ballot counting

File photo of ballot counters in Maricopa County.

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - After hitting the pavement in Greenville Tuesday evening, Fox Carolina found that HR 1, the For the People Act, is something the people don’t seem to know much about.

So we decided to break it down as best we could. The 800-page bill can most easily be separated into addressing three main issues: voting rights, campaign-finance, and ethics.

For starters, HR 1 would seek to implement automatic voter registration, which could begin at 16 years old. As a constitutional expert Kevin Vance at Clemson University explains, that doesn’t mean the voting age is being lowered.

“The law does allow for a pre-registration of folks who are 16 and 17 years old, so that on day one when they turn 18, they are ready to go vote," Vance explained.

The bill would also mandate an early voting period in federal elections and seek to crack down on gerrymandering. Then, there’s the issue of voter fraud.

“It requires a paper ballot trail for machine voting," Vance said. “It requires a system where, after you vote by electronic method, that voter be given some kind of confirmation about who they voted for."

Vance says he’s also aware that many out there say this bill could do away with voter ID altogether, which he says isn’t entirely true.

“It doesn’t literally overturn state ID laws," Vance said. “Those laws would still be on the books, but it does require states to allow alternative means of showing who you are."

He says there are pros and cons to this. It would also have a huge effect on state to pass a new voting laws, like Georgia just did.

“Georgia statute would fall if it’s in contradiction to federal law, because federal law is supreme," Vance said.

The bill would require a lot of campaigns and politicians as well. Under it, corporations that donate to politicians would have to make donor lists public.

Social media engines like Facebook and Twitter would also have to tell people where the money is coming from when they run political ads or promote videos.

Finally, candidates and those elected to high office would have to disclose tax returns, and, along with the Supreme Court, adhere to a new code of ethics.

The bill has passed the House of Representatives and is now going through the US Senate.

To read HR 1 in its entirety without any political opinion or analysis, just the legislation exactly as it is written, visit the FOX Carolina website or download the free FOX Carolina news app.

Copyright 2021 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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