one that guards all of our other 
rights and ensures every American an opportunity to participate in our 
democracy. We must do everything in our power to make voting easier, 
not harder, and to resist the imposition of new requirements to vote 
that do not serve a fair and compelling purpose that actually promotes 
our democracy.
  I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on H.R. 4844--the so-called 
``Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006''.
  Mr. ORTIZ. Mr. Speaker, it almost seems that each day that goes by, 
this Congress stands idly by while we lose more and more of our 
fundamental rights.
  When there is voter fraud--anywhere, anytime election officials must 
react immediately to right the problem.
  And at every turn in this democracy, we must work to increase what is 
still an anemic voter turnout in the world's leading democracy.
  Where's the problem to solve?
  The voting problems in recent mid-Atlantic areas were related to the 
new electronic devices that neither voters--nor poll workers--were 
familiar with using.
  This bill is not about integrity or reducing voter fraud--it is all 
about depressing the number of voters in U.S. elections by requiring 
all citizens to show proof of citizenship in order to vote.
  This Congress would have voters show both a drivers license and a 
birth certificate in order to cast a vote.
  Where's your birth certificate?
  Ask those you know born in this country--do you know how to put your 
hands on your birth certificate?
  Imagine the difficulty for the elderly, students, the disabled, 
Native Americans and other minorities in finding that document . . . or 
perhaps that was imagined when this scheme was conceived.
  Members of this House should not fear great numbers of voters in 
elections--we must encourage it.
  Hispanics in South Texas will be profoundly impacted by this 
legislation.
  This bill will suppress turnout and intimidate voters--which is a 
slap in the face of democracy and our Constitution.
  Millions of Americans will be denied their right to vote because this 
Congress is so determined to address a problem that does not really 
exist.
  This bill imposes the 2nd poll tax on voters--through this 2nd 
unfunded mandate for voting requirements on the states.
  Let us not move backwards on this matter.
  In my very first election--as Constable in Nueces County, Texas, in 
1964--the poll tax was in its final throws . . . but was still the law 
in Texas.
  My mother borrowed against her house to help offset my filing fee . . 
. and to help my voters pay the poll tax.
  Let's not ever see that day again where citizens are taxed in order 
to vote . . . let's stop putting unfunded mandate on our states . . . 
and let's seek more ways to increase voting, not suppress it.
  We've come too far on civil rights in this Nation to move backwards.
  Let us act boldly . . . let us find ways to increase voting in the 
United States, not suppress it, or tax voters to DE-crease voter 
turnout.
  Mr. STARK. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 4844, the 
wrongly entitled Federal Election Integrity Act. Like so many 
Republican window dressings, this bill might seem like a no-brainer to 
some. Only citizens can vote, so why not have them show their ID and 
prove their address and citizenship to reduce fraud? If only the real 
world were as simple as country club Republicans imagine.
  What about students whose driver's licenses show their home address 
but who register to vote on campus? Nursing home residents who have 
been voting for over 50 years but whose documents are nowhere to be 
found? Low-income Americans who don't drive and have never had a state-
issued identification? It's no coincidence that the people who will be 
disenfranchised by this bill are core Democratic constituencies. 
Powerful interests have figured out that there are lots of ways to 
institute a poll tax by another name.
  What about reducing voter fraud, something we all support? It will 
come as no surprise to anyone who has run for office or worked in 
campaigns that there is little evidence of fraudulent voting. It's hard 
enough to convince most registered voters to go to the polls. What is 
the incentive to engage in voter fraud, a felony offense? In 
particular, there is little incentive for immigrants--against whom this 
legislation is targeted--to vote illegally. Voter fraud by immigrants 
is subject to immediate deportation without appeal. Do the sponsors of 
this bill really believe that thousands, or even tens, of immigrants 
would risk deportation to cast a single vote?
  If anything shatters confidence in our election system, it is the 
thousands of votes that are not counted because of dimpled chads, 
electronic voting breakdowns, provisional ballot mishaps, three-hour 
lines at polling places, and the like. The Help America Vote Act, which 
was supposed to address some of these problems, has never been fully 
funded or enforced, and yet the Republican Majority wants to further 
restrict voting and create a new administrative nightmare for our 
states and localities.
  I urge my colleagues to vote no on this bill, so that all Americans 
might have the opportunity to cast their vote in November against this 
desperate cling to power.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 
4484, the Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006, because it will 
sacrifice the most fundamental right guaranteed to all American 
citizens by the Constitution--the right to vote. Contrary to its title, 
the bill will undermine the integrity of our electoral process by 
imposing unnecessary barriers to full participation in federal 
elections. The bill's requirements of proof of citizenship and photo 
identification as a prerequisite to voting may appear innocuous, but in 
reality they will create an

[[Page H6781]]

