WASHINGTON - Committee on House Administration Chairman Bryan Steil (WI-01) delivered opening remarks at the joint hearing with the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability entitled, "American Confidence in Elections: The Path to Election Integrity in the District of Columbia."

Click the image or here to view Chairman Steil's opening remarks.

Chairman Steil Opening Remarks:
This is the third full committee hearing in the Committee on House Administration’s American Confidence in Elections series, leading up to the re-introduction of the American Confidence in Election Act, or the ACE Act. 

The ACE Act is the most conservative election bill to be considered in the House in over 20 years. 

It works to boost voters’ confidence and uphold the Constitution by ensuring states maintain primary control over elections – not the federal government.  

This is in stark contrast to House Democrats’ efforts the last two Congresses, which would have nationalized our elections system and centralized it in Washington, D.C. 

Voters’ confidence in our elections system isn’t a partisan issue, and I’ll note that voters from both parties have had questions in the past. 

The ACE Act will equip states with voluntary tools they can implement to boost voter confidence and strengthen election integrity.  

However, while the Constitution clearly reserves power over elections to states, it explicitly gives Congress the responsibility to ensure the District of Columbia is governed effectively, including elections. 

That’s why it’s important to have today’s hearing alongside the Oversight Committee. 

The goal of today’s hearing is to discuss how we can ensure elections and boost voter confidence in the District of Columbia by implementing key election reforms outlined in the ACE Act. 

For years, D.C.’s elections have been mismanaged.  

In 2015, the Board of Elections sent verification postcards to 260,000 inactive voters, with nearly 40,000 of those returned as undeliverable. 

That’s a big number. 

In 2015, the D.C.  auditor reviewed a list of people who died the year before.  

Every single person reviewed was still on the voter roll and eligible to vote. 

D.C. failed its audit. That’s a huge problem. 

When a person dies, they should be removed from the voter rolls.  

The ACE Act fixes this problem.

In 2020, D.C.’s bad decisions continued... 

During the primary, voters waited in line at some polling places for hours, and some never received their mail-in ballot.  

D.C. then made the decision to allow voters to submit ballots by unsecured e-mail. 

This raises serious concerns about election integrity and erodes confidence in our elections. 

In the 2020 general election, the D.C. Board of Elections mailed every person on an unmaintained list a ballot. 

A post-election audit found that over 11% of the 421,791 ballots sent were undeliverable – that's nearly 50,000 ballots! 

Two years later, during the 2022 mid-term, 508,543 ballots were mailed and nearly 90,000 were undeliverable. 

That’s on top of hundreds of voters who were mailed incorrect ballots! 

Did D.C. work to address these errors?.... No! 

D.C. allows voting without a photo ID.

D.C. allows ballot harvesting.

D.C. allows non-citizens to vote.

That’s a huge problem. 

The ACE Act will fix this.

We already know that left-leaning organizations accept millions in foreign money intended to influence American politics. 

We should all work against foreign influence in our elections. 

But what did D.C. do? 

Under a new local law, D.C. made elections more susceptible to foreign interference.  

After living here for just 30 days, embassy staff from Russia or China could cast a ballot in D.C. elections. 

This is beyond unacceptable! 

American elections should be for American citizens. 

Our nation’s capital should be a beacon of democracy and a national model for excellence in election administration. 

This isn’t about who wins or loses elections, but rather ensuring voters have confidence in our elections. 

This is why we need the ACE Act. 

I’m focused on using Congress’s Constitutional authority to bring commonsense election integrity reforms to the District and protect its voters. 

The ACE Act takes D.C. from being the poster child on how not to run elections, to being the model for states to follow. 

The ACE Act will make 10 essential reforms in D.C. including:

  • Requiring strong voter ID laws  
  • Prohibiting non-citizens from voting 
  • Requiring annual voter list maintenance, and 
  • Stopping unsolicited mailing of ballots to unmaintained lists. 

Contrary to what many on the Left have said, including what I anticipate we’ll hear today, the data shows that states that have implemented common-sense election integrity laws have experienced increased voter turnout. 

It’s time to follow the facts, and not false narratives. 

If Democrats want to work together to encourage more people to vote, they can start by supporting the ACE Act to strengthen voter confidence right here in our nation's capital.