On March 4, House Democrats quietly passed a sweeping “voter rights” bill called H.R. 1, also known as “For the People Act.”
The 800-page bill claims to work “To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures for the purpose of fortifying our democracy, and for other purposes.”
In reality, it is a subtle and subversive attempt by Democrats to build on the electoral advantages of the COVID-era election last November by cementing in place multiple policies which could cement their power for generations to come.
Here are eight ways the “For the People Act” could allow Democrats to undermine electoral integrity to their unique benefit.
Outlawing Voter ID Requirements
Criticizing supposed excessive “onerous voter identification requirements,” with minority communities “disproportionately burdened” by such “restrictions,” the “For the People Act” aims to remove many such provisions which would require a voter to prove their identity.
In the context of absentee ballots, which are already targets of criticism regarding reliability, the bill claims that “states and localities have eroded access to the right to vote through restrictions on the right to vote including excessively onerous voter identification requirements,” and that a state therefore “may not require an individual to provide any form of identification as a condition of obtaining an absentee ballot.”
The danger here in terms of fraud is obvious, with unsolicited ballots already distributed by several states. With no legislative method of verifying the identity of the recipient and/or the voter who returns the ballot — if it is returned at all — there is no system in place to ensure that such ballots are cast legitimately. Such a process also raises the risk of ballot harvesting and ballot tampering.
The “For the People Act” also looks to make the COVID-19 alterations regarding the use of mail-in ballots a permanent feature of the electoral process.
The bill argues that “Congress finds that it has the authority pursuant to section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment to protect the right to vote,” by addressing “limited and unequal access to voting by mail.”
Referencing the disputed claim that racist policies mean that “minority communities wait longer in lines to vote, are more likely to have their mail ballots rejected, continue to face intimidation at the polls, are more likely to be disenfranchised by voter purges, and are disproportionately burdened by voter identification and other voter restrictions,” the legislation would amend “the Help America Vote Act of 2002 by mandating that ‘if an individual in a State is eligible to cast a vote in an election for Federal office, the State may not impose any additional conditions or requirements on the eligibility of the individual to cast the vote in such election by absentee ballot by mail.’”
Additionally, no state may refuse “to accept or process” a mail-in ballot as long as it is postmarked before election day, only adding to the post-related concerns raised by the 2020 election.
Given the clear advantage mail-in voting provided for Joe Biden and Democrats during November’s election, it’s no surprise that they are looking to make this short-term change permanent.
Federal control of redistricting
The “For the People Act” also looks to “remedy [the] debasement” of the “gerrymandering of districts” by requiring states to “comply with the United States Constitution” and “provide racial, ethnic, and language minorities with an equal opportunity to participate in the political process” in their redistricting, with states forced to appoint “independent redistricting commissions” in the context of achieving diversity.
The key and unsubstantiated assumption here is that, while gerrymandering on the state level is deeply partisan — an undeniable fact of political life on both sides of the aisle — such gerrymandering would not occur on the federal level or via “independent” commissions.
Expand the Senate with new (Democratic) seats
An additional Democratic goal of this legislation is to effectively achieve long-term control of the U.S. Senate by setting the groundwork for the addition of new Senate seats.
The “For the People Act” states that “there are no constitutional, historical, fiscal, or economic reasons why the Americans who live in the District of Columbia should not be granted statehood,” and looks to create a “Congressional Task Force on Voting Rights” to investigate “political disenfranchisement of United States citizens in territories of the United States,” with the task force chair selected by the currently Democratic Speaker of the House.
While such an objective would clearly seek to add two Senate seats representing Washington D.C., with the presumed assumption that two Democrats would win these seats and tip the scale further in favor of the Left, it would also open the door to statehood — with corresponding representation in Congress — for other territories, such as Puerto Rico.
Automatic voter registration
Arguing that “the right to vote is a fundamental right of citizens of the United States,” the bill claims that “it is the responsibility of the State and Federal Governments to ensure that every eligible citizen is registered to vote.”
The “For the People Act” then directs both state and federal governments to “register all eligible citizens to vote with accurate, cost-efficient, and up-to-date procedures” in the form of automatic voter registration of “eligible individuals.”
This would mean that every person deemed eligible — whether correctly or incorrectly — would be automatically registered to vote, with voters asked to opt out rather than opt in. While registration itself should not cause significant concern, it would necessarily increase the number of unsolicited ballots distributed when partnered with the simultaneous goals of making mail-in ballots a permanent feature of our election systems.
Citizens United and Campaign Finance
Arguing that “Campaign finance laws promote these First Amendment interests,” the bill accuses the Supreme Court of failing to “recognize that these laws are essential, proactive rules that help guarantee true democratic self-government.”
“Citizens United would be ended via amendment, and the ‘Disclose Act’ would mandate super PACs and so-called ‘dark money’ political organizations to make their donors public,” reported the Daily Wire.
This is nothing other than the delivery of a long-time desire to seek revenge for the Supreme Court Citizens United decision after a conservative non-profit sought to distribute content critical of Hillary Clinton in 2008.
In addition, the bill calls for the federal government to “provide a voluntary 6-1 match for candidates for president and Congress, which means for every dollar a candidate raises from small donations, the federal government would match it six times over.” Funds would be provided by “adding a 2.75 percent fee on criminal and civil fines, fees, penalties, or settlements with banks and corporations that commit corporate malfeasance,” according to Vox.
What does this mean in practice? Federal funds — regardless of their source — would be distributed to political candidates.
The bill also aims to cement in place “early voting” requirements, mandating that each state “allow individuals to vote in an election for Federal office during an early voting period which occurs prior to the date of the election, in the same manner as voting is allowed on such date.”
With “The early voting period required under this subsection with respect to an election shall consist of a period of consecutive days (including weekends) which begins on the 15th day before the date of the election (or, at the option of the State, on a day prior to the 15th day before the date of the election) and ends on the date of the election,” the bill calls for early voting to begin at least 15 days prior to the election.
The arguable goal of early voting? To reduce the ability of voters to change their mind or act on the latest available information.
Stop voter roll “purging”
On the subject of “voter roll purging,” the bill requires that “a State may not remove the name of any registrant from the official list of voters eligible to vote in elections for Federal office in the State unless the State verifies, on the basis of objective and reliable evidence, that the registrant is ineligible to vote in such elections.”
Of course, “objective and reliable evidence” is intentionally vague, meaning that the likelihood of ineligible voters being able to vote is increased.
This 800-page bill is overwhelmingly dense, making it difficult to analyze and critique in detail without becoming equally impossible to follow. However, when viewed through the lens of the Democrats’ ultimate objective, the truth becomes clear.
The “For the People Act” is not for the people, as it claims. It’s for the Democrats.
Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.