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Joyce: Ohio Elections Should Be Run by Ohioans, Not by Whoever Happens to Be in Charge in Washington

March 3, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14) released the following statement regarding H.R. 1:

“We should address the American people’s concerns about elections, campaign finance and voter registration in a constitutional, bipartisan way that preserves the sanctity of the ballot box while also increasing access to it.

“Instead, the majority chose to singlehandedly craft an 800 page, one-size-fits all mandate that would publicly fund campaigns, weaponize the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission, limit the First Amendment, and take election decisions away from state and local officials and put it in the hands of the federal government. Ohio’s elections should be run by Ohioans, not by whoever happens to be in charge in Washington.

“I stand ready to work across the aisle to enact commonsense election reform that empowers state and local officials in making America’s elections more accessible, more secure, and more accurate.”

H.R. 1, which is opposed by 16 Secretaries of State (including Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose), nine former FEC commissioners, the National Disability Rights Network, the Institute of Free Speech, and more than 130 other non-profit organizations, would:

  • Publicly fund campaigns with federal fines on corporations by creating a 6:1 funding match to any small donor contributions of $200 or less in a congressional or presidential campaign (i.e. 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. This would result in taxpayer-funded campaign salaries and expenses, political ads, and health care services for candidates.
  • Drastically limit free speech and impose vague standards that disadvantage all groups who wish to advocate on behalf of any legislative issue. 
  • Weaponize the IRS by permitting the agency to investigate and consider the political and policy persuasions of organizations before granting tax-exempt status. 
  • Weaponize the FEC by altering the current bipartisan makeup of the six-member commission to a partisan five-member commission and establishing a “Speech Czar.”
  • Disregard state voter identification laws by forcing states to allow sworn statements to be used in place of identification and allowing for signature verification, which can be submitted through a photo if the voter registers online.
  • Disregard state provisional ballot rules by forcing states to count provisional ballots cast outside of the voter’s correct precinct. 
  • Remove states’ flexibility to choose the best systems for the needs of their citizens by mandating the use of independent redistricting commissions for creating congressional districts.

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