Congress Votes To Promote and Expand Potential Voter Fraud – What You Need To Know | American Center for Law and Justice
Congress Votes To Promote and Expand Potential Voter Fraud – What You Need To Know

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Congress Votes To Promote and Expand Potential Voter Fraud – What You Need To Know

By 

Wesley Smith
|

March 09

5 min read

Election Law

In one of the most alarming and far-reaching acts of the new Congress, the House of Representatives passed the For the People Act of 2021 (H.R. 1, the most comprehensive legislation on voting since the Voting Rights Act of 1965) by a vote of 220 to 210, with all Republicans voting against the measure.  One Democrat, Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, voted against it.  The bill is now on the way to the Senate.  The legislation was drafted without the input of state and local election officials who are responsible for administering elections in this country.

The legislation tramples on the constitutional right of states to control their elections. For example, the bill voids individual state voter-identification requirements and makes permanent the widespread mail-in voting that created so many doubts about election integrity last November.  It also mandates states to offer online and same-day voter registration and creates an independent commission to draw congressional districts in each state, something that now is done by individual state legislatures.

In effect, this bill seeks to promote and expand the alleged voter fraud that was so controversial last year.  It takes some things that were heretofore illegal and codifies them into law. Included in the act is mandatory automatic voter registration, restoring voting rights to people with completed felony sentences, and a reversal of state voter-ID laws that would allow citizens to make a sworn statement affirming their identity if they were unable to produce an ID.

President Biden praised the House action in a statement last week, saying it comes in "the wake of an unprecedented assault on our democracy." So much for being the President who unites the country.  Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or Independent, this legislation threatens the security and integrity of your own vote.  It is unfair to people of all political stripes.  But in an effort to ensure they stay in power, the Democrats in Congress appear to be perfectly fine with this unprecedented legislation that tramples on constitutional provisions, states’ rights, and individual citizens’ rights to free and fair elections.

Basically, it centralizes voting in America with the power structure of the federal government in Washington, D.C.  Keep in mind, this is the same centralized government that cannot run a railroad, supervise mail delivery through the Post Office, and is incapable of balancing their own budget.  It reminds one of a quip from President Reagan who said the nine most frightening words in the English language are: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

Here are ten (but not all) of the key provisions in the bill:

  1. It nationalizes elections and centralizes election administration in Washington, D.C.  This oversteps the bounds in the Constitution by preventing states from determining their registration and voting practices as provided for in Article I, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution.
  2. It imposes progressive voting methods (like those in California today) on all states, including mail-in voting, ballot harvesting, and allowing people to vote without a proper ID.
  3. It takes voting changes that were made because of the COVID-19 pandemic and makes them permanent.  This includes things like mass ballot distribution by mail - which led to people casting more than one ballot, allowing non-citizens to vote, and undermining public trust in our election process.
  4. It changes the Federal Election Commission by eliminating the present six-member bipartisan makeup, creating a five-member partisan commission.  It also creates a “Speech Czar” designed to limit free speech.
  5. By centralizing the election system, it increases the vulnerability to foreign election interference.  It also fails to implement the important checks and balances as to who can actually register to vote, forcing states to implement online and automatic voter registration with no safeguards.  Section 304 of the bill states that each state “shall permit any eligible individual on the day of a Federal election and on any day when voting,” including early voting, to register and cast a ballot. This will give local election officials no time to verify the accuracy of the information of the voter registration and potentially would cause catastrophic delays at polling centers if hundreds of people show up to register and vote on the same day.
  6. It negatively impacts the First Amendment by limiting free speech and association with vague standards that require groups who are pushing for any legislative action to reveal the names of their donors.  This is something the Supreme Court ruled against in 1963, as it was used to inhibit Civil Rights groups and those who supported them, groups like the NAACP.  (Shelby County, Ala v. Holder, 570 US 529 (2013))
  7. It forces states to allow sworn statements to be used in place of official identification when registering and when voting.  It also forces states to accept provisional ballots when they are cast outside of the voter’s correct precinct.
  8. It weaponizes the IRS.  This bill permits this agency to investigate and consider the political stance and policies of any organization before granting them tax-exempt status.  This is a matter that the ACLJ effectively fought and won, with a Federal court enjoining the IRS from doing this very thing.
  9. The bill would automatically register as voters those whose names were already in other government databases, such as those for unemployment, insurance programs or food stamps, even if the individual was as young as 16 years old. The country’s voting age is 18. In general, states couldn’t refuse to process applications from individuals as young as 16.
  10. The legislation would allow for convicted felons to automatically be allowed to vote once they complete their sentences, contrary to the laws in numerous states.

Opponents said that after last year’s divisive election, the bill would further poison the political climate.  As Rep. Andy Barr (KY-6) explains:

Election laws should make it easy to vote and hard to cheat, but this bill would not only make it easy to cheat, it would effectively make it legal to cheat. . . . At a time when half of Americans have lost confidence in the integrity of our elections, this bill will only drive distrust and division higher.

We must urge members of the United States Senate to reject this dangerous and unconstitutional legislation.  That is the only way we can prevent these preposterous proposals from becoming the law of the land in the United States.

Wesley Smith

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Chaplain Colonel (Retired) J. Wesley Smith is Senior Advisor for Military Affairs at the American Center for Law and Justice. He served 26 years in the Army, with two combat deployments.

Wesley Smith

Chaplain Colonel (Retired) J. Wesley Smith is Senior Advisor for Military Affairs at the American Center for Law and Justice. He served 26 years in the Army, with two combat deployments.

