Sen. Tim Scott: S.1 is not a voting rights bill, it's a partisan power grab that will harm faith in elections

As a Black man who has voted in the South all my life, voting rights are personal to me

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As I prepared to give my response to President Biden’s first Joint Address to Congress last month, I reflected on the state of our country and the issues I most wanted to share with the American people. In order to have a productive conversation about where our country is today, and where we’re headed, we must have honest conversations rooted in common sense.

Of the many issues I shared with the country, I knew it was important to call out the dishonest narrative peddled by left-wing politicians and mainstream media on the issue of election reform. As a Black man who has voted in the South all my life, voting rights are personal to me.

As I said in my speech: I support making it easier to vote and harder to cheat. So do my fellow Republicans, and so do voters.

But the Democrats so-called "For the People Act" would actually make it easier to cheat and harder to vote. It is not a voting rights bill. It is a partisan power grab that would destroy confidence in our election system.

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Democrats are attempting to rewrite the rules to take control away from state and local officials and put the federal government in charge. This unethical approach to nationalizing elections is inconsistent with the Constitution and inconsistent with commonsense. It doesn’t take an expert to realize the needs of New York are different from the needs of South Carolina.

The list of terrible ideas in the Democrat bill is long. Unbelievably, President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi want to deposit your tax dollars into political campaign accounts. That means your money could be spent on ads for candidates you don’t support, attacking the ones you do.

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They want to turn the nonpartisan Federal Election Commission into a partisan disaster. Tipping the scales of the independent agency in charge of enforcing campaign finance laws would politicize decisions impacting every candidate for federal office.

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Their plan would make fraud harder to detect by allowing unlimited ballot harvesting all across the country. Each election year there are stories of political operatives succumbing to the temptation to tamper with ballots they’re paid to collect. Even worse are the stories of bad actors deceiving voters, especially the elderly.

Among the most egregious provisions is the push to gut voter ID laws. The prevailing liberal argument that voter ID requirements are unpopular and aimed at suppressing the minority vote is simply not rooted in facts. In a Senate committee hearing last week, Democrats made the case for their proposals by repeating those false claims. But recent polling shows that the majority of Americans are in favor of voter ID requirements, including large majorities of Black people and Hispanics.

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That’s because voter ID, along with many other commonsense election laws, give folks confidence that our elections are secure, fair, and accurate. Eliminating these laws also eliminates confidence in the process. History shows that low trust in elections results in depressed turnout.

Thankfully, there are still some commonsense Democrats making the case for preserving election integrity. In last week’s hearing, New Hampshire’s Democrat secretary of state, Bill Gardner, testified against the Democrats’ election scheme. 

Gardner pointed out that his home state outpaced national turnout in the last presidential election by more than 10 points and has consistently placed in the top five of all states for turnout. 

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California, a state with much more relaxed voting requirements, consistently ranks at the bottom for voter turnout in presidential elections. Democrats are fighting to bring California’s failed system to the other 49 states, despite the fact that those policies have led to consistently lower participation.

It has never been more important to instill greater voter confidence in our elections. Yet, Democrats—aided by liberal media content to echo their talking points—continue to ignore the facts in favor of shameful political maneuvers. Their crusade to overhaul our elections has done nothing to advance the cause of voter trust. In fact, it’s done the opposite.

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