Joyce on Democrats’ Election Overhaul: A Solution in Search of A Problem
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) released the following statement regarding the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 5746:
“This bill is a solution in search of a problem. Over the past year, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have consistently pointed to the record high turnout and secure outcome of the 2020 election – and I agree with them.
“The right to vote is one of the most fundamental rights we have as citizens of this great nation. Ensuring every American who is eligible to cast a vote can do so in any given election is something we can all agree on, regardless of party affiliation or political ideology. What we cannot agree on is a one-size-fits-all regulatory system imposed by Washington that publicly funds campaigns, weaponizes the Federal Election Commission, and overrides the Constitution by taking election decisions away from state and local officials.
“Ohio’s elections should be run by Ohioans, not by whoever happens to be in charge in Washington. I remain open-minded about election reform that empowers state and local officials in making America’s elections more accessible, more secure, and more accurate. However, this bill would do just the opposite.”
Overall, the bill, which will serve as the vehicle for Senate Democrats to fundamentally change the filibuster, would:
- Disregard state voter ID laws. This legislation requires clearance of states’ existing and new voter ID laws and forces states to accept signature verification, specifically prohibiting ID as a condition to vote by mail.
- Subject states to preclearance. If this bill were to become law, state and local governments, which have traditionally been able to choose how they elect their own representatives, would have to submit many election law change proposals to Washington bureaucrats for approval.
- Publicly fund campaigns and make the Federal Election Commission (FEC) partisan. The legislation installs a “Free Speech Czar” at a newly partisan FEC who would control the regulator’s operations and enforcement actions. It also creates a 6:1 funding match to any small donor contributions of $200 or less in U.S. House of Representatives campaigns, meaning for every $200, the federal government will match $1,200. This funding would come from a surcharge on corporate and high taxpayer settlements with the Federal government. For the 2022 cycle, House candidates could receive up to $7.2 million in public campaign funds.
- Nationalize elections. The bill creates a one-size-fits-all election administration scheme and strips away important election integrity safeguards implemented by states. These federal mandates include no-excuse absentee voting, automatic voter registration, same day registration, a ballot receipt deadline seven days after an election, and mandatory 15 days of early voting.
- Create an Elections Czar. The legislation makes the U.S. Attorney General an unelected, unaccountable “Elections Czar,” with the ability to change state voting laws, such as reviewing and approving states’ voter ID laws, all while ignoring state constitutional processes.
- Severely limit states’ ability to conduct voter roll list maintenance. The bill imposes new restrictions on State efforts to keep their voter registration lists clean and accurate. This new list maintenance process weakens a nearly 30-year federal requirement and rewards bad actors and punishes the good.