Legislation House Democrats are trying to ram through Congress under the banner of election reform is nothing more than a liberal power grab, according to a coalition of America’s conservatives.
“Conservatives are united in opposing H.R. 1, the attempt by House Democrats to fundamentally undermine the American electoral system,” reads the memo posted on the website of the Conservative Action Project.
The League of Women Voters has supported the legislation saying that it would replace local registration systems with one federal one; put federal limits on how states can go about redistricting; restore the Voting Rights Act a court said no longer needed to be enforced;
Be wary of misleading labels, warns the group of 150 conservatives who signed the petition, headlined by former Attorney General Edwin Meese.
“While they cloak the bill in terms of “restoring democracy” and “preventing corruption,” the legislation has one goal: to protect incumbents, at the expense of the First Amendment, federalism, and individual voter integrity,” the petition said.
“H.R. 1 would cause sweeping and irrevocable damage to the free speech, privacy, and integrity that are central components to free and fair elections in America. We oppose H.R. 1 in the strongest terms, and urge all conservatives to do likewise,” it said.
The proposal from House Democrats, which would have to also pass the GOP-controlled Senate and be signed by President Donald Trump to become law, has three strikes against it, the conservatives argue: it undermines the First Amendment, supersedes state rights; and converts the government from an observer of elections into an active player.
The legislation “would allow the Federal Election Commission to track and catalogue more of what Americans are saying, register even very small political donations, and make public those who donate to different charitable and nonprofit organizations.”
“The legislation will subject private citizens to intimidation and harassment for their private and political beliefs,” the petition said.
States lose power under H.R. 1 by giving it to the federal government, which would then have to approve “changes as small as modifying the hours of an election office, or moving a voting location from a school gym to the library. Critically, none of these practices would undo any fraud or corruption. Rather, these same practices result in incorrect registrations and inaccurate voter data, while failing to address actual corrupt practices like ballot harvesting.”
The bill also revamps the Federal Election Commission to give it a partisan tilt and give a 600 match to private campaign donations.
- The memo against H.R. 1 also said it:
- Forces states to implement mandatory voter registration, removing civic participation as a voluntary choice, and increasing chances for error.
- Mandates that states allow all felons to vote.
- Forces states to extend periods of early voting, which has shown to have no effect on turnout.
- Mandates same-day voter registration, which encourages voter fraud.
- Limits the ability of states to cooperate to see who is registered in multiple states at the same time.
Signers of the memo include: Alfred Regnery, Chairman, Conservative Action Project, Jim DeMint, former U.S. Senator and President of the Heritage Foundation; David McIntosh, President, Club for Growth and former Member of Congress; Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council and Council for National Policy; L. Brett Bozell, III, President, Media Research Center;Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List; Tom Fitton, President, Judicial Watch; and Hans von Spakovsky, former Commissioner, Federal Election Commission.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted the proposal in an Op-Ed in The Washington Post, calling it “a naked attempt to change the rules of American politics to benefit one party. It should be called the Democrat Politician Protection Act.”
“Apparently the Democrats define ‘democracy’ as giving Washington a clearer view of whom to intimidate and leaving citizens more vulnerable to public harassment over private views. Under this bill, you’d keep your right to free association as long as your private associations were broadcast to everyone. You’d keep your right to speak freely so long as you notified a distant bureaucracy likely run by the same people you criticized. The bill goes so far as to suggest that the Constitution needs an amendment to override First Amendment protections,” he wrote.
McConnell warned that the post-election mayhem caused by close races not turning out the way Democrats wanted them to will be repeated as nausea under this new law, if it were to pass.
“The whole package seems tailor-made by Washington Democrats to help their D.C. attorneys descend on local communities, exploit confusion and try to swing elections. The antics we saw in Florida in November would be only the beginning,” he wrote.
“From the First Amendment to your ballot box, Democrats want to rewrite the rules to favor themselves and their friends.”
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