unprecedented regime of disenfranchisement aimed at seniors, minority 
voters, low income voters, students and voters with disabilities.
  Mr. Speaker, this bill imposes an undue burden on eligible voters. As 
the United States District Court found last year in Common Cause v. 
Billups, 406 F.Supp.2d 1326 (N.D. Ga. 2005), when considering a Georgia 
law requiring ID at the polls, ``photo identification requirements 
unconstitutionally burden the fundamental right to vote of eligible 
American citizens.'' The district judge issued an immediate injunction 
against the law, likening it to a segregation-era poll tax because the 
digital picture ID would cost voters $20. The court found that these 
provisions disproportionately affect traditionally disenfranchised 
voters, including senior citizens, minority voters, poor voters, 
disabled voters and young voters.
  And the decisions keep coming. A state judge yesterday again rejected 
the Georgia law requiring voters to show government-issued photo 
identification, writing in his decision, ``This cannot be.'' In his 
ruling, the judge said that the law places too much of a burden on 
voters, and ``Any attempt by the legislature to require more than what 
is required by the express language of our Constitution cannot 
withstand judicial scrutiny''. Lake v. Perdue, No. CV 119207 (Ga. 
Super. Ct. Sept. 19, 2006) In Michigan, the photo ID requirement was 
declared unconstitutional by the State's attorney general and his 
decision is now being reviewed by the State Supreme Court. In 
Pennsylvania, a similar voter ID bill was vetoed by the governor.
  Proponents of this bill claim that these draconian constraints are 
necessary to guard against identity fraud at the Nation's polling 
places. The truth, however tells a far different story. According to 
the United States Department of Justice, out of 196,139,871 votes cast 
since 2002, only about 80 voters were convicted of federal election 
fraud. Mr. Speaker, when we compare the number of eligible voters that 
will be disenfranchised because of this bill to the number of 
documented cases of fraud, it's clear that this bill will do more harm 
than good--the cure is clearly worse than the disease.
  Mr. Speaker, it's hard to believe that the same Congress that 
reauthorized the Voting Rights Act two months ago could now seriously 
contemplate passage of this bill. There is plenty that needs to be done 
to fix our electoral system, but instead of addressing problems that 
don't exist, it is our responsibility to ensure that we have a model 
system of choosing our elected officials--one that exemplifies the true 
principle of democracy and serves as an example to other nations around 
the world. I urge my colleagues to oppose this bill.
  Mr. ETHERIDGE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to the 
Republicans' National Voter ID act. This bill imposes new Federal ID 
requirements on all voters in Federal elections and would have the 
effect of disenfranchising millions of American citizens. H.R. 4844 
requires all States to demand that voters provide government-issued 
identification in order to vote in the 2008 election, and a copy when 
voting absentee or by mail, and proof of citizenship in order to vote 
in the 2010 election.
  Unfortunately, H.R. 4844 undoes the progress of the Voting Rights Act 
Reauthorization enacted just 2 months ago by imposing a 21st century 
poll tax. This bill would disenfranchise the elderly, people with 
disabilities, and minorities. The costs of obtaining the documents 
needed to prove you are citizen are high. A birth certificate usually 
costs $1- $15; and according to the State Department only 27 percent of 
eligible Americans have passports, which cost $97. Naturalization 
papers, if they need to be replaced, cost $210. While supporters of 
H.R. 4844 promise to help some citizens who don't have money to pay for 
these documents, we cannot bank on the promise from the Republican 
majority who have refused to honor their commitment to the Help America 
Vote Act.
  Mr. Speaker, let me state clearly that I oppose voter fraud. 
Currently, there are very strong federal statues on the books to 
penalize voter fraud and I support their vigorous enforcement. The Help 
American Vote Act, which I supported, gave States resources to both 
expand access and prevent voter fraud. Yet, the Republican majority has 
under-funded the Help American Vote Act by $800 million. I oppose this 
legislation, and urge my colleagues to reject this 21st Century poll 
tax.
  Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I oppose H.R. 4844, and 
express my dismay with this distraction. I fear that actions taken 
today will sear doubt and weakness into one of our treasured and 
fundamental rights as a democratic Nation.
  Not 3 months ago, we dedicated significant amounts of time land 
resources to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act. We celebrated the fact 
that these rights will be secure for another generation. And yet, with 
this bit!, we are reminded that these rights are fleeting, and must 
continually be protected.
  This bill undermines the very provisions we have been fighting for--
and clearly have not yet won--for over 40 years. This bill compounds 
the disproportionate discrimination that persists across this Nation.
  This bill attempts to address a problem that does not exist, and this 
is crucial to understand. There is no voter fraud problem. It is simply 
not a documented issue. Suggesting that it may be plays into bigotry 
and xenophobia.
  Data from the U.S. Department of Justice shows that while 196,139,871 
votes have been cast in Federal elections since October 2002, only 52 
individuals have been convicted of Federal voter fraud. Most of these 
convictions were for vote buying or for voter registration fraud, 
neither of which would be prevented by restrictive ill requirements at 
the polls.
  If convicted of voter fraud, an individual can be given up to 5 years 
in prison and a $10,000 fine: The Department of Justice and the Federal 
Bureau of Investigation has an active--and fully funded--prosecution 
team to enforce Federal and State election laws.
  In reality, the bill is a 21st century poll tax. Instead of money 
collected at the poll door, however, the tax will now be collected at 
the Department of Motor Vehicles. Congress cannot place itself on the 
wrong side of this debate--history will see this clearly.
  The crux of discriminatory measures in this bill rests with the fact 
that the right to vote is tied to documents that are not readily 
available. The burden of obtaining these documents--whether the cost of 
obtaining supporting documentation, investing the time to navigate 
bureaucracy or the waiting period to receive the documents in the 
mail--is prohibitive, and yet familiar. Anyone who has waited in line 
at the DMV must understand what a mistake this is.
  I do not argue with the notion that we must prevent individuals from 
voting who are not allowed to vote. Yet a hidden argument in this bill 
is that immigrants may ``infiltrate'' our voting system. Legal 
immigrants who have successfully navigated the citizenship maze are 
unlikely to draw the attention of the authorities by attempting to 
register incorrectly. Similarly, undocumented immigrants are even less 
likely to risk deportation just to influence an election.
  If for no other reason than Hurricane Katrina, we must all understand 
how vulnerable our system is. Families fleeing the hurricanes last 
summer suffered loss of property that included lost documents. 
Compounding this was the devastation of the region, which virtually 
shut down civil services in the area. New Orleans residents were 
scattered across 44 States. And had difficulty registering and voting 
both with absentee ballots and at satellite voting stations for the 
April 22 city elections this year. Those elections took place fully 8 
months after the disaster, and it required the efforts of non-profits, 
such as the NAACP, to ensure that voters had the access they are 
constitutionally guaranteed.
  In addition, this bill hands State governments yet another unfunded 
mandate. By 2010, we must all submit photo IDs with proof of 
citizenship in order to vote. Currently, no more than 4 States have 
driver's licenses or IDs that match these requirements. The only other 
document that does satisfy this requirement is a passport. Therefore, 
every State that does not have this kind of photo ID must restructure 
and create the ID system to provide adequate voting permits for 
everyone who does not have an updated passport with a current address. 
This would involve reissuing driver's licenses or identification cards 
in almost every State.
  The Congressional Budget Office estimates that implementing H.R. 4844 
would cost about $1 million in 2007 and $77 million over the 2007-2011 
period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. This exceeds 
the allowed amounts in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. In addition, 
CBO estimates that the cost of providing photo identification for 
voters who cannot afford them would be about $45 million in 2008.
  This is simply ludicrous. We need to address the election fraud that 
we know is occurring, such as voting machine integrity and poll 
volunteer training and competence. After every election that occurs in 
this country, we have documented evidence of voting inconsistencies and 
errors. In 2004, in New Mexico, malfunctioning machines mysteriously 
failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 
ballots. One million ballots nationwide were spoiled by faulty voting 
equipment--roughly one for every 100 cast.

