If there is one thing that unites those concerned with free speech; open fair and honest elections; libertarians and conservatives; and the GOP and ACLU; it is opposition to HR1. Today we’ll highlight three groups opposition.
First, we want to highlight the opinions of those who know elections best, the Secretaries of State who wrote a letter opposing HR 1:
We are writing you today to urge you to reject the “For the People Act” otherwise known as H.R. 1 or S. 1, which is a dangerous overreach by the federal government into the administration of elections.
Each state legislature should have the freedom and flexibility to determine practices that best meet the needs of their respective states. A one-size-fits-all approach mandated by Congress is not the solution to any of our problems.
These bills intrude upon our constitutional rights, and further sacrifice the security and integrity of the elections process. We firmly believe the authority to legislate and regulate these changes should be left with the states.
The Institute for Free Speech breaks down the problems related to the First Amendment with HR 1 or S1 (emphasis added):
Unconstitutionally regulate speech that mentions a federal candidate or elected official at any time under a vague, subjective, and dangerously broad standard that asks whether the speech “promotes,” “attacks,” “supports,” or “opposes” (“PASO”) the candidate or official. This standard is impossible to understand and would likely regulate any mention of an elected official who hasn’t announced their retirement.
Compel groups to declare on new, publicly filed “campaign-related disbursement” reports that their ads are either “in support of or in opposition” to the elected official mentioned, even if their ads are neither. This form of compulsory speech forces organizations to declare their allegiance or opposition to public officials, provides false information to the public, and is unconstitutional.
Force groups to publicly identify certain donors on these reports for issue ads and on the face of the ads themselves. In many instances, the donors being identified will have provided no funding for the ads. Faced with the prospect of being inaccurately associated with what, by law, would be considered (unjustifiably, in many or most instances) “campaign” ads in FEC reports and disclaimers, many donors will stop giving to nonprofits, or these groups will self-censor.
Expand the universe of regulated online political speech (by Americans) beyond paid advertising to include, apparently, communications on groups’ or individuals’ own websites, social media platforms, and e-mail messages.
Heritage has a fact sheet that details some of the problems with election Administration with HR 1. Some highlights:
Seize the authority of states to regulate voter registration and the voting process by forcing states to implement early voting, automatic voter registration, same-day registration, online voter registration, and no-fault absentee balloting.
Degrade the accuracy of registration lists by requiring states to automatically register all individuals (as opposed to “citizens”) from state and federal databases, such as state Departments of Motor Vehicles, corrections and welfare offices, and federal agencies such as the Social Security Administration, the Department of Labor, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the Department of Health and Human Services. This would register large numbers of ineligible voters, including aliens, and cause multiple or duplicate registrations of the same individuals and put federal agencies in charge of determining a person’s domicile for voting purposes (as well as that individual’s taxing state).
Ban state voter ID laws by forcing states to allow individuals to vote without an ID and merely signing a statement in which they claim they are who they say they are.
Require states to restore the ability of felons to vote the moment they are out of prison regardless of uncompleted parole, probation, or restitution requirements. Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment gives states the constitutional authority to decide when felons who committed crimes against their fellow citizens may vote again. Congress cannot override a constitutional amendment with a statute.
HR 1 is not just a Democrat “dream bill” it is an unconstitutional electoral power grab. Opposition to it will continue to grow as all sides learn the damage it will do to our democracy.