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Congress Votes To Promote and Expand Potential Voter Fraud – What You Need To Know

Congress Votes To Promote and Expand Potential Voter Fraud – What You Need To Know

By 

Wesley Smith
|

March 09

5 min read

Election Law

In one of the most alarming and far-reaching acts of the new Congress, the House of Representatives passed the For the People Act of 2021 (H.R. 1, the most comprehensive legislation on voting since the Voting Rights Act of 1965) by a vote of 220 to 210, with all Republicans voting against the measure.  One Democrat, Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, voted against it.  The bill is now on the way to the Senate.  The legislation was drafted without the input of state and local election officials who are responsible for administering elections in this country.

The legislation tramples on the constitutional right of states to control their elections. For example, the bill voids individual state voter-identification requirements and makes permanent the widespread mail-in voting that created so many doubts about election integrity last November.  It also mandates states to offer online and same-day voter registration and creates an independent commission to draw congressional districts in each state, something that now is done by individual state legislatures.

In effect, this bill seeks to promote and expand the alleged voter fraud that was so controversial last year.  It takes some things that were heretofore illegal and codifies them into law. Included in the act is mandatory automatic voter registration, restoring voting rights to people with completed felony sentences, and a reversal of state voter-ID laws that would allow citizens to make a sworn statement affirming their identity if they were unable to produce an ID.

President Biden praised the House action in a statement last week, saying it comes in "the wake of an unprecedented assault on our democracy." So much for being the President who unites the country.  Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or Independent, this legislation threatens the security and integrity of your own vote.  It is unfair to people of all political stripes.  But in an effort to ensure they stay in power, the Democrats in Congress appear to be perfectly fine with this unprecedented legislation that tramples on constitutional provisions, states’ rights, and individual citizens’ rights to free and fair elections.

Basically, it centralizes voting in America with the power structure of the federal government in Washington, D.C.  Keep in mind, this is the same centralized government that cannot run a railroad, supervise mail delivery through the Post Office, and is incapable of balancing their own budget.  It reminds one of a quip from President Reagan who said the nine most frightening words in the English language are: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

Here are ten (but not all) of the key provisions in the bill:

  1. It nationalizes elections and centralizes election administration in Washington, D.C.  This oversteps the bounds in the Constitution by preventing states from determining their registration and voting practices as provided for in Article I, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution.
  2. It imposes progressive voting methods (like those in California today) on all states, including mail-in voting, ballot harvesting, and allowing people to vote without a proper ID.
  3. It takes voting changes that were made because of the COVID-19 pandemic and makes them permanent.  This includes things like mass ballot distribution by mail - which led to people casting more than one ballot, allowing non-citizens to vote, and undermining public trust in our election process.
  4. It changes the Federal Election Commission by eliminating the present six-member bipartisan makeup, creating a five-member partisan commission.  It also creates a “Speech Czar” designed to limit free speech.
  5. By centralizing the election system, it increases the vulnerability to foreign election interference.  It also fails to implement the important checks and balances as to who can actually register to vote, forcing states to implement online and automatic voter registration with no safeguards.  Section 304 of the bill states that each state “shall permit any eligible individual on the day of a Federal election and on any day when voting,” including early voting, to register and cast a ballot. This will give local election officials no time to verify the accuracy of the information of the voter registration and potentially would cause catastrophic delays at polling centers if hundreds of people show up to register and vote on the same day.
  6. It negatively impacts the First Amendment by limiting free speech and association with vague standards that require groups who are pushing for any legislative action to reveal the names of their donors.  This is something the Supreme Court ruled against in 1963, as it was used to inhibit Civil Rights groups and those who supported them, groups like the NAACP.  (Shelby County, Ala v. Holder, 570 US 529 (2013))
  7. It forces states to allow sworn statements to be used in place of official identification when registering and when voting.  It also forces states to accept provisional ballots when they are cast outside of the voter’s correct precinct.
  8. It weaponizes the IRS.  This bill permits this agency to investigate and consider the political stance and policies of any organization before granting them tax-exempt status.  This is a matter that the ACLJ effectively fought and won, with a Federal court enjoining the IRS from doing this very thing.
  9. The bill would automatically register as voters those whose names were already in other government databases, such as those for unemployment, insurance programs or food stamps, even if the individual was as young as 16 years old. The country’s voting age is 18. In general, states couldn’t refuse to process applications from individuals as young as 16.
  10. The legislation would allow for convicted felons to automatically be allowed to vote once they complete their sentences, contrary to the laws in numerous states.

Opponents said that after last year’s divisive election, the bill would further poison the political climate.  As Rep. Andy Barr (KY-6) explains:

Election laws should make it easy to vote and hard to cheat, but this bill would not only make it easy to cheat, it would effectively make it legal to cheat. . . . At a time when half of Americans have lost confidence in the integrity of our elections, this bill will only drive distrust and division higher.

We must urge members of the United States Senate to reject this dangerous and unconstitutional legislation.  That is the only way we can prevent these preposterous proposals from becoming the law of the land in the United States.

Wesley Smith

More Articles

Chaplain Colonel (Retired) J. Wesley Smith is Senior Advisor for Military Affairs at the American Center for Law and Justice. He served 26 years in the Army, with two combat deployments.

Wesley Smith

Chaplain Colonel (Retired) J. Wesley Smith is Senior Advisor for Military Affairs at the American Center for Law and Justice. He served 26 years in the Army, with two combat deployments.

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