[[Page H6782]]

  Those who face the most significant barriers are not only the poor, 
minorities, and rural populations. 1.5 million college students, whose 
addresses change often, and the elderly, will also have difficulty 
providing documentation.
  In fact, newly married individuals face significant barriers to 
completing a change in surname. For instance, it can take 6-8 weeks to 
receive the marriage certificate in the mail, another 2 weeks (and a 
full day waiting in line) to get the new Social Security card, and 
finally, 3-4 weeks to get the new driver's license. There is a 
significant possibility that this bill will also prohibit newlyweds 
from voting if they are married within 3 months of election day.
  An election with integrity is one that is open to every eligible 
voter. Restrictive voter ID requirements degrade the integrity of our 
elections by systematically excluding large numbers of eligible 
Americans.
  The right to vote is a critical and sacred constitutionally protected 
civil right. To challenge this is to erode our democracy, challenge 
justice, and mock our moral standing. I urge my colleagues to join me 
in dismissing this crippling legislation, and pursue effective 
solutions to the real problems of election fraud and error. We cannot 
let the rhetoric of an election year destroy a fundamental right upon 
which we have established liberty and freedom.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Rehberg). All time for debate has 
expired.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 1015, the previous question is ordered 
on the bill, as amended.
  The question is on the engrossment and third reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.


          Motion to Recommit Offered By Ms. Millender-McDonald

  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, I offer a motion to recommit.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is the gentlewoman opposed to the bill?
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. I am opposed at this present time, Mr. 
Speaker.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Clerk will report the motion to 
recommit.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Ms. Millender-McDonald moves to recommit the bill H.R. 4844 
     to the Committee on House Administration with instructions to 
     report the same back to the House forthwith with the 
     following amendment:
       Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
     following:

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Federal Election Integrity 
     Act of 2006''.

     SEC. 2. REQUIRING VOTERS TO PROVIDE PHOTO IDENTIFICATION.

       (a) Requirement to Provide Photo Identification as 
     Condition of Receiving Ballot.--Section 303(b) of the Help 
     America Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15483(b)) is amended--
       (1) in the heading, by striking ``for Voters Who Register 
     by Mail'' and inserting ``for Providing Photo 
     Identification''; and
       (2) by striking paragraphs (1) through (3) and inserting 
     the following:
       ``(1) Individuals voting in person.--
       ``(A) Requirement to provide identification.--
     Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as 
     provided in subparagraphs (B), (C), and (D), the appropriate 
     State or local election official may not provide a ballot for 
     an election for Federal office to an individual who desires 
     to vote in person unless the individual presents to the 
     official--
       ``(i) a government-issued, current, and valid photo 
     identification; or
       ``(ii) in the case of the regularly scheduled general 
     election for Federal office held in November 2010 and each 
     subsequent election for Federal office, a government-issued, 
     current, and valid photo identification for which the 
     individual was required to provide proof of United States 
     citizenship as a condition for the issuance of the 
     identification.
       ``(B) Availability of provisional ballot.--If an individual 
     does not present the identification required under 
     subparagraph (A), the individual shall be permitted to cast a 
     provisional ballot with respect to the election under section 
     302(a), except that the appropriate State or local election 
     official may not make a determination under section 302(a)(4) 
     that the individual is eligible under State law to vote in 
     the election unless the individual presents the 
     identification required under subparagraph (A) to the 
     official not later than 48 hours after casting the 
     provisional ballot.
       ``(C) Exception for elderly and disabled voters.--
     Subparagraph (A) does not apply with respect to any elderly 
     or handicapped individual. In this subparagraph, the terms 
     `elderly' and `handicapped' have the meanings given such 
     terms in section 8 of the Voting Accessibility for the 
     Elderly and Handicapped Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ee-6)).
       ``(D) Exception for victims of hurricane katrina.--
     Subparagraph (A) does not apply with respect to any 
     individual who certifies to the appropriate election official 
     that the documentation which would enable the individual to 
     obtain the identification required under such subparagraph 
     was lost or destroyed as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
       ``(2) Individuals voting other than in person.--
       ``(A) In general.--Notwithstanding any other provision of 
     law and except as provided in subparagraphs (B), (C), and 
     (D), the appropriate State or local election official may not 
     accept any ballot for an election for Federal office provided 
     by an individual who votes other than in person unless the 
     individual submits with the ballot--
       ``(i) a copy of a government-issued, current, and valid 
     photo identification; or
       ``(ii) in the case of the regularly scheduled general 
     election for Federal office held in November 2010 and each 
     subsequent election for Federal office, a copy of a 
     government-issued, current, and valid photo identification 
     for which the individual was required to provide proof of 
     United States citizenship as a condition for the issuance of 
     the identification.
       ``(B) Exception for absent military voters and their 
     families.--Subparagraph (A) does not apply with respect to a 
     ballot provided by an absent uniformed services voter. In 
     this subparagraph, the term `absent uniformed services voter' 
     has the meaning given such term in section 107(1) of the 
     Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 
     U.S.C. 1973ff-6(1)).
       ``(C) Exception for elderly and disabled voters.--
     Subparagraph (A) does not apply with respect to a ballot 
     provided by a elderly or handicapped individual. In this 
     subparagraph, the terms `elderly' and `handicapped' have the 
     meanings given such terms in section 8 of the Voting 
     Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (42 U.S.C. 
     1973ee-6)).
       ``(D) Exception for victims of hurricane katrina.--
     Subparagraph (A) does not apply with respect to any 
     individual who certifies to the appropriate election official 
     that the documentation which would enable the individual to 
     obtain the identification required under such subparagraph 
     was lost or destroyed as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
       ``(3) Specific requirements for identifications.--For 
     purposes of paragraphs (1) and (2)--
       ``(A) an identification is `government-issued' if it is 
     issued by the Federal Government or by the government of a 
     State; and
       ``(B) an identification is one for which an individual was 
     required to provide proof of United States citizenship as a 
     condition for issuance if the identification displays an 
     official marking or other indication that the individual is a 
     United States citizen.''.
       (b) Conforming Amendments.--Section 303 of such Act (42 
     U.S.C. 15483) is amended--
       (1) in the heading, by striking ``FOR VOTERS WHO REGISTER 
     BY MAIL'' and inserting ``FOR PROVIDING PHOTO 
     IDENTIFICATION''; and
       (2) in subsection (c), by striking ``subsections 
     (a)(5)(A)(i)(II) and (b)(3)(B)(i)(II)'' and inserting 
     ``subsection (a)(5)(A)(i)(II)''.
       (c) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents of such Act 
     is amended by amending the item relating to section 303 to 
     read as follows:

