On the heels of the Equality Act which opens the door for religious persecution and damages the right of assembly and speech, the Democrats with H.R.1, also misnamed, Bill For the People Act of 2021, seeks to cement corrupt election practices indefinitely. Also, like the Equality Act, it had already passed the House with a solid 220 Democrats over unanimous Republican opposition of 210, before most Americans were aware of it because of the party’s overwhelming control of the press and full-court press censorship practices of anything negative to Joe Biden.
Contrary to its title the nearly 800-page, “Bill For the People,” would remove authority over elections from the people. It constitutes a federal takeover of all elections. It incorporates and legalizes every objectionable practice in the election of 2020. It installs controlled elections.
Under the Constitution all elections, including federal, are governed at the state level under the philosophy never elevate to a higher level that which can be resolved at a lesser level. The Founding Fathers placed the responsibility for all elections with the body closest to the people, “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senator and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the Legislature thereof” (Article 1, Section 4,). Corruption is isolated and the people themselves, most affected by it, are most likely to correct it.
It undermines the Elections Clause cited above which bestows principleauthority to the states and the Electors Clause of Article II exclusive authorityin presidential elections. “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress” (Article II, Section 2, Clause 3) Indeed, it could destroy the Electoral College.
The state legislature constitutionally creates all law governing elections and holds all jurisdiction concerning the same. Removing them would require an amendment to the Constitution mandating a 3/4th vote of the states rather than a mere bill of Congress passed by the majority of a single party. Thus they hold authority over all voting issues. The Democrats want that power.
Again, all election law is the prerogative of the state legislatures alone excepting what presently exists in the Constitution or that which has gone through the amending process, as outlined in Article V, and thus reassigned to the federal government. These include Amendments: 12—election of the president, 15—universal suffrage not race based, 17—direct election of senators, 19—women’s suffrage, 24—poll tax for voting prohibited, and 26—voting at age eighteen.
The “For the People Act of 2021” dumps state authority over elections, thus moving it further FROM THE PEOPLE, handing it over to the federal government instead. It would mandate the following: mail-in ballots, a 10 day delay in election results, eliminate voter ID election security, register millions of criminally present foreign citizen voters, explode opportunities for election fraud, prevent cleaning up voter rolls, unleash mobs on political donors, gerrymander districts in favor of Democrats, make vote hacking easier, allow former felons voting before they complete their sentences, help those aged 16 and 17 vote illegally, ban keeping the records necessary for an election audit or recount, mandate ballot drop boxes, and work to extend to U.S. territories extra Democrat seats in congress (“15 Insane Things in Democrats’ H.R. 1 Bill to Corrupt Elections Forever,” by Joy Pullmann, March 8, 2021).
Such also violates Amendment 14, Section 2, which gives states exclusive constitutional authority to decide when felons may vote again. Again, a mere statute cannot override an Amendment to the Constitution.
It unconstitutionally replaces state authority with unelected commissions. The present independence of state judges assessing election controversies now would be under the authority of a new unelected “Commission to Protect Democratic Institutions” from Washington D.C.
If passed this is the largest overhaul of U.S. election law in at least a generation, perhaps since women’s suffrage, totally unconstitutional without an amendment. With virtually no bipartisanship in Congress, Democrats are quite happy with how they “elected” Joe Biden in 2020. The vote in the Senate is predictably 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tiebreaker.
Still, Senate rules require a 60 vote margin of victory and that will not happen honestly. This they admit, “If Mitch McConnell is not willing to provide 10 Republicans to support this landmark reform, I think Democrats are going to step back and reevaluate the situation,” Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), the author of HR 1, told Vox in a recent interview. “There’s all manner of ways you could redesign the filibuster so [the bill] would have a path forward” (“The bill still faces a steep climb in the US Senate,” Vox by Ella Nilsenella, March 3, 2021).
With the passage of H.R.1 everything previously illegal in an election is now made legal. Simply put, “The bill interferes with the ability of states and their citizens to determine qualifications for voters, to ensure the accuracy of voter registration rolls [and] to secure the integrity of elections” (The Facts About H.R. 1—the For the People Act of 2019, The Heritage Foundation February 1, 2019). Look to permanent one party rule and the end of free elections and the Constitution as we know it if this bill, removing governance of elections further from the people, goes through.
Dr. Harold Pease is an expert on the United States Consitution and a syndicated columnist. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and applying that knowledge to current events. He taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years. Newspapers have permission to publish this column. To read more of his weekly articles, please visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.