- - Thursday, March 18, 2021

America needs to wake up — before it’s too late. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer want to pass the Crooked Politician’s Act (my name, not theirs), and most people don’t even know what’s in it.  

The official legislation H.R. 1 will override state election laws and unfairly benefit liberals for generations to come. It is an existential threat to all who believe in freedom and opportunity. It must be stopped.  

When people hear the facts about the Crooked Politician’s Act, it becomes incredibly unpopular. Allowing the federal government to override state and local election laws and rules is an overreacting tactic. Voters understand that elections should be conducted at the state and local levels — not out of Washington.  

Voters oppose a New York City-style campaign finance system that forces hard-working taxpayers to foot the bill for political campaigns at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars per election. The Crooked Politician’s Act would give political candidates potentially millions of dollars of taxpayer money to pay for their own campaigns and allow those same politicians to double-dip and take a second taxpayer-funded salary from their campaigns. What a sham!

In addition, voters overwhelmingly oppose efforts to override state laws that require voters to present a valid photo identification card before voting. These laws exist to combat practices such as impersonation fraud, voter registration fraud and votes cast by ineligible voters. 

After an infamous “Smokes for Votes” case in 2000, I proposed a state law to require valid photo identification to vote. During the presidential election that year, a wealthy New Yorker came to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and recruited people at homeless shelters with the promise of cigarettes after they voted for Al Gore. Thankfully, she got caught on tape by the local ABC affiliate. 

More than a decade later, I was proud to sign into law the requirement that every voter had to show valid identification. We even included a provision that provides state-issued ID cards upon request for those who claim they cannot afford it. This removed any financial burden and helped us protect the law in court.  

Now, provisions in the Crooked Politican’s Act would repeal state laws designed to protect voter integrity like the photo ID requirement. Polling shows that Republican, independent and even many Democrat voters approve of photo ID laws. It’s crooked politicians like House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Schumer who want to block it. 

Voters also disapprove of accepting and counting mail-in ballots that were received after the Election Day deadline without any postmark date. Yet, that provision is in the Crooked Politician’s Act. 

Overall, voters support election integrity measures like requiring signature verification for any mail-in ballot voting. They also support allowing American citizens to vote and requiring citizenship verification to register to vote in federal elections. They support requiring that ballot counting, once begun, must continue until completion — with no delays or pauses.

They support making voter records transparent to individual citizens so that any person can confirm that their vote in every election was counted or if someone tried to commit fraud by illegally casting a vote in their name. And they support requiring photo identification to vote whether in-person or by absentee mail-in.

The Crooked Politician’s Act would allow liberal politicians to weaponize the Federal Elections Commission for their own benefit and for the destruction of their political opponents. An equal number of Republicans and Democrats currently serve on the commission. They want to undo that balance.  

Under the Crooked Politician’s Act, states will be required to automatically add every individual who partakes in certain government programs, including receiving welfare or obtaining a driver’s license, while also restricting the state’s ability to verify eligible voters and the removal of ineligible voters from the voter registration rolls.

This provision could automatically enroll ineligible voters such as illegal immigrants. Not surprisingly, an overwhelming majority of voters say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who voted to allow non-citizens and illegal immigrants to vote as a “pre-citizen.”

Opposition is strong to automatically restoring voting rights to felons. This would violate the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which grants the power of restricting the voting rights of criminals to individual states. And the Crooked Politician’s Act would mandate that local governments register voters on the day of the election. 

Overall, the Crooked Politician’s Act defines the difference between liberals and conservatives. The legislation is the first piece of legislation introduced by House Democrats. Instead of relief for Americans who are suffering from power-hungry mayors and governors shutting down the economies across the country, their No. 1 priority is power. It is a good reminder for conservatives.  

The left puts their faith in the government — and they want to transfer power further away from the people. That is why their No. 1 priority is about power and why they want to override state and local election laws. 

Conservatives put our faith in the individual and family. Now it is time to awaken the American people — before it’s too late.

• Scott Walker was the 45th governor of Wisconsin. You can contact him at swalker@washingtontimes.com or follow him @ScottWalker.

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