The Democrat Politician Protection Act: A Solution to An Invented Crisis
‘This fact-free rhetoric is being used to push legislation that would override the decisions of Americans’ democratically-chosen local leaders and replace them with one-size-fits all prescriptions authored by a small handful of politicians like Speaker Pelosi, Congressman Sarbanes, and a few others who the vast majority of Americans do not elect and have no way to hold accountable.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding House Democrats’ proposal to centralize electoral control in Washington, D.C. and to erode free speech:
“In the days since House Democrats began arguing for a massive federal takeover of America’s elections, we’ve heard a lot of dramatic claims about the state of American democracy. Speaker Pelosi has denounced, quote, ‘devious vote-suppression schemes.’ The Democrats’ response to the State of the Union on Tuesday night warned of ‘threats to democracy’ and ‘efforts to undermine our right to vote.’
“So, if you only listened to Democrats, you might actually think that there is a widespread voting crisis in this country. If you took Democrats’ rhetoric at face value, you certainly wouldn’t guess that 2018 saw the highest midterm turnout rate in half a century, or that 2016 hit an all-time record for presidential ballots cast and the third-highest presidential turnout rate in fifty years. And if you believed the Democrat rhetoric, you’d be shocked to see the freedom, openness, and availability of the electoral franchise across our country in the year 2019.
“Let’s start with voter registration. Current federal law provides all Americans the option to register to vote when they apply for an identification card at their local DMV. In many cases, registering is as simple as checking a box on a completed form. If that’s not enough, voter registration is available at agencies that provide social services or disability services. It’s available at places like military recruitment centers, post offices, hunting and fishing license offices, and courthouses. Voter registration is even available online in many places. And in places where it isn’t, detailed instructions are available to anyone who goes looking.
“You’ll find voter registration drives on college campuses, in high schools, or outside the subway or train stations. You’ll find them at church and at other civic organizations. You’ll find voter registration drives while you’re walking down the street, visiting a grocery store, or many other public places. Heck, many campaigns and advocacy groups will come door to door to register voters. What about once voters are registered? To hear these Democrats tell it, polling places across America are staffed by malevolent people who set out to deny the franchise to as many of their neighbors as possible.
“But beneath the rhetoric, the procedures they’re trying to attack actually could not be more reasonable. We’re talking about things like making sure voters are in the right precinct -- or even the right county -- so they have the opportunity to vote for their local leaders. Things like requiring any form of identification to verify that voters are who they claim to be. Things like making sure that there’s enough time between voter registration and Election Day for officials to verify what district and precinct voters live in, or that they’re eligible to vote in that state in the first place. Simple, commonsense practices. They’ve worked just fine in communities across the country, in areas overseen by Democrat elected officials and Republican elected officials alike.
“But now, Democrats have decided these standard processes are so unfair or so immoral that the federal government must snatch the reins away from the people and their local representatives. Now Washington Democrats have decided we need them to determine how we elect our leaders. Well, once again, the plain facts disprove the hyperventilating. After last November’s election, the Pew Research Center surveyed Americans about their voting experience. Ninety-two percent said their voting experience was easy. Only 1% of voters found their experience, quote, ‘very difficult.’ One percent -- and that could be the result of practically any inconvenience.
“Full parking lots, long lines, bad traffic, a forgotten ID. You name it. But more than nine in ten American voters indicated they had no real trouble at all. So, it’s more than a little suspicious that Washington Democrats are trying to invent crises to justify a huge new power grab for themselves.
“This fact-free rhetoric is being used to push legislation that would override the decisions of Americans’ democratically-chosen local leaders and replace them with one-size-fits all prescriptions authored by a small handful of politicians like Speaker Pelosi, Congressman Sarbanes, and a few others who the vast majority of Americans do not elect and have no way to hold accountable. Prescriptions that largely seem designed to help Democrats and their D.C. attorneys contest rules well after Election Day. I call this 500-plus-page doorstop the Democrat Politician Protection Act for a reason.
“Let me be abundantly clear: Every eligible American voter should be completely free to exercise their right to vote at every opportunity and cast a ballot. Period. And every single valid vote should be counted. Opposing the Democrat Political Protection Act is not opposing those basic tenets. But the way to honor these basic propositions is to let states and localities take simple, necessary steps to protect our elections and ensure valid votes are not diluted. To have procedures in place to make sure that voters are casting ballots in the right races. To make sure that the American people are the ones who determine how we elect our leaders. The real threat to American democracy is staring us in the face: An invented crisis. Inaccurate rhetoric. All to justify an unprecedented intrusion by Washington D.C. Democrats into the way states run their elections.”
Related Issues: First Amendment