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H.R. 1: Democrats Act to Strip State Powers Over Elections

If you thought the midterm elections had problems, wait until you learn about Nancy Pelosi’s plan to terminate state control over American elections.

Democrats in Congress have announced their top legislative priority, and it isn’t health care, immigration, or taxes. Instead, they want to centralize power over elections in Washington, D.C. H.R. 1 is number one on the legislative agenda because it is the number one priority of House Democrats, leftist groups, deep-pocketed dark money, and those who use election process rules to help win elections -- or at least to cause chaos.

The bill is a 571-page dreamscape of wild wishes and federal mandates on states. The Constitution decentralizes power over American elections and puts states in charge. H.R. 1 would undo that.

Decentralization promotes individual liberty. When power over elections is centralized, it is easier for that power to be abused. When power over elections is decentralized, no single malevolent actor can exert improper control over the process. That is precisely why Democrats are so eager for Washington, D.C., to have more power over our elections.

H.R. 1 has 218 cosponsors. It forces states to implement mandatory voter registration. If someone is on a government list -- such as receiving welfare benefits or rental subsidies -- then they would be automatically registered to vote. Few states have enacted these systems because Americans still view civic participation as a voluntary choice. Moreover, aggregated government lists always contain duplicates and errors that states, even without mandatory voter registration, frequently fail to catch and fix.

H.R. 1 also mandates that states allow all felons to vote. Currently, states have the power under the Constitution to set the terms of eligibility in each state. Some states, like Maine, have decided that voting machines should be rolled into the prisons. Other states, like Nevada, have chosen to make a felony a disenfranchising event.

Leftist groups, and unfortunately some on the right, have fought for no-contrition re-enfranchisement for all felons. Florida voters just passed a constitutional amendment that mandates felon re-enfranchisement, no questions asked, no redemption needed, no contrition necessary.

This threatens the Republican Party’s viability in Florida because the number of felons it affects far surpasses the meager margin of victory for Senator Rick Scott and Governor Ron DeSantis in 2018.  Felons vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, and exponentially more felons were re-enfranchised than the GOP margin of victory in 2016 and 2018.

Of course, that helps explain why Congressional Democrats have included it in H.R. 1 -- to help Democrats win elections.

H.R. 1 would also force states to have extended periods of early voting, and mandates that early voting sites be near bus or subway routes. While purportedly designed to increase participation, early voting has been shown to have no effect on turnout.