HR 1 / S1: For the People Act of 2021

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.

S.1 is a supplement to H.R. 1 that pushes for a dangerous takeover of our election system. There are very few differences between the bills as both would have the same outcome: Elections that no one will ever trust again.

Republican Senators Deliver Opening Remarks at S.1 Markup in Rules Committee on May 11, 2021

Ranking Member Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO)

S.1 makes it easier to cheat and harder to detect.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

We aren’t going to let one party take over our Democracy.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) 

This Bill Doesn’t Protect Voting Rights, it Steals Voting Rights From the American People.

Constitutionality

Federalizing Elections

  • Electors & Elections Clauses
  • Congress overreach States’ Authority

First Amendment – Donor Disclosure

  • Weaponizes donor’s personal information when contributing to nonprofit organization
  • Compelled Speech

Donor Disclaimer – Advertising

  • Requires longer disclaimers in ads, thereby limiting candidates’ ability to speak within time constraints
  • In some cases, organizations must disclose top 5 donors, even if they do not support an ad.

Jurisdiction

  • Limits court challenges to DC District & Circuit Courts
  • No chance for fair consideration
  • Will Justices hear these election issues?

Resources:

Read the letter from Republican Attorneys General

WaPo: ACLU lawyers highlight the dangers of H.R. 1.

WaPo: Political donation disclosure requirements could further harassment.

Institute for Free Speech: Analysis of H.R. 1 (Part One): “For the People Act” Is Replete with Provisions for the Politicians

Voter Registration

Automatic

  • For all eligible unregistered voters
  • No prosecution for ineligible voters registered in error

    Voter Reg for New Categories

    • Allow 16- & 17-year-olds to register
    • Felons not in correctional institution or facility at time of election

      Same Day

      • Including during early voting

        Online Reg

        • Signature in electronic form, on file or when asking for ballot
        • Update info with electronic signature

          Voter Rolls

          • Update voter rolls with interstate cross-checks no later than 6 months prior to Election instead of the current 90-day requirement

            Over Counting

            Mandates states count

            • Provisional ballots for votes cast outside voter’s correct precinct must be counted
            • Ballots received up to 10 past election day if they are post-marked or otherwise verified by post office

            Absentee Ballots

            Prohibition on requirements

                • Any form of ID
                • Notarization
                • Witness Signature

            Allows voter attestation or signature

            Mandates

                • No excuse absentee ballot
                • Option to automatically receive absentee ballots for all subsequent federal elections

            Absentee Ballot Returns

            • Mandates Drop boxes
            • Available 45 days prior to Election

            Ballot-harvesting

            • No limit on # ballots that can be returned
            • Expands pool of approved people from immediate to family to anyone
            Voting Ballot

            Early Voting

            • Mandates early voting starting 15 days prior to election or earlier
            • Mandates states begin processing and scanning as early as 14 days prior
            • Allows “informational materials” for states requiring photo ID, including sworn statement in place of photo ID

            In-Person Voting

            Voted Sticker
            • Forbids state from requiring voter ID
            • Permits sworn written statement
            • Mandates states ensure people don’t wait longer than 30 minutes to cast a ballot
            • Prohibits states from restricting curbside voting

            Campaign Finance & Funding

            • Permits IRS to investigate and consider political and policy persuasions of organizations before granting tax-exempt status
            • Allows IRS auditors to launch investigations against conservative groups.
            • Creates 6:1 government match for small donor donations up to $200
            • New $25 voucher program for eligible voters

            Resources

            Fox News: House Democrats’ H.R. 1 would create new public financing of congressional campaigns

            Federal Election Commission

            • Alters it from bipartisan 6-party agency to 5-member agency controlled by president, eradicating the bipartisan requirement for enforcement actions
            • Simple majority = quorum
            • 9 Former FEC members outlined their concerns with changing this bipartisan agency that grew out of Watergate
            • Creates “Speech Czar” with sole authority to hire and fire FEC General Counsel, and General Counsel only needs to notify FEC on intent to conduct discovery and launch investigations

            Resources

            Congressional Research Service: Currently the FEC has six commissioners appointed by the president subject to Senate advice and consent. No more than three members may be affiliated with the same political party. Congress arrived at this bipartisan, even-numbered structure amid debate over how to properly insulate the campaign finance agency from political pressures.

            Institute for Free Speech: Letter from previous FEC commissioners to Congress with concerns about H.R. 1 and S 1, specifically “shifting the Commission from a bipartisan, six member body to a five-member body subject to partisan control, would be highly detrimental to the agency’s credibility.”

            Ethics

            • Violates separation of powers by requiring code of ethics for Supreme Court justices
            American Flag

            DC Statehood

            • Claims 705,000 people not represented
            • 2 more Senators, 1+ more in House
            • Limits Capitol to a series of buildings
            Lincoln

            Redistricting

            • Mandates each state sets up a redistricting commission with 15 registered voters who are not politicians
            • Outlaws other redistricting options
            • 5 Democrats, 5 Republicans and 5 Independents would set districts