Senator: ‘H.R. 1 is biggest power grab in modern American history’

“This is the biggest power grab in modern American history being pushed by the most radical people in modern American history to change the way we vote to destroy the integrity of the ballot box.”

By Catherine Mortensen

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Gov. Henry McMaster are warning the House-passed H.R. 1 would sanction widespread voter fraud and destroy state sovereignty. In a joint news conference this week, the Republican lawmakers urged the Senate to oppose the bill.

Gov. McMasters said, “This is not an exaggeration. This is breathtaking in its destruction to the integrity of our election system. We want to have a robust fire, easy, convenient voting, but it must have integrity.”

According to Sen. Graham, “H.R. 1 is an attempt by the radical left to take over every election system in the country. H.R. 1 would be the federalization of elections for Congress. It would be in violation of the Constitution, in my view. The contents of this bill should scare everybody in South Carolina and throughout the nation who believe in robust voting but integrity at the ballot box.”

Gov. McMasters is concerned about the threat to state sovereignty. “This bill, H.R. 1, threatens the constitutional sovereignty of the state of South Carolina,” McMaster said. “Those are not just words – that’s very important. This country, our state, is built on the sovereignty of the states. This bill takes that away.”

Both men expressed concern this bill would destroy ballot integrity and make it impossible for voters to trust the outcome of any future elections.

“This will institutionalize techniques used by the left to expand the vote in a fashion where there will be no integrity in the vote,” Graham said. “This is the biggest power grab in modern American history being pushed by the most radical people in modern American history to change the way we vote to destroy the integrity of the ballot box, and we will not stand for it in South Carolina.”

Graham ended the news conference by decrying the personal attacks by Democrats are anyone who is defending election integrity. “They’re calling all of us, racist, because we won’t give in to this power grab. They play the race card, morning, noon and night. I am tired of it.”

The bill has passed the House and is now under consideration in the Senate. President Joe Biden said he supports the measure and will sign it into law if it reaches his desk.

Here are just a few of the provisions of this outrageous bill:

  • H.R. 1 would give control of the Federal Election Commission to Democrats. The FEC, which regulates federal elections, is run by six commissioners. Under current law, no more than three of the six commissioners can be from the same party. That reduces the likelihood that the FEC will be used to punish political opponents. Removing this protection would allow Democrats to wield the agency’s powers against Republicans. For those who doubt that Democrats would ever do such a thing, just look at what happened to conservative nonprofits during Lois Lerner’s tenure at the IRS.
  • H.R. 1 would require state officials to automatically register residents to vote, which would open the door to all sorts of errors and potential fraud. For starters, the crafters of this legislation seem to forget that some people do not wish to vote for religious reasons, others are incapable of voting, and still others do not register because they do not want to be called for jury duty. Registering those who will not or cannot vote makes no sense; all it does is enable voter fraud by relatives, neighbors, or caregivers. Furthermore, how will states know which residents are citizens, which are legal aliens, and which are illegal aliens?
  • H.R. 1 would make it more difficult to scrub the voter rolls of those who have moved or died. Voter rolls should be constantly updated; otherwise, the number of names that could be used to vote fraudulently continues to grow. As it is, voter rolls in many places across the country have not been properly scrubbed, and this legislation would simply make the tedious process harder.
  • H.R. 1 would require states to set up drop boxes for absentee ballots. Unattended ballot drop boxes – which may be opened without any election observers present – create more opportunities for fraud as well as for theft or destruction of ballots.
  • H.R. 1 would eliminate all state restrictions on voting by mail. In other words, states would have to accept mail-in ballots from every voter – even if a voter had no particularly compelling reason why they could not show up in person on Election Day.
  • H.R. 1 would gut all voter ID laws. Going forward, even in states that have voter ID laws on the books, people would be able to vote even if they do not have a valid ID. All that would be required of them would be to sign a statement asserting that they are who they say they are. Obviously, if someone is determined to commit voter fraud, lying on a form will not stop them.
  • H.R. 1 would allow jail inmates to vote. If a person cannot be trusted with their freedom, how can they be trusted with their vote?
  • H.R. 1 would require same-day registration. Same-day registration adds to the cost of running elections, creates more work for poll workers, can cause lines and delays at polling places, and makes it easier for people to vote multiple times in the same election.

Catherine Mortensen is Vice President of Communications at Americans for Limited Government.