American citizens who value the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law should read and understand any bill in its true form rather than its interpretation by a political party. This can be difficult because Congressional bills are often written in such a complicated way that a legal background is required to decipher their true meanings. One example is the recentlypassed H.R. 1, which has broad ramifications for every citizen within our borders.
The alleged purpose of H.R. 1 is to strengthen the integrity of the election process. Here are a few key points in this 791page bill:
“Congress finds that it has broad authority to regulate the time, place, and manner of congressional elections under the Elections Clause of the Constitution, Article I, section 4.” This clause removes election authority from the individual states as provided by the Constitution and gives it to the federal government.
If anyone tries to challenge H.R. 1 legally, then all plaintiffs would be required “to file joint papers or to be represented by a single attorney at oral argument” only in the District Court for the District of Columbia. This would give full legal control of our elections to the federal government without checks and balances.
- This bill would mandate nofault absentee ballots. These ballots will no longer require witness signature or notarization. In addition, states are required to accept absentee ballots 10 days after the election.
- This bill’s intent to “modernize” elections mandates automatic voter registration (AVR) in all 50 states. So anyone who has given personal information to governmental agencies, such as the DMV or a public university, will automatically be registered to vote. Furthermore, this automatic registration does not seem to differentiate between American citizens and illegal immigrants.
- This bill would ban voter
- This bill would make it illegal to verify voters and eliminate ineligible (illegal) voters. This includes making it illegal to verify a voter’s address or crosscheck voter registration lists for registration irregularities.
- This bill would criminalize any “hindering, interfering or preventing” anyone from registering or voting. Thus, if the state tries to verify voter eligibility (legality), that would be a federal criminal offense.
- This bill will protect illegal immigrants from prosecution when they are registered to vote automatically, and the agencies are not required to keep records. Hence, this bill promotes and ensures illegal voting.
- This bill would permit sameday registration without voter ID. If the state “hinders” this ineligible voter registration on the same day of an election, it may be prosecuted for a criminal offense by the federal government.
- This bill would criminalize “misleading information” about elections with up to five years in prison. This eliminates freedom of speech.
- This bill would allow felons to vote unless they are in a correctional facility or institution – meaning a felon who is on parole would be allowed to vote. Furthermore, states that do not allow an exconvict to register to vote will have limited federal funding to their state prisons.
- This bill will promote ballot harvesting – meaning a voter can designate any person to return the ballot with no limitation on how many ballots that person could return.
- This bill would mandate early voting. Early voting can render votes ineffective due to changes in the candidates running for office. For example, an individual may vote early for a candidate who drops out of the race.
- This bill would legalize votebymail nationally with no identification verification or witness signatures.
- This bill would require the state to accept ballots 10 days after the election day.
- This bill requires “campus vote coordinators”: universities must hire an official to inform students of the elections and encourage voter registrations, and universities with high registrations will be incentivized with grants.
- This bill would mandate all states to have absentee voter boxes available for 45 days in an election.
- The bill would require “curbside” voting.
- This bill would transfer the authority of the state legislature to an “independent” commission.
- This bill would create a “National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions,” which would consist of 10 members (6 out of 10 members will be the Democratic Party since it is the majority party) advising how to improve the elections.
- This bill would urge the District of Columbia to become a state and have representatives for territories, such as Puerto Rico.
- “Stand By Every Ad Act” would prevent campaign money from being used in Internet advertising. This would increase the cost of campaigning, which would give an advantage to anyone who has more money.
- This bill counters the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, in which the Court decided the government cannot restrict independent expenditure (freedom of speech clause) for a corporation or nonprofit.
- This bill would allow politicians to use campaign funds for personal use under the “Help America Run Act.”
- This bill would change the Federal Election Commission (FEC), decrease it from 6 to 5 members, of which 4 may be with any political party, but the fifth would be assigned by the president’s political party.
These are only a few of the policies in the H.R. 1 “For The People Act” (Rep. John Sarbanes, DemocratMD). Read the entire bill and contact your local Senator’s office to give your feedback, so your public servant can represent his or her constituents. This bill faces a vote in the U.S. Senate.