Just because a bank has never been robbed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t lock cash in a vault. Just because thieves have never broken into your home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t lock your door or secure your valuables. And just because Democrats pretend voter fraud isn’t an issue doesn’t mean that states shouldn’t exercise their constitutional authority to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., during the signing ceremony of the COVID-19 Hate Crime Act, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 19. 2021. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Democrats won’t rest until they control how and when you vote
Pete Hutchison & Michael J. O’Neill July 06, 12:00 AM July 06, 12:00 AM
Just because a bank has never been robbed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t lock cash in a vault. Just because thieves have never broken into your home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t lock your door or secure your valuables. And just because Democrats pretend voter fraud isn’t an issue doesn’t mean that states shouldn’t exercise their constitutional authority to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.
Last month, Democrats in the Senate failed in their latest effort to pass legislation that would federalize our election systems. Despite President Joe Biden and the Left’s best efforts to resurrect the specter of Jim Crow, people understand the need for voter security. And they understand the fundamental principle that elections should be run and regulated by states and localities — entities that are uniquely qualified to modify voting protections, practices, and procedures to the needs of particular communities.
That’s why almost all people support voter identification. Recent polling shows that 80% believe that people should have to show their ID before voting. And this is common practice throughout the world. In Mexico, France, Ireland, and Israel, one must show an ID to vote.
People understand that voter ID is a commonsense and reasonable practice that helps ensure the integrity of the electoral process. It deters those who may commit fraud and gives the public assurances in the accuracy and fairness of an election.
Other protections are just as important. The prohibition on ballot harvesting, for example, prevents unsavory actors from targeting vulnerable populations, such as nursing home residents, and exerting undue influence on voters. It also prevents ballot tampering and preserves the chain of custody of the ballots to safeguard against fraud.
Conducting voting list maintenance procedures, such as verifying residency and removing deceased voters from the rolls, guards against double voting. Obligating people to verify their identities before they receive a mail ballot discourages fraud. Using paper ballots means there is tangible proof of a vote that can be confirmed and verified if a recount is necessary.
None of these measures impede or discourage voting. And when a state implements these protections, the citizenry has some assurance that the election has been conducted in a fair and transparent manner.
Democrats, however, are not finished. Even if their proposal fails to become law, they will continue to push for increased federal control of our elections in a new bill called the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. That bill is just as bad or worse than the proposal blocked last month. The problem now is that several Republicans inexplicably support this latest proposal.
Washington bureaucrats and well-funded special interest groups, rather than state and local election officials, will control election procedures. Conservatives must push back by supporting elected officials who want to maintain state and local control of our elections. Otherwise, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will determine who gets to vote, when, where, and how.
Pete Hutchison is the president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, and Michael J. O’Neill is the assistant general counsel.
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