Senate Republicans blocked a vote last week that would have cleared the way for the Democrats’ sweeping voting reform bill, aimed at overhauling the nation’s election laws.
All 50 Senate Democrats voted to advance the 800-page proposal on election and campaign finance reforms; all 50 Republicans united to deny it the 60 votes needed to overcome the GOP filibuster.
Democrats bemoaned the defeat of the legislation aimed at protecting “our most precious rights,” as if Americans’ right to vote was actually at stake.
According to Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, the bill had nothing to do with the right to vote per se. It was a proposal that called for taking election law away from the states and making it the province of the federal government.
Cruz called this “a dangerous and revolutionary revision of voting laws” that negated the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
The proposal, “For The People Act” or “S.1”, which passed the House in March, would not only have banned voter ID, instituted same day-voter registration and lifted many safeguards against voter fraud.
It would have ushered in the largest federally mandated expansion of voting rights since the 1960s, in part by registering millions of illegal aliens across the country to vote.
By allowing “millions of people to vote illegally,” the bill would “dilute the legal votes of American citizens,” said Sen. Cruz during a meeting of the Senate Rules Committee, according to Politifact. “It is intended to do just that.”
Most Republicans agree that any form of a federal election takeover is unacceptable, that states must govern their own elections as stipulated in the Constitution.
Redefining Voter-Integrity as Voter Suppression
Following the 2020 presidential election which many believe was compromised by voter fraud, 14 Republican states took proactive measures to ensure greater voter-integrity, tightening laws and closing loopholes that made it easy to cheat.
These include laws restructuring voter-ID requirements, banning electioneering in front of poll booths; limiting drop boxes; outlawing ballot trafficking; empowering poll watchers to more effectively do their job; shortening absentee ballot deadlines to 10-11 days before and more.
A new Monmouth University poll released on June 21 points out that the public overwhelmingly supports strengthening voter ID laws.
“Fully four in five Americans (80 percent) support requiring voters to show photo identification in order to cast a ballot. Just 18 percent oppose this,” the Monmouth Poll found. “Support for requiring a photo ID to vote stands at 62 percent among Democrats, 87 percent among independents, and 91 percent among Republicans.
Notwithstanding clear evidence of electoral support for voter ID requirements, Democrats and liberal media have slammed these measures as “voter suppression,” casting the GOP laws as an attempt to marginalize blacks and other minorities.
“This vote is further evidence, I’m ashamed to say, that voter suppression has become part of the official platform of the Republican Party,” Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, fumed to the press.
President Biden lamented the bill’s defeat as a sign that “democracy is in peril.” CNN’s Jeffery Toobin raised the emotional pitch, saying the bill was a “life or death” issue for our democracy.
The irony behind this hyperbole about democracy is hard to miss. For The People Act laid the groundwork for dismantling the original constitutional agreement that states would run their own elections. Such an arrangement was viewed, at the time America became a nation—and is still viewed by a majority of Americans—as the crux of a democratic republic. Yet those who seek to remove this lynchpin weep over the “threat” to democracy?
New Power Grab Waiting in the Wings
While Republicans hailed the bill’s defeat, it’s clear that the campaign to federalize elections is far from over. The next Democratic effort is already in the works, observers say. It will use as a launch pad a measure passed by the House in 2019 known as “The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,” or H.R. 4.
This bill, which some say is even more radical than For The People Act, would effectively put the Department of Justice in control of future presidential and congressional elections.
“This power grab would alter and weaponize the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to give massive amounts of power to unelected bureaucrats in Washington to take away voter ID and legalize ballot trafficking across the country,” Heritage Action for America Vice President Garrett Bess told The Epoch Times.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., laid the groundwork for H.R. 4 in a June 8 letter to House Democrats.
“It is essential that H.R. 4, the ‘John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,’ become law. When we pass H.R. 4, we must do so in a way that is ironclad constitutionally,” Pelosi wrote. “This is what Congressman Butterfield and the House Judiciary Committee are hard at work on now. H.R. 4 must be passed, but it will not be ready until the fall.”
