President Biden and his congressional and media allies’ frenzied crusade to block reforms designed to safeguard the integrity of the electoral process may backfire.
Branding those working to safeguard our elections as “Jim Crow” racists may simply speed the crumbling minority vote Democrats count on to win elections. Two recent public polls and many private Republican polls have found that most voters favor many of the measures their radical rewrite of our election laws incorporated in H.R. 1 would outlaw.
Cynically labeled the For the People Act, H.R. 1, which has already passed the House would, among other things, prohibit the states from requiring voters to identify themselves. The bill would also restore the voting rights of felons in all states. No state would be allowed to clean up its voter rolls or to limit the mailing of “mail in” or absentee ballots to those requesting them. H.R. 1 would legalize ballot harvesting and would prevent states from requiring that mail in ballots arrive on or before election day to be counted.
The legislation, first proposed in the last Congress by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has been rebranded as a civil rights bill when it is really nothing more than a blatant attempt to rig the electoral rules in favor of future Democratic candidates. One is forced to wonder if Mr. Biden was fantasizing about a future under the new rules that would govern our elections if H.R. 1 becomes law when he told a reporter at his recent “press conference” that he doesn’t know if the Republican Party will still exist in four years.
Two recent public polls and several private polls have found, however, that most voters favor many of the measures the For the People Act would outlaw. A Rasmussen poll found that 75% of voters want voters to have to present a photo ID to vote, including 60% of Democrats, 77% of independents and, tellingly, 69% of Blacks. Fully 72% of those polled said that a voter ID requirement would give them more confidence in the results of future elections.
Voters support other reforms outlawed by H.R. 1. Among the states that delayed reporting their results in 2020 were those that allowed mail-in ballots to dribble in after Election Day; California counts votes arriving 17 days after Election Day. Yet, 73% of voters say mail-in ballots arriving after Election Day should not be counted, and 63% of voters believe that the mass mailings of ballots should be limited to voters who request them.
Most Americans support making ballot access as easy as possible for “eligible voters,” but not for non-citizens or those who have died, moved out of the jurisdiction in which the election is being held or want to vote more than once. Whether there is “massive” voter fraud as many Trump supporters alleged in 2020 or Georgia’s Stacey Abrams charged when she lost her gubernatorial race in 2018 is hardly relevant.
What is relevant is that voter fraud does occur, and narrowly decided elections have been won or lost under suspicious circumstances for far too long. The rules should be drawn to minimize fraud and give confidence to legitimate voters that their votes will be counted and not be diluted by fraudulent or illegal votes.
For clearly selfish partisan reasons, today’s Democrats fail to see safeguarding the integrity of American elections as in their interests. That’s clearly why they are willing to lie to avoid a rational analysis of their proposals and various reforms designed to protect rather than undermine the electoral process.
Mr. Biden himself mischaracterized Georgia’s recently passed reforms so blatantly that that The Washington Post “fact checker” deemed it necessary to award his claims “Four Pinocchios.” Republicans face an uphill fight against these attempts to rewrite the rules because most of the press and many corporate leaders willing to kow tow before the new president are helping the president and his allies in any way they can.
When Georgia passed a reform package that will make it easier for eligible voters to register and vote but includes safeguards the president and his allies hate the president himself suggested that the Major League Baseball All-Star game scheduled for Atlanta be moved to another state; it took Major League Baseball executives something like five minutes to comply.
Facts didn’t matter because as Mr. Biden so clearly demonstrated by lying about the Georgia law, the fight against common sense ballot protection isn’t about fairness or truth or equity, but about his party’s desire not to be “For the People,” but to maintain power regardless of what “The People” think or want, and to perhaps make sure that in four years the Republican Party will cease to be a threat to a developing one party state governed under rules that Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee rightly described on reading H.R. 1 “as if written in Hell by the devil himself.”
• David A. Keene is an editor at large for The Washington Times.