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Congressman Delaney Files Election Reform Bill


Germantown’s elected representative in Washington, D.C, Congressman John K. Delaney, filed election reform legislation which, his office says, will allow Congress to more accurately reflect the interests of the American people.

Delaney, the Democratic Congressmen from the Maryland 6th District, filed H.R. 5334 or The Open Our Democracy Act, which mandates open primary elections for the House of Representatives, begins the process for redistricting reform, and makes Election Day a legal public holiday.

“Congress is broken,” said Delaney. “The American people are frustrated because the common good of the country isn’t being served. An electoral system that rewards extreme partisanship, is warped by gerrymandering, and features low turnout elections produces a House of Representatives that doesn’t live up to its name. The Open Our Democracy Act addresses these problems by giving independents, moderates, and non-partisans a voice in our elections; beginning the process for national redistricting reform so that congressional districts are representative and making Election Day a holiday. In the end, that means better electoral choices, better districts, and more people voting; a hugely beneficial prescription for a healthier republic.”

The bill calls for members of the House of Representatives to be elected through a single open primary and a single general election. All candidates, regardless of party preference, compete on a single primary ballot, with all registered voters – regardless of party affiliation – eligible to vote. The two candidates who receive the greatest number of votes will appear on the general election ballot.

H.R. 5334 also directs the Comptroller General of the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study on the feasibility of establishing national standards for redistricting.

Finally, the bill calls for Election Day to become a legal public holiday equivalent to a federal holiday. The legislation also expresses the sense of Congress that private employers should give employees time off to vote, in an effort to encourage more participation in elections.

The bill, which was introduced last Thursday, was referred to the House Committee on House Administration, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform which will discuss it before sending it to the House floor for consideration.

According to Govtrack.us, a website that aggregates data on Congress and its legislation, the bill has a two percent likelihood of being enacted.

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