June 30, 2021
Last week, Senate Democrats did exactly what we knew they would—they forced a vote on their partisan, misnamed ‘For the People Act.’ For those unfamiliar, this is a Democrat bill to nationalize our elections and give Washington unprecedented and unconstitutional power over state and local governments. Keep in mind, this bill is not new – House Democrats passed it in 2019 on a party-line vote. Let me emphasize again – not a single House Republican voted in favor of this far-left legislation. In fact, the only bipartisan aspect to this bill is its opposition.
This year, the bill was uniformly rejected by Republicans in both the House and the Senate – and the reason is clear. The bill is filled with dangerous and anti-democratic provisions, including:
· Legalizing ballot harvesting;
· Banning voter ID laws;
· Restoring felons’ right to vote;
· Allowing voters to cast ballots outside their precincts;
· Subsidizing political candidates with federal funds.
It’s more accurately named the “For the Liberal Politicians Act” – in their mind it not only ensures that they can control elections forever with ballot harvesting and other questionable practices, but they would also get millions in taxpayer funds to bulk up their campaigns. I’d just remind them …that provision would mean that federal funds would go to fund campaign robocalls, rallies, fundraisers, television advertisements and more. No one should want federal funds going to congressional campaigns, but especially not to candidates or campaigns they don’t support.
Oklahoma State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax recently shared with me his strong concern that this bill would undo Oklahoma’s election integrity laws. It would impose policies that contradict state law, like legalizing ballot harvesting and preventing voter identification for in-person voting. As he is responsible for managing elections in Oklahoma, he knows how bad this bill would be for Oklahomans. Today, Oklahoma’s elections are safe, secure and fair.
Secretary Ziriax said it best in 2019, when testifying before the House that Oklahoma’s voting system is, “one of the most reliable, most accurate, most secure, most efficient, most cost-effective, and speediest voting systems in the entire world.”
It’s clear Democrats are playing politics with S. 1. Following the 2020 presidential election, Democrats complained about efforts to remove states from running their elections, but now Democrats are seeking sweeping federal control over our elections. I continue to speak out against efforts to nationalize our elections, including those to abolish the Electoral College. While those efforts would surely benefit coastal, liberal states – they are not in the interest of hardworking Oklahomans or the vast majority of states. I opposed this dangerous, one-size-fits-all approach and I will continue to oppose efforts like this that are bad for Oklahoma.