What makes H.R. 4 the perfect vehicle for a renewed Democratic push to federalize elections is that the Lewis bill would restore the 1965 Civil Rights Act’s Section 5. That clause was struck down in 2013 by the Supreme Court.
Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act subjected about a dozen states, deemed by Congress to have a record of discriminating against blacks, to a “pre-clearance” process that required government approval for regulations governing presidential and congressional elections in each of these states.
This extraordinary requirement for federal oversight was based on an assessment using voter turnout data from the 1960s, when blacks in the South were often prevented from voting. In 2006, Congress chose not to renew the pre-clearance formula, because by that year, “black” voter turnout proved to match or exceed “white” turnout.
The affected states were thus released from the pre-clearance process and regained their full sovereignty over elections.
Critics say H.R. 4 could easily be converted by Democrats into a tool for finding states who passed voter-integrity laws afoul of the law, justifying a revival of the pre-clearance process.
Democrats could then implement as amendments to H.R.4 all the reforms that fell apart with the defeat of For The People Act. This would include expanded mail-in voting; legalizing vote harvesting; providing federal tax dollars to campaigns; and banning voter ID requirements.
Dems Drive To Federalize Elections
The defeated For the People Act has been cast as the Democrats’ retaliation against the voter-integrity legislation sweeping through Republican states, but it’s actually older than that. The plan to transfer election law from the states to the federal government pre-dates the GOP legislation by a couple of years.
It was first crafted in 2019 as a compendium of long-sought liberal election law changes. At the time, Democrats did not control the Senate or the White House, and so the bill served more as a statement of values than a viable piece of legislation.
With the shift of political fortunes now granting them dominance in Washington, Democrats seized the opportunity to enshrine ideology into legal doctrine.
At the same time, the Biden administration has begun using the Department of Justice to intimidate states that have enacted or are seeking to enact election-integrity laws. The DOJ’s crusade began with a letter to the Arizona Senate warning that the audit and recount being completed in Maricopa County might run afoul of federal law regarding “ballot security” and “voter privacy.”
Arizona Democrats, backed by the liberal media, have relentlessly opposed the Maricopa audit, ridiculing it as “sham,” “a clown show,” “an embarrassment” and accusing those in charge in court motions of “breaches of security and voter privacy.”
But a judge in late April ruled against the Arizona Democratic Party, saying they had not provided “substantive evidence of any breaches or security and voter privacy,” and the audit was allowed to proceed.
When efforts to use the courts failed, Democrats upped the ante and reached out to the DOJ. Attorney General Merrick Garland was quick to comply, sending the above-cited letter to the Arizona Senate. Two weeks later, he issued a policy speech in Washington, D.C. in which he signaled that the Biden administration is poised to crack down on “controversial audits” looking for evidence of fraud in the 2020 election.
Garland announced that within 30 days, the Justice Department would “double its enforcement staff for protecting the right to vote,” adding a note of warning that the Justice Department will “apply its scrutiny” to new voting laws passed by Republican-controlled states.
Arizona and Georgia Reject DOJ Intrusion
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican who is running for the U.S. Senate, went on the offense, sending a blistering letter to Garland accusing him of showing “an alarming disdain for state sovereignty.”
“My office is not amused by the DOJ’s posturing and will not tolerate any effort to undermine or interfere with our State Senate’s audit to reassure Arizonans of the accuracy of our elections,” Brnovich wrote, according to campaign officials.
“We stand ready to defend federalism and state sovereignty against any partisan attacks or federal overreach. … Arizona will not sit back and let the Biden administration abuse its authority, refuse to uphold laws, or attempt to commandeer our state’s sovereignty,” Brnovich wrote.
Realizing it was probably too late to stop the Maricopa audit, the DOJ took aim at Georgia’s recently enacted voter integrity laws, filing a lawsuit last week alleging that several provisions of the Georgia law were discriminatory. These provisions “were adopted with the purpose of denying Black citizens’ equal access to the political process,” the lawsuit alleged.
The complaint singled out components of the law “that disenfranchise many voters who cast a ballot in the wrong precinct, as well as the new law prohibiting pro-democracy groups from distributing food and water to voters waiting in lines to cast a ballot” (a form of electioneering), writes the liberal news site, Vox.
