This week, radical Democrats in Congress will renew their assault on states’ sovereignty and abilities to set and conduct their own elections when they bring H.R. 4 up for a vote on the House floor.
While this is the second attempt in consecutive sessions that House Democrats will vote to pass H.R. 4, it is the first time with both chambers of Congress under the Left’s control. Only the legislative filibuster in the Senate is likely to stop it from passing, which means it could be just two Senate votes away from happening in the future. States’ abilities to conduct their own elections – as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution – hang in the balance.
The push to pass H.R. 4 follows closely on the House’s passage of H.R. 1 in early March, which might have been more appropriately named the For the Power Hungry Politicians Act. That legislation was the initial attempt to nationalize our elections. Thankfully, the bill continues to languish in the Senate.
What do the two bills have in common? Both are deeply misguided attempts by radical Democrats to commandeer states’ constitutional roles in our election processes. It doesn’t matter to them that this would be the exact type of centralization of power in the federal government that our Founders absolutely detested and made every effort to avoid.
It also doesn’t matter to them that the Supreme Court, in Brnovich v. DNC, just reaffirmed the importance of states adopting commonsense measures to ensure the integrity of their elections.
That case, which I successfully argued before the court earlier this year, resulted in a sharp rebuke to left-wing activists’ efforts to undermine Arizona’s laws regarding ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting. None of that matters to them. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., believe they know better.
In introducing H.R. 4, Pelosi referenced both Arizona’s legislative efforts to ensure the integrity of its elections and Brnovich v. DNC as a catalyst for the bill’s re-introduction. Pelosi and her misguided allies in Congress have their sights locked on overriding any state-led resistance to their charge toward the nationalization of our elections.
The Democrats see these bills as an opportunity to centralize the power of the ballot box in the D.C. swamp, where one political party, not individual state legislatures, can determine what is best for the entire nation.
Americans should be very alarmed about any potential success for these power-grabbing endeavors. While H.R. 4 is less known than H.R. 1, it is just as dangerous to our constitutional republic.
Were it to become law, this bill would provide almost unfettered power to the U.S. attorney general to oversee and judge American elections across the nation. States would be required to receive the permission of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia or the U.S. attorney general to make any updates to their election laws, processes or systems.
We must do more to assure all Americans that their votes are being fairly and accurately counted.
According to H.R. 4, "any newly enacted or adopted law, regulation, or policy that includes a voting qualification or prerequisite to voting, or a standard, practice, or procedure with respect to voting," that is a "change to method of election; changes to jurisdiction boundaries; changes through redistricting; changes in documentation or qualifications to vote; changes to multilingual voting materials; changes that reduce, consolidate, or relocate voting locations, or reduce voting opportunities; or new list maintenance process" must receive preclearance from the aforementioned U.S. District Court or the U.S. attorney general.
It is true that Americans on all sides of the political spectrum have been expressing increasing concerns regarding certain aspects of election integrity over the last few decades – especially in presidential elections. These concerns, whether they are accurate or not, are at a level too high to ignore. Public confidence in our elections is paramount. We must do more to assure all Americans that their votes are being fairly and accurately counted.
Nevertheless, any centralized approach to elections, like the ones that are currently being proposed in D.C., are the opposite of what is needed. A one-size-fits-all solution that is forged and maintained in the Swamp would only give rise to reduced participation, decreased transparency, and far less confidence in our election process. H.R. 4 is not the answer, nor is H.R. 1.
The states created the federal government and not the other way around. States should never abdicate their constitutional powers and responsibilities to set and conduct their own elections.
Every state must maintain commonsense laws that encourage voter participation while also ensuring confidence in the results. They are the 50 laboratories of democracy.