``Sec. 303. Computerized statewide voter registration list requirements 
              and requirements for providing photo identification''.
       (d) Effective Date.--
       (1) In general.--This section and the amendments made by 
     this section shall apply with respect to the regularly 
     scheduled general election for Federal office held in 
     November 2008 and each subsequent election for Federal 
     office.
       (2) Conforming amendment.--Section 303(d)(2) of such Act 
     (42 U.S.C. 15483(d)(2)) is amended to read as follows:
       ``(2) Requirement to provide photo identification.--
     Paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b) shall apply with 
     respect to the regularly scheduled general election for 
     Federal office held in November 2008 and each subsequent 
     election for Federal office.''.
       (3) Exception.--Notwithstanding paragraph (1) or section 
     303(d)(2) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (as amended by 
     paragraph (2)), this section and the amendments made by this 
     section shall not apply with respect to any election which is 
     held in a State during a fiscal year for which the amount 
     provided to the State pursuant to the authorization under 
     section 297A of such Act (as added by section 3(c)) is not 
     sufficient to cover the costs incurred by the State in 
     carrying out the amendments made by section 3.

     SEC. 3. MAKING PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS AVAILABLE.

       (a) Requiring States to Make Identification Available.--
     Section 303(b) of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (42 
     U.S.C. 15483(b)), as amended by section 2(a)(2), is amended--
       (1) by redesignating paragraphs (4) and (5) as paragraphs 
     (5) and (6); and
       (2) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following new 
     paragraph:
       ``(4) Making photo identifications available.--
       ``(A) In general.--During fiscal year 2008 and each 
     succeeding fiscal year, each State shall establish a program 
     to provide photo identifications which may be used to meet 
     the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) by individuals who 
     desire to vote in elections held in the State but who do not 
     otherwise

[[Page H6783]]

     possess a government-issued photo identification.
       ``(B) Identifications provided at no cost to indigent 
     individuals.--If a State charges an individual a fee for 
     providing a photo identification under the program 
     established under subparagraph (A)--
       ``(i) the fee charged may not exceed the reasonable cost to 
     the State of providing the identification to the individual; 
     and
       ``(ii) the State may not charge a fee to any individual who 
     provides an attestation that the individual is unable to 
     afford the fee.
       ``(C) Identifications not to be used for other purposes.--
     Any photo identification provided under the program 
     established under subparagraph (A) may not serve as a 
     government-issued photo identification for purposes of any 
     program or function of a State or local government other than 
     the administration of elections.''.
       (b) Report on Number of Individuals Unable to Cast Ballots 
     as a Result of Photo Identification Requirement.--Section 
     303(b) of such Act (42 U.S.C. 15483(b)), as amended by 
     subsection (a), is amended by adding at the end the following 
     new paragraph:
       ``(7) Report on number of individuals unable to cast 
     ballots as a result of photo identification requirement.--Not 
     later than December 31 of each year during which a regularly 
     scheduled general election for Federal office is held 
     (beginning with 2008), each State shall submit a report to 
     the Commission on the number of individuals in the State who 
     were registered to vote with respect to the election but who 
     were prohibited from casting a ballot in the election, or 
     whose provisional ballots were not counted in the election, 
     because they failed to meet the requirements of paragraph (1) 
     or (2).''.
       (c) Payments to States to Cover Costs.--Subtitle D of title 
     II of such Act (42 U.S.C. 15321 et seq.) is amended by adding 
     at the end the following new part:

``PART 7--PAYMENTS TO COVER COSTS OF PROVIDING PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS TO 
                          INDIGENT INDIVIDUALS

     ``SEC. 297. PAYMENTS TO COVER COSTS TO STATES OF PROVIDING 
                   PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS FOR VOTING TO INDIGENT 
                   INDIVIDUALS.

