URGENT: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has announced that the Senate will vote on S. 1 in the last week of June, or sooner! Although Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced he will vote against the bill, Democrats are seeking to amend the bill to gain his support. The Senate is the primary obstacle to enacting S. 1/ H.R. 1; tell your senators to oppose any version of this bill!
Sponsored by John Sarbanes (D-Md.) and co-sponsored by Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), H.R. 1 was introduced on January 4, 2021, immediately after start of the 117th Congress. The Senate version, S. 1, sponsored by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), has 48 co-sponsors and was introduced on March 17, 2021.
The bill is a top priority for Congressional Democrats. Additionally, with Democrats in control the House, Senate, and White House, a possibility exists that this bill could pass and be enacted. Having previously passed in the House on March 3, 2021, the bill need only pass in the Senate before proceeding to the president in order to be signed into law.
What's In The Bills:
H.R. 1 and S. 1 contain multiple unconstitutional, anti-integrity, and otherwise harmful provisions. Even if these provisions were constitutional, which they are not, are so bad for elections that it should be rejected by Congress and anything else like it should also be rejected at the state level as well.
Section 1001 of H.R. 1/ S. 1 would implement Internet voter registration. American elections have already suffered severe degradation in the area of voter registration lists caused by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, aka the Motor Voter Act — lists that were intended to be used to prevent fraudulent voting. Allowing Internet voter registration would take a bad situation and make it worse, basically providing an open door for fraudulent voting. Congress should not only defeat H.R. 1/ S. 1, but also repeal Motor Voter, something Republicans promised when they ran for Congress in 1994, but set aside once they were elected.
Section 1012 of H.R. 1/ S/ 1 would implement automatic voter registration. Section 1012 of the bill (page 48) explains it clearly:
“Automatic registration” means a system that registers an individual to vote in elections for Federal office in a State, if eligible, by electronically transferring the information necessary for registration from government agencies to election officials of the State so that, unless the individual affirmatively declines to be registered, the individual will be registered to vote in such elections.
If you think Motor Voter has caused problems, just consider the dangers of automatic voter registration, especially with H.R. 1/ S. 1’s buried requirement that it be done via electronic transfer of data. How fast can one computer send bogus data to another computer? All that and no paper trail of the voter registration as they are processed? Section 1012 is seriously bad for honest elections. Furthermore, this provision, among others, would lead to non-citizens being registered to vote.
Section 1031 of H.R. 1/ S. 1would force the states to implement same-day voter registration. Most states have traditionally implemented a deadline for registering new voters, typically about a month prior to an election, in order to give election officials enough time to properly process the applications and be certain they are genuine. This important election integrity measure would be tossed out the window if H.R. 1 passes.
Section 1201 of H.R. 1/ S. 1 would prohibit voter caging. The term “voter caging” sounds like like a horrible act of torture, but what the bill says is:
(1) the term ‘voter caging document’ means—
(A) a nonforwardable document that is returned to the sender or a third party as undelivered or undeliverable despite an attempt to deliver such document to the address of a registered voter or applicant; or
(B) any document with instructions to an addressee that the document be returned to the sender or a third party but is not so returned, despite an attempt to deliver such document to the address of a registered voter or applicant, unless at least two Federal election cycles have passed since the date of the attempted delivery;
This provision in H.R. 1/ S. 1 would greatly reduce verification of voter registration lists. This is something done with voters every two years in Texas when voter cards, which are good for two years, are sent to the voters and those that are undeliverable are returned to the county elections office. As bad as Section 1201 is, it could be easily amended to make any form of voter registration verification illegal and that would be even worse.
Additionally, the bill would make it nearly impossible to challenge the act, requiring all lawsuits to go through Washington, D.C., based courts rather than federal courts based in any of the states.
Again, urge your U.S. Senators to reject both S. 1 and H.R. 1.