Just two days after the Democrats’ vote-rigging bill failed in the Senate, the Biden administration rolled out its plan B to undermine election integrity: weaponizing the Department of Justice (DoJ). Attorney General Merrick Garland announced last week the DoJ is suing the state of Georgia over its new voter integrity law. This is the first such challenge to Republican-backed efforts in multiple states to tighten voting laws to ensure we don’t have a repeat of the November 2020 election debacle.
Millions of Americans still don’t trust the results of last November’s presidential election. A recent poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found about half of Americans say they are highly concerned that the country’s voting systems might be vulnerable to hackers, and about that many also are strongly concerned about foreign governments interfering by tampering with election results or influencing American attitudes. Sixty-seven percent of Republicans say voter fraud is a major concern in the elections.
Lawmakers in Georgia and other states are addressing those concerns through legislation that:
- Requires voter ID;
- requires absentee voters to request ballots by providing their driver’s license number, the last four digits of their Social Security number or a copy of some other accepted form of identification;
- limits how parties and voting groups mail out absentee-ballot request forms;
- limits the number of ballot drop boxes to one per county except for large counties, which can set up one box for every 100,000 registered voters;
- places drop boxes in secure voting locations where they are emptied and processed by election officials every night;
- authorizes the state to take over county election boards if they are proven to have chronic mismanagement or fraud problems.
The lawsuit alleges that Georgia violated federal voting-rights law when it earlier this year enacted changes to the state’s election requirements, including altering how people cast absentee ballots and where people can drop off their ballots.
Mr. Garland said his agency would scrutinize a raft of new state election laws, promising to double the number of staff devoted to enforcement of federal voting-rights law. Mr. Garland cited studies that he said showed that, in some jurisdictions, nonwhite voters must wait in line substantially longer than white voters to cast their ballots.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said he looks forward to defending the law. “This lawsuit is born out of the lies and misinformation the Biden administration has pushed against Georgia’s Election Integrity Act from the start,” Kemp said in a statement, calling the suit part of a “far-left agenda.”
“As Secretary of State, I fought the Obama Justice Department twice to protect the security of our elections – and won. I look forward to going three for three to ensure it’s easy to vote and hard to cheat in Georgia.”
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Democrats are seeking to “undermine confidence in the elections in the pursuit of political power,” adding that the “Republican National Committee will use every tool and resource at its disposal to intervene and fight these left-wing power grabs.”
Under President Biden there is a pattern of DoJ abuses targeting Biden’s political opponents. It is time that Congress wake up regardless of party and stand against executive branch abuses of power and the ongoing politicization of federal law enforcement agencies by any means available, including withholding funding in this year’s appropriations bills.
When it comes to individual rights, there can be no compromise. After all, the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments prescribe that the federal government should protect individual liberties from any government encroachment. If Congress will not fight to protect it, then liberty will be lost.
Catherine Mortensen is Vice President of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.