EDITORIAL RECLASSIFICATION
TITLE 52, UNITED STATES CODE



BRIEF SUMMARY OF CHANGES

In 2014, provisions relating to voting and elections were transferred in the United States Code from titles 2 and 42 into a new Title 52, Voting and Elections. The transfers were necessary and desirable to create a well-organized, coherent structure for this body of law and to improve the overall organization of the United States Code. No statutory text was altered. The provisions were merely relocated from one place to another in the Code.

The decision to transfer provisions in the United States Code is taken very seriously. After careful study, the Office of the Law Revision Counsel concluded that certain organizational deficiencies in the Code had to be corrected, and that the short-term inconvenience of adjusting to new Code citations would be greatly outweighed by the benefit of making much needed long-term improvements in the organizational structure of the Code.

For the online version of the United States Code, the transfers occurred on September 1, 2014, after which the new Code citations were effective. For the printed version of the Code, the transfers occurred effective with supplement II of the 2012 edition.


BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR CHANGE

The United States Code is the official codification of the general and permanent laws of the United States organized into broad subject matter titles. In 1926, when the organizational structure of the Code was initially established, no separate title for voting and elections was created. At that time, only two federal statutory provisions relating to voting and elections were in existence.

Since 1960, an extensive body of federal statutory law relating to voting and elections has been enacted, including title III of the Civil Rights Act of 1960, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, and the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

Upon enactment, each of those laws was incorporated into the existing structure of the Code in the most logical manner possible. However, as the body of federal statutory law relating to voting and elections grew and evolved, it became increasingly apparent that a separate title was needed. Title 52, Voting and Elections, provides a well-organized, coherent structure for this important body of law while simplifying the structure of titles 2 and 42.

MAJOR ACTIONS AND STATUS

  • March 23, 2015.—The Office of the Law Revision Counsel completed, and submitted to the House Committee on the Judiciary for introduction in the 114th Congress, a draft bill to make technical amendments to update statutory references to certain provisions classified to title 52, United States Code.
  • June 18, 2015.—H.R. 2832 (114th Congress) was introduced and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
  • June 30, 2015.—The Office of the Law Revision Counsel submitted an updated draft of the bill to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
  • December 2, 2015.—H.R. 2832 (114th Congress), as amended, ordered to be reported.
  • February 1, 2016.—The Office of the Law Revision Counsel submitted an updated draft of the bill to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
  • September 6, 2016.—H.R. 2832 (114th Congress), as amended, passed in the House of Representatives.
  • September 7, 2016.—H.R. 2832 (114th Congress) received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
  • January 6, 2017.—The Office of the Law Revision Counsel submitted an updated draft bill (and accompanying explanation) to the House Committee on the Judiciary for introduction in the 115th Congress.
  • March 15, 2018.—H.R. 5297(115th Congress) was introduced and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
  • April 23, 2018.—The Office of the Law Revision Counsel submitted to the House Committee on the Judiciary for introduction in the 115th Congress a draft bill (and accompanying explanation) to make technical amendments to update statutory references to certain provisions classified to title 2, United States Code, title 50, United States Code, and title 52, United States Code.
  • June 21, 2018.—H.R. 6176, a bill to make technical amendments to update statutory references to certain provisions classified to title 2, United States Code, title 50, United States Code, and title 52, United States Code, was introduced and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

RESOURCES FOR TRANSITION

(1) H.R. 6176 (115th Congress).

(2) Explanation of H.R. 6176 (115th Congress), showing changes in existing law made by the bill.

(3) Overview of Title 52, Voting and Elections

(4) Comprehensive Chart - old/new Code citations for all transferred provisions (PDF)

(5) Comprehensive Chart - old/new Code citations for all transferred provisions (HTML)

(6) Quick Chart for Voting Rights Act of 1965 - old/new Code citations

QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS

Questions and comments about the bill to make technical amendments to update statutory references to provisions classified to title 2, United States Code, title 50, United States Code, and title 52, United States Code, should be directed to:


     Robert M. Sukol, Deputy Law Revision Counsel

     U.S. House of Representatives

     Washington, D.C. 20515

     Telephone: (202) 226-2411

     Email: robert.sukol@mail.house.gov