       ``(a) Payments to States.--The Commission shall make 
     payments to States to cover the costs incurred in providing 
     photo identifications under the program established under 
     section 303(b)(4) to individuals who are unable to afford the 
     fee that would otherwise be charged under the program.
       ``(b) Amount of Payment.--The amount of the payment made to 
     a State under this part for any year shall be equal to the 
     amount of fees which would have been collected by the State 
     during the year under the program established under section 
     303(b)(4) but for the application of section 
     303(b)(4)(B)(ii), as determined on the basis of information 
     furnished to the Commission by the State at such time and in 
     such form as the Commission may require.

     ``SEC. 297A. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

       ``There are authorized to be appropriated for payments 
     under this part such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 
     2008 and each succeeding fiscal year.''.
       (d) Clerical Amendment.--The table of contents of such Act 
     is amended by adding at the end of the item relating to 
     subtitle D of title II the following:

``Part 7--Payments to Cover Costs of Providing Photo Identifications to 
                          Indigent Individuals

``Sec. 297. Payments to cover costs to States of providing photo 
              identifications for voting to indigent individuals.
``Sec. 297A. Authorization of appropriations.''.
       (e) Effective Date.--This section and the amendments made 
     by this section shall take effect October 1, 2007.

     SEC. 4. REQUIREMENTS PRIOR TO IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW VOTER 
                   IDENTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.

       (a) Availability of Funding for States.--The amendments 
     made by this Act shall not take effect unless--
       (1) the amount provided to States pursuant to the 
     authorization under section 297A of the Help America Vote Act 
     of 2002 (as added by section 3(c)) is sufficient to cover the 
     costs to the States of meeting the requirements of section 
     303(b)(4) of such Act (as added by section 3(a)); and
       (2) the amount provided to States for requirements payments 
     under subtitle D of title II of such Act is sufficient to 
     cover the costs to the States of meeting the requirements of 
     title III of such Act (other than section 303(b)(4)), taking 
     into account the additional requirements imposed by the 
     amendments made by this Act.
       (b) Requiring Access to Photo Identifications Prior to 
     Implementation of New Requirements.--The amendments made by 
     this Act shall not take effect unless the Election Assistance 
     Commission reports to Congress that not less than 95 percent 
     of the voting age population of the United States has 
     obtained photo identification which meets the requirements of 
     the Help America Vote Act of 2002 which are added by the 
     amendments made by this Act, and that individuals who were 
     not able to afford the fee imposed by a State for the 
     identification were provided the identification free of 
     charge by the State.
       (c) Requiring Certification by Attorney General, Chief 
     State Election Official, and Governor Prior to Implementation 
     of New Requirements in State.--
       (1) Certification.--The amendments made by this Act shall 
     not apply with respect to elections held in a State unless 
     the chief executive of the State, the chief State election 
     official of the State, and the Attorney General certify to 
     Congress that, on the basis of clear and convincing 
     evidence--
       (A) voting by noncitizens in the State is a persistent and 
     significant problem; and
       (B) the remedies and prohibitions applicable under the laws 
     in effect prior to the implementation of the amendments made 
     by this Act are insufficient to prevent and deter this 
     problem.
       (2) Definitions.--In this subsection--
       (A) the term ``chief State election official'' has the 
     meaning given such term in section 253(e) of the Help America 
     Vote Act of 2002 (42 U.S.C. 15403(e)); and
       (B) the term ``State'' has the meaning given such term in 
     section 901 of such Act (42 U.S.C. 15541).
       (d) Study and Report on Anticipated Effect of 
     Implementation on Participation by Elderly, Disabled, Native 
     Americans and Minority Voters.--The amendments made by this 
     Act shall not take effect unless the Election Assistance 
     Commission--
       (1) conducts a study on the anticipated impact of the 
     amendments on voter participation; and
       (2) submits a report to Congress on the study which 
     concludes that the implementation of the amendments will not 
     disproportionately affect voter participation by the elderly, 
     the disabled, Native Americans, and members of racial 
     minorities.

  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD (during the reading). Mr. Speaker, I ask 
unanimous consent that the motion to recommit be considered as read and 
printed in the Record.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from California?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from 
California is recognized for 5 minutes in support of her motion.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, if the House is going to vote 
out a proof-of-citizenship requirement to allow citizens to exercise 
their constitutional right to vote, then we should consider who will be 
disenfranchised by this new requirement, and we should ensure that the 
States have both the funds and have determined their needs to implement 
this mandate.
  Of course, we should exempt those who will be greatly burdened and 
are least likely to fit the straw man profile which the majority has 
thrown up as its excuse to pass this bill, voting by noncitizens. There 
is no showing that this straw man is a problem of sufficient 
proportions to justify a 21st century poll tax.
  There is no empirical data on which to justify this unfunded mandate, 
and the personal financial burden and, in some cases, the sheer 
impossibility of citizens to obtain the required documentation must be 
taken into consideration.
  I therefore offer a motion to recommit, which does the following 
things to the Republican proof-of-citizenship photo ID obstacle to 
voting.
  First, the motion to recommit exempts all military voters and their 
families from the requirement of submitting a copy of their photo ID 
when mailing in an absentee ballot, not just those uniformed personnel 
overseas, as the underlying Hyde bill allows.
  Second, my motion exempts all elderly and disabled voters from having 
to provide their photo ID at polls or when mailing in absentee ballots. 
They have financial and access obstacles which ordinary citizens simply 
do not have, and we need to recognize and adjust for that.
  Third, the motion prevents the bill from taking effect in any State 
and during any fiscal year in which the Federal Government is acting 
irresponsibly by not providing sufficient Federal funds to cover the 
State costs of the unfunded mandate of making photo IDs available.
  Fourth, my motion to recommit empowers the States by requiring that 
this new proof of citizenship photo ID provision will not take effect 
until the State's chief executive, chief election officer, and attorney 
general have each certified to Congress that voting by noncitizens in 
the State is a persistent and significant problem that can't be 
resolved by existing State and Federal laws.
  Fifth, the motion seeks to enlighten the Congress on the impact of 
this law by having States issue a report to the Election Assistance 
Commission on the number of individuals who are

