Federalizing Election Law

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the Legislature thereof.”

–  Article I, Section 4, U.S. Constitution, the “Electors Clause”

The Constitution specifically reserves to the state legislatures the authority to determine how to conduct their own state’s elections.  Congress is relegated to a subordinate role in this effort.

And yet, the 117th Congress is pushing through an entirely partisan bill that will strip states of their constitutional authority to determine how their state will vote while simultaneously dismantling long-established standards for conducting fair and reliable elections.

It is imperative that Conservatives are well-versed in the horrendous provisions of the House’s #1 priority so we can spread the word to all Americans who want to continue living in a democracy in which we preserve the right to choose our elected leaders.

H.R. 1, For the People Act

H.R.1, paradoxically named the “For the People Act,” is a 791-page congressional overreach that unabashedly defies common sense.  It is designed to nationalize our elections by codifying the worst of 2020 and making permanent the Covid-19-related administrative changes.  Essentially, it is a partisan attempt to ensure that Republicans never win another election.

What’s in it?  The Committee on House Administration Republicans issued a summary, highlighting the “Top Ten Most Egregious Provisions of H.R. 1.”  The list below is reprinted verbatim, with emphasis added, from the report.

 

 

  1. Publicly funds campaigns with federal fines on corporations.  Creates a 6:1 funding match to any small donor contributions of $200 or less in a congressional or presidential campaign – meaning for every $200, the federal government will match $1,200.  This funding would come from a surcharge on corporate and high taxpayer settlements with the Federal government.  H.R. 1 also establishes a new voucher pilot program that grants eligible voters a $25 voucher to donate to any campaign of their choosing.

2. Nationalizes elections and centralizes administration in Washington, D.C.  Oversteps the bounds established by the Constitution by impeding the states’ ability to determine their registration and voting practices, as protected by Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution, and mandating ethics standards for the Supreme Court, violating the separation of powers.

3. Makes “pandemic-style” election changes permanent.  In 2020, states rushed to make changes in the name of COVID-19, like expanding mail-in voting without the safeguards to protect ballot integrity, which created chaos, increased irregularities, and undermined public trust in our election process.  H.R. 1 makes many of these changes permanent.

4. Imposes liberal California voting methods on every state.  H.R. 1 would force states to permanently expand mail-in voting, legalize ballot harvesting, and disregard voter ID laws.

5. Weaponizes the Federal Election Commission (FEC).  Alters the current bipartisan makeup of the six-member commission to a partisan five-member commission and establishes a “Speech Czar”, limiting free speech and creating a partisan commission.

6. Increases vulnerability for foreign election interference. Weakens the voting system of the American people by centralizing the election system, thereby increasing its vulnerability to foreign interference, and failing to implement the necessary checks and balances regarding who can register to vote.  H.R. 1 will force states to implement online voter registration, automatic voter registration, and same-day voter registration with no safeguards.

7. Destroys the First Amendment.  H.R. 1 would drastically limit free speech and impose vague standards that disadvantage all groups who wish to advocate on behalf of any legislative issue, specifically requiring them to disclose the names of donors who donate above a certain threshold.

8. Disregards state voter identification laws and provisional ballot rules.  Forces states to allow sworn statements to be used in place of identification and allowing for signature verification, which can be submitted through a photo if the voter registers online.  Forces states to count provisional ballots cast outside the voter’s correct precinct.

9. Removes states’ ability to decide how their districts are drawn.  Mandates the use of independent redistricting commissions for creating congressional districts, removing states’ flexibility to choose the best systems for the needs of their citizens.

10. Weaponizes Biden’s IRS.  H.R. 1 permits the agency to investigate and consider the political and policy persuasions of organizations before granting tax-exempt status.