- The Washington Times - Monday, December 20, 2021

It is hardly an overstatement that the right to choose leaders in fair elections is the cornerstone of democracy. Without it, the process of voting is an exercise in futility. Nonetheless, certain activists are attempting to weaken the nation’s election-integrity laws by recasting them as voter suppression. Democracy’s antagonists are, ironically, mostly Democrats. Fortunately, Americans still able to distinguish between fair and foul elections are not falling for the fantasy.

President Biden is championing his party’s efforts to rebrand election integrity as its opposite. “I’ve never seen anything like the unrelenting assault on the right to vote. Never,” Mr. Biden said Friday at South Carolina State University’s 2021 fall commencement. The president should have referred to the unprecedented volume of ballot anomalies during his own 2020 election. Instead, he was condemning Republican efforts to correct them.

On Thursday, Mr. Biden held talks via Zoom with key Senate Democrats to explore the likelihood of nullifying the chamber’s filibuster practices to pass a wholesale overhaul of the nation’s election laws. Named the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act in honor of the deceased civil rights activist, the bill seeks to reestablish pre-clearance requirements for certain states’ voting regulation changes that the U.S. Supreme Court abolished in 2013 as vestiges of a bygone era of racial discrimination.

Other election laws governing redistricting procedures and voter ID requirements would be wrested away from traditional state control and placed at the mercy of Attorney General Merrick Garland’s highly partisan Justice Department. Blocked by Republican opposition and the Senate’s 60-vote threshold, Majority Leader Charles Schumer is reportedly exploring the possibility of lifting filibuster rules to push it through by a simple majority. If enacted, the law would essentially nationalize elections, subverting the Framers’ desire to allow the states to retain certain governing powers.

It should go without saying that the freedom to vote must apply to legitimate voters and no others. Yet numerous Democrat-controlled jurisdictions, New York City joining them most recently, are granting noncitizens the right to vote in local elections. It’s a trendy practice that Dwight Eisenhower could not have foreseen when he said, “The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter.”

In the interests of preserving ballot fairness, the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation has compiled an election-integrity scorecard. Each state and the District of Columbia received a composite grade based on clean-elections measures such as voter ID rules, voter registration accuracy and absentee ballot management. It shouldn’t surprise that red states Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas and Florida round out the top five, and blue states Vermont, Oregon, California, Nevada and Hawaii bring up the rear.

Neither the laggard states, congressional Democrats, nor even the president should be spared sharp rebuke for championing fantastical “voting rights” measures. The only votes fair-minded Americans want suppressed are illegitimate ones that nullify their own rightful ballots.

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