Democrats Try To Hijack Voting Laws/Rights
IN THIS ISSUE:
1. Overview – Democrats’ New Voting Reforms Are Bad
2. Democrats’ Election Reform Bills Fail To Pass – Why?
3. Democrats Claim Republican States Suppressing Votes
4. Kensington Dynamic Growth Webinar Tomorrow at 3:00
Overview – Democrats’ New Voting Reforms Are Bad
I generally try to avoid political commentaries in Forecasts & Trends, although I never hesitate to make it clear I am a conservative on most issues. Yet sometimes there are political issues which are so important they have the potential to affect national elections for years to come and thus the economy and perhaps even the markets. This is one of those times.
The liberals in Washington are trying to hijack the voting laws in all 50 states. Essentially, the Democrats want to federalize all national elections and take away states’ rights to control such elections and set the rules for same. These sweeping election changes have already passed in the House of Representatives but are seemingly dead in the Senate.
The Democrats in Washington have been on a mission this year to reform our election laws, which they contend will make it easier to vote. They want to remove rules which require voters to provide a valid ID, such as a driver’s license, in order to vote. Never mind that repeated polls show the vast majority of Americans support voter ID requirements.
The Dems and their willing accomplices in the media are trying to convince the public that our election laws are woefully outdated and must be substantially reformed. Yet as I will argue today, the reforms the Democrats have in mind are misguided and need to be defeated.
Given the importance of this issue and the vast amount of misinformation being disseminated, I will tackle this controversy today. Regardless whether one is a conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, we all need to understand the issues on election laws and take a firm position accordingly. Hopefully, what follows will help.
Democrats’ Election Reform Bills Fail To Pass – Why?
On March 3, the House of Representatives passed the “For The People Act,” a wide-sweeping election reform package which Democrats and the mainstream media hailed as the most transformative legislation in decades. However, as I will point out below, this is a flawed piece of legislation which, fortunately, looks to be dead-on-arrival in the Senate.
But first, let’s look at how the Democrats and the media describe the For The People Act:
They say it will significantly expand voting access by implementing automatic voter registration nationwide, expand access to and the length of early voting, allow vote by mail everywhere, allow felons who’ve served their time to vote and increase voter protections.
Sounds great, right? So why is this supposed landmark bill reportedly dead in the Senate?
Let’s begin with the thinking behind this sweeping legislation. The Democrats and the media would have us believe the Republicans want to implement new voting laws which would greatly restrict voter access to the polls. That is simply NOT true in my opinion.
What most Republicans want is to see that only those who are legitimately eligible to vote be allowed to do so. In other words, only those who are registered to vote should be allowed to. All voters would have to show identification to eliminate voting fraud. This is all most Republicans want, in my opinion.
But the Democrats and the media don’t buy that argument. It doesn’t fit their narrative.
Rather than support election reforms which ensure that only those legitimately registered to vote can do so, the Democrat leadership wants to see a federal takeover of elections (from the states), with the goal of allowing as many people to vote as possible.
It’s easy to see why the For The People Act (FTPA) stalled. The bill overrides and upends the election systems of all 50 states. Its provisions eliminate voter ID laws, let partisan operatives collect voters’ ballots without supervision and remove proven safeguards from absentee votes. It also allows convicted felons the right to vote the second they walk out of prison.
FTPA saddles election offices with billions of dollars in unfunded mandates while funneling millions in taxpayer money to the campaigns of the politicians voting for it. And it imposes impossible deadlines which will force states to rush wholesale changes in the voting process. FTPA, in short, is an unprecedented, unconstitutional overreach that risks plunging democracy’s foundations into disarray.
Not only are these policies unwise, they are also very unpopular. Recent polling found that more than three-fourths of Americans favor photo ID laws for voting. By overwhelming margins, Americans want to ADD safeguards to the voting process to bolster confidence in elections, not take them away.
The Democrats and the media don’t care. They believe the For The People Act will result in a significant, permanent Democratic advantage in federal elections. The Republicans naturally oppose it for the same reason, as well as others noted above.
Democrats Claim Republican States Are Suppressing Votes
For months, progressives have charged that Republican states are passing a wave of discriminatory new voting laws which put democracy itself at risk. President Biden has said states like Texas and Georgia are engaged in an “un-American assault” on voting. Senator Chuck Schumer has accused conservatives of importing “autocracy” (dictatorship).
But such overwrought rhetoric doesn’t match reality. When Georgia lawmakers passed election reforms earlier this year, they expanded early voting. Peach State voters now have 17 to 19 days to cast an in- person vote, including two mandatory Saturdays and two optional Sundays. In addition, anyone can now vote by mail-in ballot, and those ballots are now protected by a sensible ID law. Yet the media is not telling us any of this.
These policies are popular and reasonable, but politicians like President Biden and activist liberals like Stacey Abrams denounce them as “Jim Crow” racism. Yet they may end-up regretting saying that. Why?
Earlier this month, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, the lone liberal holdout on FTPA, unveiled a set of proposed voting changes which would win his support. Among them is a nationwide voter ID law, along with 15 days of early voting, including on two weekends. Sound familiar?
What has all this corrosive and overheated rhetoric gotten the left? So far, nothing except increased distrust in our election system which has primed many Americans to view next year’s elections as illegitimate, unless the right reforms are enacted.
With For The People Act’s fate in doubt, Congressional leaders are pivoting to H.R.4, the “Voting Rights Advancement Act” as an alternative. This bill has been described as a more moderate compromise, but it is really the backup plan to put Washington in charge of elections. In fact, Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared just days ago that H.R.4 goes “even further” than FTPA.
H.R.4 would let the federal government overrule state election laws across the nation. No state would be able to adopt a new voter ID law, for example, or improve the way it cleans its voter rolls without giving Washington the chance to block them. Just like FTPA, this legislation targets commonsense laws progressive activists don’t like and empowers Washington to veto them. H.R.4 previously passed in the House and is awaiting reintroduction if needed.
H.R.4’s defenders argue that it fights voting discrimination just like the original 1965 Voting Rights Act. Yet, unlike the earlier law, this legislation deliberately shuns objective metrics. States aren’t put under federal control based on poor minority voter registration or turnout, but mainly on how often they are sued by activists. This creates a powerful incentive for partisan attorneys to file frivolous lawsuits which inch a state closer to federal control.
H.R.4 even encourages activists and political parties to collude with like-minded officials and use judicial settlements to rewrite voting laws behind closed doors. This is no idle concern. Progressive groups filed more than 200 lawsuits before last year’s election, and many ended in agreements which weakened safeguards, extended deadlines and skewed the rules of voting.
The bottom line: Americans deserve elections they can trust. Election safeguards don’t stop people from voting, but hyperbolic rhetoric which questions the credibility of democracy does. If we want a true bipartisan solution which secures voting rights and strengthens our democracy, it’s this: Let the states keep working to make it easier to vote, and harder to cheat.
And, of course, mandatory photo voter identification should be in place in every state.
The last thing we want to do is turn our state-controlled voting systems over to the federal government! This is a critical national issue, so let your representatives in Washington know where you stand on it.
You are welcome to forward today’s E-Letter to anyone you wish.
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Best personal regards,
Gary D. Halbert