Republicans have saved this country’s two-party political system. At least for now. The power-hungry Democrats won’t give up easily, though. They’ll redouble their efforts to set themselves up as an unchallengeable political force that rules rather than governs.
With Sen. Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Republicans in the 50-50 Senate voting against moving forward with the “For the People Act of 2021,” the Democrats’ plan to put elections under federal rather than state and local authority was shelved Tuesday. It was the proper ending for legislation that should have never been written.
Of course, the Democrat-media cabal swears that the defeat is a disaster for the country, the bitter end of democracy. They’ve screeched until breathless that without the bill, the U.S. would be a swamp of “voter suppression.”
The Democrats know full-well that none of that is true – and are also entirely aware that the For the People Act was a naked power grab by the party that continues not to drift but steer hard to the left, a fact they’ve tried to cover up with their theatrics. The legislation, which got through the Democratic House in March by 10 votes, was a brazen effort to install permanent Democratic control of the federal government. It’s insurrection by ballot.
Beneath its feel-good title, the For the People Act is a dark ruse that creates favorable conditions for voter fraud. Its provisions include:
- Mandates to allow automatic registration and same-day voting after registration.
- Limits states’ ability to work with each other to determine which voters are registered in multiple states simultaneously.
- Prohibits election observers from cooperating with election officials to file formal challenges to suspicious voter registrations.
- Criminalizes protected political speech by making it an offense to “discourage” someone from voting.
- Bars states from making their own vote-by-mail laws.
- Allows “citizens who lack any appropriate photo ID to gain access to the polls with sworn affidavits to their identity.”
As we previously noted, the For the People Act “federalizes elections, putting our voting system in the hands of Deep State bureaucrats and political insiders.” Rather than local officials being directly accountable to voters, Washington functionaries would be free to act as they please.
Among the worst provisions of the bill is its requirement that states allow “ballot harvesting,” in which third parties collect ballots on behalf of groups of voters, such as those in nursing homes. Even the shallowest of thinkers understands just how ripe this practice is for fraud.
Some of the harshest criticism of the bill comes not from Republicans, who would be hurt by it more than any other political group, as they are the only electoral threat to the Democrats, but libertarian thinkers. The Cato Institute’s Walter Olson wrote in March that the legislation “fairly bristles with provisions at odds with our nation’s founding document.”
“There are free‐speech violations, about which ACLU officials have expressed alarm,” he continued. “There are separation‐of‐powers problems. There’s plenty of federalism‐mangling.”
Ilya Shapiro and Nathan Harvey, also of the Cato Institute, are on record as saying the bill was the “latest effort to further federalize and micromanage our governance.”
“The enormous 571‐page bill is a progressive wish list of new rules and regulations that would undermine the legitimacy and functionality of our entire electoral system,” they wrote before it was passed in the House.
“The Constitution deliberately decentralizes power over elections as it does over most other areas of law, leaving states and localities to determine rules for when, where, and how to cast a vote,” Shapiro and Harvey continue. “We have laws in place to stop racial discrimination and the like, but short of that, decentralization ensures that no single entity exerts too much influence over elections.”
Decentralizing elections is sensible, because, as Shapiro and Harvey point out, it’s harder to fix 50 state elections than a single national election. (Though it must be mentioned that a presidential election can be rigged simply by hacking a handful of local elections in swing states.)
Richard Epstein, law professor and Hoover Institution senior fellow, believes the practices the act would put in place during elections are “invitations for fraud.” At the same time, he says, “the use of an affidavit, as opposed to an ID card, is an open invitation for fraud. No one today could use a sworn affidavit in place of a picture ID to gain access to an airplane, school, hospital, or bar precisely because the picture offers a cheap and effective defense against various forms of impersonation.”
The Democrats’ appetite for raw political power is displayed not only in the For the People Act, but as well in their attempts to curb speech they don’t agree with; a red-hot desire to pack the Supreme Court; their tacit approval of the cancel culture; an eagerness to ram through vote-buying legislation; and their campaign to pick up more Democratic voters by adding Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., to the union.
So they will try again in some other way to capture incontestable control of the federal monster, gorge it with other people’s money, and turn it loose on America. It’s just who they are.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board