Democrats’ push for the S. 1 / H.R. 1 Corrupt Politicians Act claims to be advancing voting rights, but ignores the foundational truth that every voter has the right to his legal vote not be canceled by someone else’s fraud, which is why the bill’s eradication of voter ID – an election integrity measure with strong bipartisan support – show this as a cynical power grab that principled senators must reject.
S.1 is the Senate version of H.R. 1, officially named the For the People Act. It is currently the top priority for all national Democrats, from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in Congress, to even Barack and Michelle Obama. It is called the Corrupt Politicians Act by those who study it because it throws out the Constitution’s guarantees of fully counted votes, and does so in a way to hijack America’s election system to guarantee that Democrats will keep the White House every four years, and permanently hold a solid majority in Congress.
Although Democrats say it expands voting rights, it instead takes away those rights. Your right to vote has two parts: The first is being able to cast a ballot that is counted. The second is that your vote is not cancelled or watered down by someone else’s illegal ballot or other election fraud.
The Corrupt Politicians Act destroys the latter in the name of the former.
Americans understand at a gut level that our voting rights must include both parts. Until recent years, if you wanted to exercise your right to vote, you went to your county building to register. Then on Election Day, you went to your assigned polling location in your neighborhood, where there was a good chance the poll workers knew you personally by name. But you signed in officially anyway, then you filled out your ballot and cast it in a secure setting with zero opportunity for interference or mischief.
One of the reasons Americans are willing to go through these election integrity steps is their sense of duty. Voting is a right that is also a duty. It’s a great blessing to be able to decide the direction of your community, state, and even nation by choosing who the decision-makers will be.
It is a noble and righteous act, one best approached solemnly and after careful consideration, and going through several steps to get it right is well worth the trouble to have complete confidence in the outcome of the process.
But the other reason citizens undertake election integrity willingly is that they know these steps are actually part of their voting rights. It’s not just your duty to vote, it is your right to have a system in place that provides safeguards. Election integrity is what gives us honest elections that, win or lose, we can all take to the bank.
It’s no surprise then that these measures are so popular. Voters support safeguarding our democracy.
Take the example of voter identification. Most states have these ID laws, which merely require that a person show a license, passport, or other government ID to confirm they are who they say they are before participating – and potentially interfering – in an election. Even though it doesn’t cost much to get a driver’s license, voter ID laws typically include a provision that if for any reason a person cannot afford one, the government will give them an ID card for free.
The Corrupt Politicians Act says that voter ID treats blacks and other minorities unfairly, and abolishes this commonsense protection nationwide. Having lived for more than 70 years as a black man in America, I’ve never found it an unfair burden to show my driver’s license at the bank, when boarding an airplane, or doing all sorts of other things.
It’s insulting to suggest that somehow I find it an unfair burden when I’m protecting the right that my forebears fought so hard for so many years to secure.
But I’m not alone in supporting voter ID, as Americans across the political spectrum do so. Fully 77 percent of voters support requiring ID to vote. Democrats say that are abolishing voter ID to help black voters, but those black voters support voter ID laws by a margin of 64 percent to 22 percent! Support is even more lopsided among Hispanics, 78 to 16 percent.
Democrats right now are seeking to have the U.S. House unseat a Republican from Iowa who is the duly certified winner of a congressional race and who has already been sworn in and served for almost three months in Congress. The vote margin between the candidates is a razor-thin six votes.
Imagine trying to be that precise in a race where 400,000 citizens cast a ballot, where adding just a half-dozen ballots to one candidate switches the outcome. Consider how reliable that voting process is when polling officials make you show – quickly and easily – that you are the voter you claim to be before you cast that ballot.
Imagine how chaotic it would be – and subject to fraud or abuse – if everyone knows before the big day that no matter who claims to be a voter in that election, it’s illegal for officials to attempt to confirm that person’s identity before casting what could be the deciding ballot.
That’s why everyone benefits from voter ID laws. That’s why everyone except Democrats in Washington support voter ID laws, even among population segments Democrats claim to be helping by abolishing it. And it is a perfect example of why S.1 (H.R. 1) is properly referred to as the Corrupt Politicians Act, and why Americans need to learn the facts and protect an election system in which it is easy to vote, but hard to cheat.
Ken Blackwell is the Distinguished Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance at the Family Research Council. He is a member of the board of directors for the Public Interest Legal Foundation.