Policy Issues / Election Integrity

Arizona Republic OP-ED: HR 1 will open up voting access alright — especially for those voting fraudulently

While many in the media deceitfully characterized the legislation as a “democracy reform” bill, the legislation, if signed into law, would shake our republic to the core

Originally appeared in the Arizona Republic

Following an election marked by unprecedented concerns over the integrity of its outcome, House Democrats recently rammed through H.R. 1, a bill duplicitously dubbed the “For the People Act.”

While many in the media deceitfully characterized the legislation as a “democracy reform” bill, the legislation, if signed into law, would shake our republic to the core. It would federalize election procedures known to foster voter fraud, increasing the ideological divide and the despair in this country arising from the knowledge that voting is increasingly not a venue to effect change. 

Among its many dangerous provisions, the bill would mandate all states enact same-day voter registration, render existing state voter ID laws moot, mandate that felons be allowed to vote once they have served their sentence regardless of their parole status, and automatically register all voting-age individuals regardless of citizenship or actual eligibility.

Additionally, the legislation strips citizens of their ability to determine how their districts are drawn – instead, installing unaccountable federal bureaucrats under the guise of an “independent” commission to permanently eliminate Americans’ ability to control their own representation at the ballot box. 

HR 1 nixes commonsense protections

Put simply, House Resolution 1 would make systemic voter fraud – whereby rules and procedures that encourage voter irregularities – a permanent feature of our elections and centralize power in the hands of the D.C. political elite.

The bill is now being debated in the Senate, where all eyes are on the ostensibly more moderate members of the Democratic conference – including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and notably, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

In Arizona, where many commonsense election integrity laws have been enacted, state law requires voters to present a form of valid photo ID when voting or two forms of valid nonphoto identification (such as a power bill or property tax statement) if one does not have a photo ID on his or her person.

Under H.R. 1, the federal government would force Arizona to negate its own Citizens Clean Election Commission policies and merely accept an individual’s signed statement that they are who they say they are – neutering the state’s existing voter ID protections and undermining essential election integrity policies.

The bill would also mandate that Arizona allow felons to vote once they have served out their prison sentence – regardless of their parole or probation status. This would nullify existing state law wherein individuals with multiple felonies are prohibited from voting unless a court decides to intervene.

And of perhaps even greater concern is the fact that H.R. 1 automatically registers all voting-age individuals regardless of their citizenship status, potentially flooding the voter rolls with illegal aliens.

Which side will Sinema choose?

If Democrats were concerned about the integrity of our elections, would they try to permanently enact a policy that would allow illegal aliens to vote merely by showing up and signing a statement that they are who they claim to be?

These radical policies are certain to be immensely unpopular with Arizonans of all political stripes – especially as the state presents its oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court to defend its existing voter integrity provisions from Democrats seeking to use the courts to overturn the laws enacted by elected representatives of the people.

As a backup plan, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democrats in Congress are making a flagrant attempt to outright commandeer the ability of states like Arizona to regulate their own electoral processes.

Senator Sinema has already made a name for herself as a more independent-thinking member of her conference on several issues, including most recently siding against her own party when it comes to protecting the legislative filibuster.

As the debate in the Senate begins on this radical and dangerous bill, the question that will linger throughout is whether Senator Sinema will stand with far-left Washington elites like Pelosi who seek to permanently undermine our electoral system or the fair-minded people of Arizona that she was elected to represent.