US Senators have blocked the passage of a bill that would have fundamentally overhauled America’s election process.
As I noted in a video a few days ago, the bill, dubbed the “For the People Act,” is anything but for the people. This radical legislation would have dramatically altered how elections are run in our country. Frankly, it boils down to a federal takeover of the election system that we’ve preserved in this nation for the last 200 years.
The bill lost by only one vote, showcasing the intense divide that currently exists in the US Senate.
Here are some of the worst parts of this (now dead) bill:
– It authorizes the IRS to investigate and consider the political and policy positions of nonprofits when these groups apply for tax-exempt status. This would make room for political targeting via taxation. Imagine the chilling effect on speech that would occur if the IRS was constantly staring down non-profits and threatening punishment if the wrong thing is said or the wrong idea is advanced.
-It would eliminate state voter ID laws that verify the identity of voters and strengthen election security. The vast majority of Americans across the political spectrum continue to support voter ID laws.
-It pushes a one-size fits all redistricting model on every state. The bill would strip voters of their ability to decide how districts are drawn.
-It would force the public to fund candidates running for Congress. Nobody should be forced to fund political campaigns involuntarily.
-It would limit the capacity for states to clean their voter rolls. This bill would have made it even harder to clean up these lists. This makes it more likely that folks who have died, moved away, are ineligible, are noncitizens, or are registered multiple times will be left on voter lists. Why would any official want to make it more difficult for states to have accurate voter lists?
-The bill would have automatically registered any individual who has an interaction with a state agency such as the DMV. To be clear, this does not refer just to eligible citizens. It would have registered every individual no matter if they’re simply a resident or even if they should not be voting. There is absolutely no sensible reason to register those who should not be voting.
-It would require that all states allow for absentee ballots on demand. Furthermore, it allows for ballot harvesting, a process by which campaign officials and other political actors can work to collect absentee ballots. This practice has been widely criticized by folks across the political aisle.
-It would force states to allow for online registration and unaccountable same day registration without oversight.
-Finally, it dramatically restricts the free speech rights of candidates, citizens, and nonprofits by enacting a range of new regulations.
Thankfully, the bill is dead. This is thanks, in part, to the “No” votes of both Senator Roger Wicker and Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.
The bill will undoubtedly be reintroduced again. However, its death strikes a major blow at efforts to centralize election control and remake Mississippi’s election laws in the vein of New York or California’s systems.