[[Page H6784]]

disenfranchised because of a photo ID requirement.
  Sixth, the motion seeks to temper the likely effects of this harsh 
new statute by holding its application in abeyance until the Election 
Assistance Commission reports to Congress that 95 percent of the 
voting-age population has acquired a photo ID which meets the 
requirements of this act.
  Seventh, my motion prevents the law from taking effect until the 
Election Assistance Commission studies and reports to Congress that the 
photo ID law will not disproportionately disenfranchise the elderly, 
disabled, minority and Native Americans.
  Finally, the motion exempts Katrina victims whose records were 
destroyed and who were unable to obtain the requisite documentation, as 
long as they certify under penalty of perjury to the appropriate State 
election officials.
  These are major concerns but by no means the only ones.
  Mr. SCOTT of Georgia. Would the gentlewoman yield just for one 
moment?
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. I yield to the gentleman from Georgia.
  Mr. SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, this is very important on two 
points. The poll tax, which is a very important point of our argument, 
it has been said this is not a poll tax. It has been said that this is 
not an unfunded mandate. However, it is important to know that at the 
same time they say that this effort will be paid for, but there is no 
funding in this bill to pay for it, that makes it an unfunded mandate. 
That puts the onus on the individual senior citizens, those without it. 
Therefore, this was the consideration for the Georgia ruling that it 
was a poll tax and unconstitutional.
  It is also important to note within the case in Georgia it was 
pointed out that clearly there were 600,000 Georgians, and not just 
Georgians, but registered voters in Georgia, 600,000, who did not have 
either a driver's license or a birth certificate. In order for that to 
happen, they would have had to provide the costs for doing so, which 
was not in the bill.
  Subsequently, the Governor of Georgia said, to solve this we will put 
a bus to travel, follow it around the State. The bus made it for 2 
hours and broke down. I wanted to make that clear for the Georgia 
record.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the motion.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Michigan is recognized 
for 5 minutes.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to respond without having 
seen the text of this beforehand, but it appears clear to me that it 
has the purpose to provide a number of exceptions. Our bill does not 
provide exceptions, because we are interested in ensuring that every 
voter has the right to vote. We also want to ensure that there are no 
illegal votes cast.
  References have been made to unfunded mandate. The House just 
defeated that suggestion and said there is no unfunded mandate. There 
are concerns about no money being provided. Our committee, the House 
Administration Committee, is an authorizing committee, not an 
appropriations committee.
  If this bill is unfunded, it is simply because we are an authorizing 
committee, and any bill passed by an authorizing committee is unfunded. 
We have to follow the procedures here. We pass authorizing bills. The 
appropriators then provide the money to implement authorizing 
activities.
  I strongly urge the Members of the body to recommit this bill and to 
pass the original version of the bill, as amended, and which was 
introduced to this body and debated for the last 2 hours. It is a good 
bill that will provide the safety and security we need to ensure the 
vote is taken properly. I urge all of my colleagues to vote for this 
bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Without objection, the previous question is 
ordered on the motion to recommit.
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion to recommit.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the noes appeared to have it.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, I object to the vote on the 
ground that a quorum is not present and make the point of order that a 
quorum is not present.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Evidently a quorum is not present.
  The Sergeant at Arms will notify absent Members.
  Pursuant to clause 8 and clause 9 of rule XX, this 15-minute vote on 
the motion to recommit will be followed by 5-minute votes on passage of 
H.R. 4844, if ordered, and the motion to suspend the rules on H. Res. 
976.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 196, 
nays 225, not voting 11, as follows

                             [Roll No. 458]

                               YEAS--196

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Andrews
     Baca
     Baird
     Baldwin
     Barrow
     Bean
     Becerra
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (NY)
     Blumenauer
     Boren
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boyd
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (OH)
     Brown, Corrine
     Butterfield
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardin
     Cardoza
     Carnahan
     Carson
     Chandler
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Conyers
     Cooper
     Costa
     Costello
     Cramer
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Cummings
     Davis (AL)
     Davis (CA)
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis (TN)
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Doyle
     Edwards
     Emanuel
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Etheridge
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Ford
     Frank (MA)
     Gonzalez
     Gordon
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Harman
     Hastings (FL)
     Herseth
     Higgins
     Hinchey
     Hinojosa
     Holden
     Holt
     Honda
     Hooley
     Hoyer
     Inslee
     Israel
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Jefferson
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (OH)
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick (MI)
     Kind
     Kucinich
     Langevin
     Lantos
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lipinski
     Lofgren, Zoe
     Lowey
     Lynch
     Maloney
     Markey
     Matheson
     Matsui
     McCarthy
     McCollum (MN)
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McIntyre
     McKinney
     McNulty
     Meehan
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Melancon
     Michaud
     Millender-McDonald
     Miller (NC)
     Miller, George
     Mollohan
     Moore (WI)
     Moran (VA)
     Murtha
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal (MA)
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Ortiz
     Owens
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Peterson (MN)
     Pomeroy
     Price (NC)
     Rahall
     Rangel
     Reyes
     Ross
     Rothman
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Ryan (OH)
     Sabo
     Salazar
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Sanders
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schwartz (PA)
     Scott (GA)
     Scott (VA)
     Serrano
     Sherman
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Snyder
     Solis
     Spratt
     Stark
     Stupak
     Tanner
     Tauscher
     Taylor (MS)
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Tierney
     Towns
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Van Hollen
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters
     Watson
     Watt
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Wexler
     Woolsey
     Wu
     Wynn

