Democrats, one would surmise, are sanguine in the face of very serious dangers blazing in America and across the world. While the border hot-mess rages, critical gas pipelines fail, consumer prices reveal inflationary pressures and middle east ally Israel battles a terrorist siege, Democrats in Congress push forward on their top priority: The nationalization of our elections.
HR 1, the so called “For the People Act” is sucking so much good will out of Washington these days such that any focus on collective solutions to real problems is simply unachievable. It’s such a priority for the left they reserved the first bills in both houses (HR 1 and SR 1) for its work, which is nothing less than a fundamental restructuring of the most potent tool of any democracy; the means by which the citizens in our republic choose its leaders.
Certainly, any recasting of such an enshrined cornerstone of the American Experiment as voting laws and processes would require cool and sober bipartisanship if it were indeed “for the people”. But this is very different. It is an “in-your-face” partisan blitzkrieg targeted against half the nation designed to render the Democrats a one-party ruling class without riposte. Its preeminence to that assembly is so obvious as to expose a deep anxiety for their future electoral chances without its passage.
And the details of the Act are as nefarious as its title. Broadly, it circumvents the foundational structure of state control of elections, as set forth in our Constitution, by placing under federal guidance all election processes and safeguards.
This is significant and by design. In choosing to superintend the methods and means for voting and, more importantly, outlawing any state and local oversight of election integrity, they provide a distinct advantage to those who would seek to corrupt the voting process, promoting a wide berth for fraud.
Additionally, it upends the bipartisan independence of the Federal Election Commission, making that election watchdog a partisan pit bull off the left’s leash soiling any sense of fair play in electioneering. It also creates public financing of elections which of course is a shady path to institutionalizing one-party rule. It also turns the vital rule of an “election day” into “election weeks,” permitting mail in balloting along a wide section of time and completely undermining the concept of a day upon which voters can focus on both sides of the question and come to a collective, unifying decision.
But central to its mission is the effort to expand the illegal base of voters by inviting non-citizens to register and activists to coerce and collect ballots from all sorts of places by all sorts of means. It does that by simply over-riding all rigorous state and local voting rules with uniform expansion of a set of nationalized voting procedures.
“This legislation strikes down virtually every voter integrity law adopted at the state level,” Sen. Ted Cruz pointed out at the Senate Rules Committee hearing on the bill Tuesday. “Over 70% of Americans support voter ID laws. Over 60% of African-Americans support the same,” the Texan added.
Recent national polls bear that out. A Fox News poll last month made plain over 77% of Americans favor some type of voter requirement to prove citizenship. (95% Republicans; 76% of Independents, and; 60% of Democrats concurred).
An even more recent Rasmussen survey revealed most voters say it’s more important to prevent cheating in elections than to make it easier to vote and, by more than a two-to-one margin, they reject claims that voter ID laws are discriminatory.
So without any public support to reengineer elections, why the push by Democrats to strike down voter integrity laws across the country? Especially in the face of so much real national and international turmoil and disruption begging for bipartisan attention.
If your mission were to promote faith in the outcomes of national elections, particularly in the wake of last year’s highly questionable presidential contest, wouldn’t representatives move to encourage more tightening of state voting guardrails?
But again, that’s not what this is. This is not a measure to restore faith in our national elections. It’s a brazen hijacking of those state voting laws to make it easier for one party to encourage and then harvest illegal votes, thereby handicapping their opponents who rely merely on legally cast votes.
Currently 29 states have some form of voter ID requirements. Some, like Florida and Georgia, recently passed additional rigors on the process to ensure even more protection. After last year’s pandemic-panicked attempts to circumvent those states’ guidance on mail-in voting, ballot harvesting and voter ID, it’s clear that the process needs tightening.
The Constitution (Article 2, Section 2) clearly and explicitly provides for state legislatures to set the rules (the manner) of all elections. That includes federal offices such as Congress and the president and vice president.
This proves once again the nation’s framers prescient vision for potential voting disruptions. By clearly providing for state oversight of election laws, our Founding Fathers set forth the best method for ensuring election integrity. HR 1 would undo all those protections and put Washington, D.C. and the corrupt politicians operating there indefinitely in control of all 50 state elections, thereby providing all the ingredients necessary for one-party Democrat rule.
Lew Uhler is founder and chairman of the National Tax Limitation Committee and the National Tax Limitation Foundation (NTLF). Uhler was a contemporary and collaborator with Ronald Reagan and Milton Friedman in California and across the country.
Peter Ferrara served as a member of the White House Office of Policy Development under President Reagan, associate deputy attorney general of the U.S. under President George H.W. Bush, and the Dunn Liberty Fellow in Economics at the King’s College in New York.
Joe Yocca is NTLF’s policy director. A long-time political and policy consultant, Joe served in the California State Senate as chief of staff to the Republican leadership for decades, and directed numerous statewide legislative and congressional campaigns throughout his career.