Top Election Law Experts Rip HR 1 to Shreds: 'The Worst Bill I've Ever Seen'


Two of the nation’s top election experts — The Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky and National Review’s John Fund — along with Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft agreed that H.R. 1, the For the People Act, would have a disastrous impact on U.S. elections.

All three explained how the bill, which passed the House of Representatives earlier this month with no Republican support, would fundamentally change how elections are conducted during the Election Integrity Virtual Conference hosted by Regent University’s Robertson School of Government in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

“H.R. 1 is the worst bill I’ve ever seen and the most dangerous bill I have ever seen when it comes to elections,” von Spakovsky, a former member of the Federal Election Commission, said.

Von Spakovsky and Fund — who co-authored the 2012 book “Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk” — both pointed out that H.R. 1 would overturn voter ID laws, which are present in 34 states.

Other changes included in the bill are same-day voter registration, ballot harvesting and automatic voter registration.

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Automatic voter registration would mean large portions of the estimated millions of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. would be registered to vote if they have any interaction with a government agency, such as obtaining a driver’s license or attending a state university.

H.R. 1 also prevents illegal aliens from being civilly or criminally prosecuted for being registered to vote, von Spakovsky said, which he argued means Democrats fully expect that to happen.

“This [bill] is not something that will inspire confidence in our elections. It will breed cynicism, mistrust and despair,” Fund said.

Fund contrasted H.R. 1 with the Help America Vote Act of 2002, which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the aftermath of the 2000 presidential race between former President George W. Bush and Democratic contender Al Gore when the Supreme Court had to make the final determination.

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Former Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, a Democratic co-sponsor of the ’02 legislation, said at the time: “This bill is designed to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat. We’re Americans. We can do both at the same time.”

“Contrast that with the approach of H.R. 1. There were no effective hearings on this bill. It was rammed through on a party-line vote. Not a single Republican in the House of Representatives voted for it,” Fund said.

Ashcroft contended that H.R. 1 is unconstitutional, citing Articles 1 and 2 that grant the states power to conduct elections.

He also pointed to multiple constitutional amendments related to voting, including the 15th (providing that voting rights cannot be denied based on race), 17th (changing the way U.S. senators are elected), 19th (giving women the right to vote) and 26th (lowering the voting age to 18), as proof that when the federal government has wanted to change election laws nationwide, it has historically had to do so through the amendment process.

“It is an unconstitutional encroachment upon the right of states in its current form,” Ashcroft said.

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“And in Missouri, we will do two things if it passes and gets signed: We will file a lawsuit … and then we will tell the federal government to pound sand because we will follow the Constitution regardless of what the United States Congress does.”

The Senate Rules and Administration Committee held a hearing on H.R. 1 on Wednesday.

Fund anticipates that if Democrats garner enough support for the bill, a vote could come as early as April, but some change to the filibuster rule would likely need to happen for it to pass.

This article appeared originally on Patriot Project.

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