Today, House Rep. Jason Smith, R-8th District, introduced legislation titled “Integrity of Our Elections Act.”

Smith said, “Safeguarding our federal election process and its integrity has to be a priority as we enter what will be one of the most important elections of our life time. For every fraudulent ballot cast, the value of the vote of law abiding Americans is diminished.”

Smith’s bill would amend the Help America Vote Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 2002, to require the chief state election official of each state to certify that recipients of mail-in or absentee ballots are eligible to vote prior to mailing a ballot for a federal election.

In a release Tuesday on the introduction of the legislation, Smith said: “Sweeping policies that would automatically send a ballot to every voter will drastically reduce safeguards intended to protect the integrity of our national elections and will lead to widespread confusion, fraud, and abuse.

“Given the importance of elections and how close 2016 was, I would think every American and every elected official would want to do everything they could to make sure we have the most accurate count for the upcoming November elections. Anything which jeopardizes the accuracy and veracity of who is voting should be heavily scrutinized.”

Smith currently represents Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District which includes Rolla, West Plains, Farmington, Cape Girardeau and Poplar Bluff.