                               NAYS--225

     Aderholt
     Akin
     Alexander
     Bachus
     Baker
     Barrett (SC)
     Bartlett (MD)
     Barton (TX)
     Bass
     Beauprez
     Biggert
     Bilbray
     Bilirakis
     Blackburn
     Blunt
     Boehlert
     Boehner
     Bonilla
     Bonner
     Bono
     Boozman
     Boustany
     Bradley (NH)
     Brady (TX)
     Brown (SC)
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Burgess
     Burton (IN)
     Buyer
     Camp (MI)
     Campbell (CA)
     Cannon
     Cantor
     Capito
     Carter
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chocola
     Coble
     Cole (OK)
     Conaway
     Crenshaw
     Culberson
     Davis (KY)
     Davis, Jo Ann
     Davis, Tom
     Deal (GA)
     Dent
     Diaz-Balart, L.
     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Doolittle
     Drake
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Ehlers
     Emerson
     English (PA)
     Everett
     Feeney
     Ferguson
     Fitzpatrick (PA)
     Flake
     Foley
     Forbes
     Fortenberry
     Fossella
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gallegly
     Garrett (NJ)
     Gerlach
     Gibbons
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gingrey
     Gohmert
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Granger
     Graves
     Green (WI)
     Gutknecht
     Hall
     Harris
     Hart
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Hensarling
     Herger
     Hobson
     Hoekstra
     Hostettler
     Hulshof
     Hunter
     Hyde
     Inglis (SC)
     Issa
     Istook
     Jenkins
     Jindal
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson (IL)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Kelly
     Kennedy (MN)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kirk
     Kline
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     Kuhl (NY)
     LaHood
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Leach
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     LoBiondo
     Lucas
     Lungren, Daniel E.
     Mack
     Manzullo
     Marchant
     Marshall
     McCaul (TX)
     McCotter
     McCrery
     McHenry
     McHugh
     McKeon
     McMorris Rodgers
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Miller, Gary
     Moran (KS)
     Murphy
     Musgrave
     Myrick
     Neugebauer
     Northup
     Norwood
     Nunes
     Nussle
     Osborne
     Otter
     Oxley
     Paul
     Pearce
     Pence
     Peterson (PA)
     Petri
     Pickering
     Pitts
     Platts
     Poe
     Pombo
     Porter
     Price (GA)
     Pryce (OH)
     Putnam

[[Page H6785]]


     Radanovich
     Ramstad
     Regula
     Rehberg
     Reichert
     Renzi
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rogers (MI)
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Royce
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Saxton
     Schmidt
     Schwarz (MI)
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Shays
     Sherwood
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simmons
     Simpson
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Sodrel
     Souder
     Stearns
     Sullivan
     Sweeney
     Tancredo
     Taylor (NC)
     Terry
     Thomas
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Tiberi
     Turner
     Upton
     Walden (OR)
     Walsh
     Wamp
     Weldon (FL)
     Weldon (PA)
     Weller
     Westmoreland
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Wilson (NM)
     Wilson (SC)
     Wolf
     Young (AK)
     Young (FL)

                             NOT VOTING--11

     Bishop (UT)
     Calvert
     Case
     Cubin
     Evans
     Keller
     Kennedy (RI)
     Moore (KS)
     Ney
     Reynolds
     Strickland

                              {time}  1550

  Messrs. PICKERING, LUCAS, TERRY, NUNES, DANIEL E. LUNGREN of 
California, WALDEN of Oregon, HEFLEY, LaHOOD and GARY G. MILLER of 
California changed their vote from ``yea'' to ``nay.''
  Ms. KILPATRICK of Michigan, Ms. PELOSI, Mr. HOLT and Mr. UDALL of 
Colorado changed their vote from ``nay'' to ``yea.''
  So the motion to recommit was rejected.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the passage of the bill.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. EHLERS. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. This will be a 5-minute vote.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 228, 
nays 196, not voting 8, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 459]

