House Democrats first passed HR-1, deceptively titled the For The People Act, during the last Congress. The provisions of the bill would federalize elections taking power away from the states. Decentralization of elections is in the Constitution, with state legislatures having the primary role, so this power grab would likely not pass judicial scrutiny. It also had no chance of passing a Republican-controlled Senate last session, so it died in the House. Now, with a slim majority in both chambers, the Democrats are trying again.
This move is astonishing after the last election. Concerns over election day irregularities, changes to election laws, fraud, and voting machines led to a widespread lack of confidence in the outcome. A recent Just the News Daily Poll showed that under half of the registered voters felt the fraud allegations received a fair hearing.
HR-1 would take nearly every process that created skepticism about the outcome in 2020 and make it the law nationally and then some. The bill uses many elements of California’s election law as a template, including making ballot harvesting more likely and a host of other provisions that make the election and each ballot less secure. Here are some highlights:
- Prohibits voter ID requirements and restricts signature matching
- Automatic voter registration
- Put limits on the systems, data required, and timeframes by which states can remove voters from the voter rolls
- Takes redistricting out of the control of state legislature
- Prohibits states from restricting felons from voting
- Reforms the FEC to a five-member commission that can investigate with a majority vote leaving it open to partisanship
- Requires disclosure of donors for certain politically active groups and a public database of digital ad buys over $500
- Taxpayer funding of campaigns through a matching scheme to multiply small donations
A recent poll showed voters want their elections to be more secure, not less. In a Just the News Daily Poll, 77% of registered voters want identification to be required when voting in person. This preference crosses all party affiliations, races, and educational levels:
Overall, 77% of respondents in the poll of registered voters believe ID laws should be in place at the ballot box. That number holds largely consistent among white, Hispanic, and black voters; seven out of every 10 Democrats feel that way, as do 61% of “very liberal” voters.
It is rare to find this much agreement on any issue in a deeply divided electorate. The assertion that voter ID is an unnecessary hurdle for certain minority groups is a fig leaf Democrats hide behind to fight election security laws. According to the poll, both black and Hispanic voters prefer voter ID at a rate of almost 3 out of 4.
The soft bigotry of low expectations as well as the canard of widespread voter suppression needs to stop. Texas and Georgia both saw increased participation by minority populations after implementing voter ID. Republicans need to use data-driven rebuttals to end these pitiful excuses for Democrat losses.
With two Democrat Senators refusing to vote to end the filibuster, HR-1 will likely die in the Senate again. If the vote on ending the filibuster goes sideways, both political speech and election integrity will suffer significantly. It is stunning with this level of agreement on a critical item that builds confidence in elections that Democrats would seek to dismantle it where it exists today, especially after what we lived through in 2020.
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