Democrats Fail for Fourth Time to Federalize Elections

For the fourth time this year, Democrats have fallen short in their attempts to pass voting legislation that would radically federalize elections. This shows yet again how important a unified Republican caucus is and the importance of the filibuster to confront the Left’s radical attempts to strip states of their long-recognized power to administer their own elections according to the needs of their constituencies.

Senator Schumer announced yesterday that the Senate would move forward with a procedural vote to begin debate on the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, marking the fourth time Senate Democrats have tried to federalize elections this session. 

While noble in name, the Act is really just a way to give President Biden’s Justice Department and Merrick Garland unfettered power to block common-sense election reforms by states that would strengthen election integrity, such as cleaning up voter lists and enacting widely supported voter ID requirements.

As Hans von Spakovsky writes for Heritage in his in-depth analysis of the bill,

H.R. 4, the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, would give liberal bureaucrats in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) the power to veto changes of polling place locations, voter ID and registration requirements, and the boundary lines in redistricting in every single state. It would also amend the Voting Rights Act (VRA) to change legal standards to make it extremely difficult for states to defend themselves against meritless litigation filed by advocacy organizations to void state laws that protect election integrity.

To make matters more interesting, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced a substitute to H.R. 4 on Monday night.  But H.R. 4, even Sen. Murkowski’s version, is not what voters want.

Yesterday’s election showed just how out of touch Democrats are with their radical election reforms, in that even New York voters overwhelmingly rejected adopting same day registration and no-excuse absentee voting.

One would think this would be a wake-up call to Democrats that voters don’t want what they have to offer, especially after Virginia, a state that voted 10+ for Biden in 2020, overwhelmingly elected Republican leaders across the state, including Virginia’s first Republican Governor in over a decade. 

Ultimately Schumer’s motion to invoke cloture to proceed with debate on H.R. 4 failed today in the Senate. For the fourth time, Democrats have failed to convince the American people to entertain such an elections power grab.

Some Democrats, like Sen. Merkley (D-OR), can take a hint

“This is our fourth, and I think final, attempt to find partners across the aisle who will defend the right of every American to vote,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley[.] “We’ve given it every possible effort over now five months, four different strategies. It’s not going to happen, so we’re going to have to do it with 50 members. And we’re going to have to sit down and decide how we’re going to do it.”

Here’s to an indefinite number of future failures should Democrats try again to federalize our elections.

If you'd like to learn more about the left's efforts to rewrite election rules, join the RNLA's webinar this Friday, November 5, at 2:00 PM Eastern to hear Hans von Spakovsky and John Fund discuss their new book, Our Broken Elections: How the Left Changed the Way You Vote.