ttempts by supporters of President Trump on Wednesday to replicate the tactics of Antifa at the U.S. Capitol were wrong on all levels. Not just because violence is wrong, though of course it is. Not just because leftist media and prosecutors deploy a double standard, though they undoubtedly have. But also because no one should want Ground Zero of the battle against voter fraud to be fought in Washington, D.C.
Free and fair elections are a product of federalism — meaning the power to execute them is held by state and local governments, not delegated to Washington. Our nation’s founders dispersed power deliberately to guard against tyranny.
An elected officer at the county level gets to decide how voter lists are maintained, how ballot counting will be executed and observed, and how the disqualification of illegal ballots will be handled.
Likewise, state legislatures are empowered to set the rules that govern in their states. State law can dictate voter identification and ballot chain of custody procedures, felony voting rights and election deadlines.
As of this moment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is not able to dictate any of that. But she very much wants to. And that’s a problem.
We wouldn’t want the rules changing every time power changes hands. More importantly, we can’t have the people in power adjusting the rules to perpetually keep themselves in power, making it impossible for voters to hold their elected officials accountable.
When a countywide official is responsible for preventing election security breaches, voters can easily influence that official. An official living in their own county is easier to contact, influence, or defeat. But when it takes an act of Congress to change the rules, only those with access to congressional leadership get heard. The whole process becomes politicized.
Throughout the 116th Congress, Pelosi has sought to fundamentally change the way we run elections in this country, giving more power to partisan majorities in Congress. Her so-called “election security” legislation was an attempt to subjugate local jurisdictions to federal control, allowing her and Senate Minority Leader (soon-to-be majority leader) Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to dictate the rules according to their political interests.
A series of disastrous election security provisions initially showed up in H.R. 1 in the last congressional session, but were subsequently stuffed into other must-pass legislation, including coronavirus relief bills. These desperate attempts to remake elections into Third World banana republic events were not successful during the Trump administration. But they were deployed in certain swing states and blue states where they returned huge dividends for Democrats.
Pelosi’s election security agenda is a recipe for election fraud. With cries of voter suppression, Democrats insist that all votes legal and illegal must be counted. To do otherwise, they say, is racist.
Consequently, Pelosi’s legislation prohibits routine voter list maintenance. Counties would no longer even be allowed to check their voter databases against the Postal Service National Change of Address Database to identify voters who have moved. Nor could they use interstate cross-check systems that help states find voters registered in multiple jurisdictions. Dead, duplicate, and non-existent voters would stay on the voting rolls indefinitely under Pelosi’s plans.
The legislation overrides state laws and even state constitutions on everything from voter identification to felony voting and lowers the voting age to 16. It mandates vulnerabilities by dictating the terms of early voting, mail-in voting, and same-day registration in ways that benefit both Democrats and would-be fraudsters.
The battle over the security of future elections will be fought in the state legislatures and in county election offices. That’s where our advocacy needs to be focused. Not on violence. Not on occupying federal buildings. But on persuading and influencing current election administrators, recruiting and replacing those who don’t share our values, and promoting greater oversight and transparency of election administration.
States must resist the Pelosi election power grab that is almost assuredly coming. The mantra and goal must be to authenticate the vote. Sending out ballots by the millions to people who didn’t ask for them is a recipe for fraud. When a fraudulent tactic works once, even on a small scale, it can be exponentially exploited in future elections. Though marching on the nation’s capital makes a statement, influencing the people at our state capitols makes a difference.