The obvious question of course is, in what way does the DOJ believe these laws disenfranchise anyone, or discriminate against a minority group?
Instead of shedding light, the complaint’s reasoning only deepens the mystery.
Racist Assumptions by the DOJ?
Georgia’s state legislature, the DOJ alleges, enacted the new law “with knowledge of the disproportionate effect” it would have “on Black voters’ ability to participate in the political process on an equal basis with white voters.”
In other words, the lawsuit insinuates that the state legislature “knows” that more black people than white people would find themselves casting a ballot “in the wrong precinct” … [Doesn’t this smack of a racist presumption on the part of the DOJ?]
In the same vein, the state legislature stands accused of “knowing” that without being offered food and water by “pro-democracy” groups as they wait on line, more black people than white might give up and go home. Another racist presumption?
In view of these egregious “violations” of the Voting Rights Act, the lawsuit asks the courts to invoke a rarely used provision of this law which would place Georgia elections under federal supervision.
“The DOJ’s lawsuit against Georgia’s voter suppression law is probably doomed,” writes Vox Media, “because they will have to litigate this case before a judiciary that is increasingly hostile toward voting rights claims.” (Not because the allegations are pure farce.)
Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger sharply condemned the lawsuit.
“This lawsuit is born out of the lies and misinformation the Biden administration has pushed against Georgia’s Election Integrity Act from the start,” Kemp said. “Joe Biden, Rep. Stacey Abrams and their allies tried to force an unconstitutional elections power grab through Congress—and failed. Now they are weaponizing the U.S. Department of Justice to carry out their far-left agenda that undermines election integrity, and empowers federal government overreach in our democracy.”
Raffensberger called out the Biden administration for doing “the bidding of Stacey Abrams and spreading lies about Georgia’s election law.”
“It is no surprise that they would operationalize their lies with the full force of the federal government. I look forward to meeting them, and beating them, in court,” he said.
DOJ Lawsuit Forces Voter Fraud Back Into the Spotlight
The DOJ’s lawsuit against Georgia is likely to boomerang as it inevitably forces the issue of election fraud back into the spotlight, experts say. What else could have fueled the legislature’s determination to tighten voter ID requirements and other safeguards against cheating?
Biden won Georgia by only about 12,500 votes.
But as the Trump team’s lead counsel in the state reminded the Judiciary Committee at Georgia’s post-election public hearing, a staggering 10,315 ballots appeared to be cast by voters who were dead by Election Day.
In addition, 2,506 felons are alleged to have voted illegally in Georgia, attorney Ray Smith told the committee. He said another 2,423 voters weren’t registered to vote; 1,043 of those who cast ballots registered at a post office box, church or commercial property; and 4,926 voted despite registering to vote after the deadline.
Compounding these massive irregularities and appearance of fraud, a surveillance video that went viral captured Georgia poll workers apparently counting ballots illegally.
The footage was of election workers at the State Farm Arena in Fulton County on Election Night, engaging in what appeared to be illegal activity.
The Broken Pipe Alibi
According to the affidavits of Republican poll watchers, the poll watchers and the press were asked to leave at around 10 p.m., after being told that the ballot-counting would stop for the night. A broken water pipe was blamed for the interruption of the ballot counting.
But as shown in the video, when the press and the Republican observers gather up their things and leave, four election workers stay behind. When the room has fully emptied out, these individuals approach a table draped with a cover. Four concealed suitcases on wheels are swiftly withdrawn from underneath the table.
The election workers are seen wheeling the suitcases to their tables, removing what appears to be ballots. They continue to sort and scan the ballots, unobserved, for two hours, according to the time frames on the footage, as explained by the campaign team.
“What are these ballots doing there separate from all the other ballots? And why are they only counting them when the place is cleared out with no witnesses?” a Trump team attorney asked the Judiciary Committee members. “These machines can process about 3,000 ballots per hour. You have multiple machines there. They are there for two hours. Do the math.”
After months of being denied, ridiculed and squelched, these allegations of election fraud will likely grab headlines once again, as the world hears the state of Georgia explain why it was necessary to enact election integrity laws in the “Stop the Steal” atmosphere surrounding the 2020 election.