H.R. 1 was Anything but “For the People”
Last week, H.R.1/S.1, the so-called “For the People Act”, failed on a procedural vote in the United States Senate. Despite what Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and members of the Squad would have Americans believe, the defeat of H.R.1 is really a win for American voters and elections.
Elections in the US have always been administered and overseen at the state and local levels. H.R.1 would have nationalized and implemented a federal takeover of our elections, including enacting ballot harvesting nationwide, taxpayer dollars being used to finance politicians’ campaigns and a uniform ban on states implementing voter ID laws.
Ballot harvesting, which has been made famous in California, allows for completed absentee ballots to be returned to county election offices and polling stations by someone other than the person who requested and completed the ballot. This practice has led to campaigns and political parties organizing shady efforts to round up as many ballots as possible from believed supporters, and exposes our elections to an array of potential abuse of the process and ballot security issues.
Taxpayer funding of campaigns is another extreme measure that would be used as a method for protecting incumbent politicians. To provide a real life example of the negative effects of H.R.1, Americans would have their tax dollars fund the repetitive and annoying robocalls of candidates that they do not necessarily support. If voters want to make financial contributions to particular candidates, that is well within their rights. However, they should not be forced to fund the campaigns of politicians who do not share their values or represent their interests.
A recent Monmouth University survey showed 80 percent support among American adults for requiring photo identification to vote. Photo ID is required, without controversy, for basic tasks such as applying for government benefits, boarding a flight, and purchasing alcohol, tobacco or even certain types of over the counter medicines, yet Democrats want the American people to believe that providing identification is too much of a burden to voting.
The truth of the matter is that none of these measures Democrats pushed in H.R.1 were about properly expanding access to voting or the sanctity of our elections. This bill was a raw power grab by Democrat politicians, to federalize and weaken our elections, for their own political benefit. Its failure is a victory for the sanctity of and confidence in our electoral process.
Congressman Lee Zeldin represents New York’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.