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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Congressional Authority to Standardize National Election Procedures

Congressional Authority to Standardize National Election Procedures

Date: February 14, 2003
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R
Description: Recent events surrounding the Presidential election have led to increased scrutiny of voting procedures in the United States. This report focuses on the constitutional authority and limitations that might be relevant to attempts by Congress to standardize these and other procedures.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: February 12, 2003
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Prior to enactment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155, the term “soft money” generally referred to unregulated funds, perceived as resulting from loopholes in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), 2 U.S.C. §§ 431 et seq. Generally, the intent of BCRA, (effective Nov. 6, 2002), which amends FECA, is to restrict the raising and spending of soft money. This Issue Brief discusses constitutional and legal issues surrounding two major types of soft money that BCRA regulates: political party soft money and soft money used for issue advocacy communications. Corporate and labor union soft money, which FECA exempts from regulation and is not addressed by BCRA, is also discussed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 107th Congress

The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 107th Congress

Date: February 7, 2003
Creator: Neale, Thomas H
Description: Seven proposals to reform the Electoral College system have been introduced to date in the 107th Congress. H.J.Res. 3 (Representative Green of Texas), and H.J.Res. 5 (Representative Delahunt) would eliminate the electoral college, substituting direct popular election of the President. H.J.Res. 1 (Representative Clyburn), H.J.Res. 18 (Representative Engel), and H.J.Res. 37 (Representative Clement) would incorporate the “district” method of awarding electoral votes, and H.J.Res. 17 (Representative Engel) would provide for proportional award of electoral votes. H.J.Res. 25 (Representative Leach) is a hybrid plan. These measures have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and await further action.
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Internet Voting

Internet Voting

Date: January 31, 2003
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J
Description: None
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Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: January 30, 2003
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Soft money is a major issue in the campaign finance reform debate because such funds are generally unregulated and perceived as resulting from a loophole in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). More specifically, soft money is considered to be funds that are raised and spent according to applicable state laws, which FECA prohibits from being spent directly on federal elections, but that may have an indirect influence on federal elections. This Issue Brief discusses three major types of soft money: political party soft money, corporate and labor union soft money, and soft money used for issue advocacy communications.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Financing

Campaign Financing

Date: January 30, 2003
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: This is one report in the series of reports that discuss the campaign finance practices and related issues. Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. The report talks about the today’s paramount issues such as perceived loopholes in current law and the longstanding issues: overall costs, funding sources, and competition.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Elections Reform: Overview and Issues

Elections Reform: Overview and Issues

Date: January 30, 2003
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J & Fischer, Eric A
Description: This report discusses several issues as the Congress considers legislation to reform the voting process, a number of issues have emerged as part of the debate: the reliability of different types of voting technologies; voting problems and irregularities in the 2000 election; problems for militaryand overseas voters; the electoral college; and early media projections of election results. Both sessions of the 107th Congress considered and debated federal election reform legislation, and the Help America Vote Act (HAVA, P.L. 107-252) was enacted in October 2002.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Background and Issues

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Background and Issues

Date: January 30, 2003
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law

Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law

Date: January 24, 2003
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Description: This report summarizes major provisions of federal law and offers a chronology of key legislative and judicial actions which govern financial activity of federal election campaigns. The laws are based on two principal statutes: the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971, as amended in 1974, 1976, 1979, and 2002, and the Revenue Act of 1971.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
House and Senate Vacancies: How Are They Filled?

House and Senate Vacancies: How Are They Filled?

Date: January 22, 2003
Creator: Richardson, Sula P. & Neale, Thomas H.
Description: This report discusses how vacancies in Congress are filled when a Senator or Representative dies, resigns, declines to serve, or is expelled or excluded from either house. The Constitution requires that vacancies in both houses be filled by special election, but in the case of the Senate, it empowers state legislatures to provide for temporary appointments by the state governor until special elections can be scheduled.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department