                               YEAS--228

     Aderholt
     Akin
     Alexander
     Bachus
     Baker
     Barrett (SC)
     Bartlett (MD)
     Barton (TX)
     Bean
     Beauprez
     Biggert
     Bilbray
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (UT)
     Blackburn
     Blunt
     Boehlert
     Boehner
     Bonilla
     Bonner
     Bono
     Boozman
     Boustany
     Brady (TX)
     Brown (SC)
     Brown-Waite, Ginny
     Burgess
     Burton (IN)
     Buyer
     Calvert
     Camp (MI)
     Campbell (CA)
     Cannon
     Cantor
     Capito
     Carter
     Castle
     Chabot
     Chocola
     Coble
     Cole (OK)
     Conaway
     Crenshaw
     Culberson
     Davis (KY)
     Davis, Jo Ann
     Davis, Tom
     Deal (GA)
     Dent
     Diaz-Balart, L.
     Diaz-Balart, M.
     Doolittle
     Drake
     Dreier
     Duncan
     Ehlers
     Emerson
     English (PA)
     Everett
     Feeney
     Ferguson
     Fitzpatrick (PA)
     Flake
     Foley
     Forbes
     Fortenberry
     Fossella
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gallegly
     Garrett (NJ)
     Gerlach
     Gibbons
     Gilchrest
     Gillmor
     Gingrey
     Gohmert
     Goode
     Goodlatte
     Granger
     Graves
     Green (WI)
     Gutknecht
     Hall
     Harris
     Hart
     Hastings (WA)
     Hayes
     Hayworth
     Hefley
     Hensarling
     Herger
     Hobson
     Hoekstra
     Hostettler
     Hulshof
     Hunter
     Hyde
     Inglis (SC)
     Issa
     Istook
     Jenkins
     Jindal
     Johnson (CT)
     Johnson (IL)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jones (NC)
     Kelly
     Kennedy (MN)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kingston
     Kirk
     Kline
     Knollenberg
     Kolbe
     Kuhl (NY)
     LaHood
     Latham
     LaTourette
     Leach
     Lewis (CA)
     Lewis (KY)
     Linder
     LoBiondo
     Lucas
     Lungren, Daniel E.
     Mack
     Manzullo
     Marchant
     Marshall
     McCaul (TX)
     McCotter
     McCrery
     McHenry
     McHugh
     McKeon
     McMorris Rodgers
     Mica
     Miller (FL)
     Miller (MI)
     Miller, Gary
     Moran (KS)
     Murphy
     Musgrave
     Myrick
     Neugebauer
     Northup
     Norwood
     Nunes
     Nussle
     Osborne
     Otter
     Oxley
     Paul
     Pearce
     Pence
     Peterson (MN)
     Peterson (PA)
     Petri
     Pickering
     Pitts
     Platts
     Poe
     Pombo
     Porter
     Price (GA)
     Pryce (OH)
     Putnam
     Radanovich
     Ramstad
     Regula
     Rehberg
     Reichert
     Renzi
     Reynolds
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rogers (MI)
     Rohrabacher
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Royce
     Ryan (WI)
     Ryun (KS)
     Saxton
     Schmidt
     Schwarz (MI)
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shadegg
     Shaw
     Shays
     Sherwood
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simmons
     Simpson
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Sodrel
     Souder
     Stearns
     Sullivan
     Sweeney
     Tancredo
     Taylor (MS)
     Taylor (NC)
     Terry
     Thomas
     Thornberry
     Tiahrt
     Tiberi
     Turner
     Upton
     Walden (OR)
     Walsh
     Wamp
     Weldon (FL)
     Weldon (PA)
     Weller
     Westmoreland
     Whitfield
     Wicker
     Wilson (NM)
     Wilson (SC)
     Wolf
     Young (FL)

                               NAYS--196

     Abercrombie
     Ackerman
     Allen
     Andrews
     Baca
     Baird
     Baldwin
     Barrow
     Bass
     Becerra
     Berkley
     Berman
     Berry
     Bishop (GA)
     Bishop (NY)
     Blumenauer
     Boren
     Boswell
     Boucher
     Boyd
     Bradley (NH)
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (OH)
     Brown, Corrine
     Butterfield
     Capps
     Capuano
     Cardin
     Cardoza
     Carnahan
     Carson
     Chandler
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Conyers
     Cooper
     Costa
     Costello
     Cramer
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Cummings
     Davis (AL)
     Davis (CA)
     Davis (FL)
     Davis (IL)
     Davis (TN)
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     Delahunt
     DeLauro
     Dicks
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Doyle
     Edwards
     Emanuel
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Etheridge
     Farr
     Fattah
     Filner
     Ford
     Frank (MA)
     Gonzalez
     Gordon
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Harman
     Hastings (FL)
     Herseth
     Higgins
     Hinchey
     Hinojosa
     Holden
     Holt
     Honda
     Hooley
     Hoyer
     Inslee
     Israel
     Jackson (IL)
     Jackson-Lee (TX)
     Jefferson
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones (OH)
     Kanjorski
     Kaptur
     Kildee
     Kilpatrick (MI)
     Kind
     Kucinich
     Langevin
     Lantos
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lipinski
     Lofgren, Zoe
     Lowey
     Lynch
     Maloney
     Markey
     Matheson
     Matsui
     McCarthy
     McCollum (MN)
     McDermott
     McGovern
     McIntyre
     McKinney
     McNulty
     Meehan
     Meek (FL)
     Meeks (NY)
     Melancon
     Michaud
     Millender-McDonald
     Miller (NC)
     Miller, George
     Mollohan
     Moore (WI)
     Moran (VA)
     Murtha
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal (MA)
     Oberstar
     Obey
     Olver
     Ortiz
     Owens
     Pallone
     Pascrell
     Pastor
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Pomeroy
     Price (NC)
     Rahall
     Rangel
     Reyes
     Ross
     Rothman
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Ryan (OH)
     Sabo
     Salazar
     Sanchez, Linda T.
     Sanchez, Loretta
     Sanders
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schwartz (PA)
     Scott (GA)
     Scott (VA)
     Serrano
     Sherman
     Skelton
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Snyder
     Solis
     Spratt
     Stark
     Stupak
     Tanner
     Tauscher
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Tierney
     Towns
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)
     Van Hollen
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters
     Watson
     Watt
     Waxman
     Weiner
     Wexler
     Woolsey
     Wu
     Wynn
     Young (AK)

                             NOT VOTING--8

     Case
     Cubin
     Evans
     Keller
     Kennedy (RI)
     Moore (KS)
     Ney
     Strickland

                              {time}  1600

  So the bill was passed.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  The title of the bill was amended so as to read: ``A bill to amend 
the Help America Vote Act of 2002 to require each individual who 
desires to vote in an election for Federal office to provide the 
appropriate election official with a government-issued photo 
identification, and for other purposes.''.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table

                          ____________________

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.