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Stefanik votes no on voting reform package

In this image from video, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., speaks as the House reconvenes to debate the objection to confirm the Electoral College vote from Arizona, after protesters stormed into the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6. (House Television via AP)

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, on Wednesday voted against legislation that would implement a series of voting reforms including providing for automatic registration, allowing felons to vote and making it harder to purge voter rolls.

The “For the People’s Act” would require online voter registration, allow same-day registration and automatically register voters using databases such as motor vehicle records, according to GovTrack.us. It also expands voting access including voting by mail and early voting.

The legislation would also allow felons, of which there are about 5.2 million, to vote.

Other provisions of the legislation are to require states to establish an independent redistricting commission to carry out congressional redistricting, according to GovTrack.us.

In addition, there are provisions to improve election security, including sharing intelligence data with state election officials and helping states secure their election systems.

It also establishes more conflict-of-interest and ethics provisions for federal employees and the White House. The legislation requires the president, vice president and certain candidates for those offices to disclose 10 years of tax returns.

Stefanik said in a news release that she objects to the provisions to allow felons and minors to vote.

The legislation would actually only allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote.

She also has issue with mandating “no-fault” absentee ballots, banning witness signatures and allowing absentee ballots to be received up to 10 days after Election Day.

She stated that she objects to the provision that would prohibit states from implementing laws requiring voters to show identification to vote at the polls.

Stefanik also has an issue that the legislation would permit taxpayer funding of federal campaigns. She said the legislation would restrict a state’s ability to remove ineligible voters from registration rolls. She also believes that automatically registering all “individuals,” instead of citizens from state and federal databases, could lead to large numbers of ineligible voters.

“It is unsurprising that one of the first bills Speaker Pelosi brought to the House floor is a massive partisan power grab to advance her far left agenda,” she said in a news release. “Rather than support reforms to strengthen our election laws, increase ballot integrity and prevent the irregularities that Americans witnessed in the 2020 election, Democrats are doubling down on billions of taxpayer funded political campaigns, no voter ID, mass mail-in-voting, ballot harvesting, late voting and other dangerous measures to indefinitely solidify their power in Washington.”

Stefanik is one of the GOP lawmakers who had raised objections to the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.

Stefanik’s office did not respond to an inquiry seeking follow-up comment.

The bill passed 220-210 with all Republicans and one Democrat, U.S. Rep. Benny Thompson, of Mississippi, voting against it.

It now heads to the Senate, where it faces steep odds as 10 Republicans must come on board to advance the legislation.

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