State SOS on track to restore voter confidence

Published 1:40 pm Wednesday, February 17, 2021

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The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) announced that a commission to restore the American public’s confidence in the integrity of free and fair elections by working to establish policies aimed at making it easier to vote and harder to cheat. The announcement was made on Feb. 17.

The commission, co-chaired by Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill and Michigan State Senator Ruth Johnson, has started identifying best practices nationwide that have proven to be effective in increasing voter access and participation without sacrificing the security, accountability, and transparency of the process.

“Increasing voter participation in this country will require thoughtful repairs to restore the public’s confidence in our electoral process, and we need to make the reforms necessary to regain trust in the process,” stated Alabama Secretary of State and commission co-chair John Merrill. “While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to anything, every state in the nation should be working to assess and improve their respective election laws. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this commission to be a resource for the leaders across the country who are taking the necessary steps forward to improving the process.”

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While restoring confidence in the process is a national priority, solutions must be created at the local level in state legislatures.

Michigan State Senator and commission co-chair Ruth Johnson added, “The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges and exposed that our election processes are far from perfect. The good news is that states are truly the laboratories of democracy, and we can all learn from what others do well as we try to provide assistance to the leaders across the country that are spearheading the effort to reform our elections. I am confident that our commission will be able to provide substantive support to the lawmakers around the country who need it, and restore our people’s trust in our elections.”

The following reform principles will guide the commission as it seeks to collect input from state leaders across the country on best practices to keep our elections free, fair, and transparent:

  • Empowering states
  • Ensuring voter roll accuracy
  • Securing absentee and mail-in voting
  • Increasing transparency for in-person voting
  • Streamlining the canvassing process