Summary: The Safeguard Fair Elections Act blocks efforts to subvert democracy by disqualifying any public official who refuses, without legitimate evidence, to certify the actual vote counts or results of an election.
Drafting notes: The “substantial evidence” standard of review is commonly used in the review of administrative decisions. This model’s language for automatic resignation from office is based on Article 16, Section 65 of the Texas Constitution. Refusal to perform the duties of office has, in other cases, been punishable by a fine.
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This Act shall be called the “Safeguard Fair Elections Act.”
SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE
1) Following the 2020 election, anti-democratic extremists tried to get election officials to lie about election results. In some cases, public officials either hesitated or outright refused to accept plainly truthful election results.
2) Scores of court cases and administrative challenges proved without doubt that the 2020 election was counted correctly, that the candidates who were certified as winners had fairly and honestly won.
3) Those same extremists have made it clear that they are preparing an election nullification strategy to implement in the near future, which is an outright subversion of the American democratic system.
4) Each public official, whether an elected official, a government employee, or a volunteer empowered to take official action, has a sacred responsibility to place loyalty to the Constitution, laws and ethical principles above partisan politics.
5) Efforts to subvert vote counting and the recognition of election winners are, by definition, destructive to our system of democracy and the rule of law. There can be no government “of, by and for the people” if officials are dishonest about election results.
(B) PURPOSE—This law is enacted to protect our democratic system and the rule of law.
SECTION 3. DECISIONS IN ELECTION ADMINISTRATION MUST BE SUPPORTED BY FACT
After section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted:
(A) DEFINITIONS—In this section:
(1) “Official act” means a decision or action where a public official is acting for or on behalf of the state government or local government, or any branch thereof.
(2) “Public official” means a person legally authorized or permitted to execute laws or make decisions on behalf of any government, including any branch, subdivision, or agency of the state or any county, city, district, or other local government. “Public official” includes but is not limited to: elected and appointed officials, government employees, and people who are officially selected or acknowledged as acting on behalf of the government, such as election judges and election poll workers.
(3) “Substantial evidence” means such relevant evidence as a reasonable person might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.
(B) VOTE COUNTING AND ELECTION CERTIFICATION BASED ON FACT
(1) No public official shall perform or communicate the intention to perform an official act in which that official, without substantial evidence, refuses to accept the actual results or count of an election.
(2) If any public official performs or communicates the intention to perform an official act in violation of subsection (1), such performance or communication shall constitute an automatic resignation from office and any such official act in violation of subsection (1) shall be considered null and void.
(3) A willful violation of subsection (1) shall be a [Class 3] misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000.
(4) In addition to existing civil and criminal enforcement procedures, the [Attorney General] shall enforce this section pursuant to regulations that the [Attorney General] shall promulgate.
SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE
This law shall become effective on July 1, 20XX.