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Civil-rights leaders met with Team Biden at the White House on Thursday to protest what they claim is a widespread assault on voting rights “for blacks and people of color,” according to Al Sharpton. Another participant, Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, said the group’s message was that “democracy is under vigorous, vicious and sinister attack.”
Disregard the phony handwringing and Morial’s flamboyant warning about an “effort to impose a system of an American apartheid.”
Their goal isn’t making voting easier. They want to outlaw safeguards that many state lawmakers believe are needed to keep voting honest.
At the top of their list of grievances was the Supreme Court’s June 1 ruling upholding Arizona’s anti-fraud voting laws. The left is using the ruling as a pretext to demand Congress pass the For the People Act, also dubbed HR1.
HR1 would override laws like Arizona’s, ban voter-identification requirements and lay the groundwork for a permanent Democratic majority.
In the Arizona case, the justices, by a 6-3 majority, found no evidence that state voting laws put minority voters at a disadvantage or made voting too hard. Truth is, explained Justice Samuel Alito, “Arizona law generally makes it very easy to vote.”
Alito explained that states have the authority to pass “non-discriminatory voting rules,” to deter fraud. That’s what Arizona did. Arizona requires that voters cast ballots in their assigned precinct, and it outlaws the sleazy practice of ballot-harvesting, where paid workers walk through neighborhoods, knock on doors and offer to help residents return the ballots they’ve received in the mail.
Ballot-harvesting invites cheating, since harvesters invariably are trying to get a particular candidate elected.
The New York Times claims “Republican-controlled legislatures across the country have raced one another to pass laws that make voting harder.” Untrue. They’re aiming to make cheating harder.
In Texas, Republican lawmakers are trying to push through reforms that would outlaw ballot-harvesting and require identification for voting by mail, while at the same time expanding voting hours and early-voting days. More voting. Less mischief.
Biden called the Texas reforms “un-American,” but perhaps he doesn’t know and is just parroting Democratic talking points. After all, Delaware currently has no early voting at all, and he hasn’t protested that.
Democrats treat voter-fraud claims as Republican hallucinations. Not true. An alleged ballot-harvesting scheme in Minneapolis was exposed last fall by the undercover news organization Project Veritas, showing harvesters exploiting the elderly and immigrants.
Europeans get it. To deter fraud, three-quarters of European countries either bar absentee voting or require showing a photo ID to get a ballot.
But HR1 would force states to mail absentee ballots to all voters and allow harvesting.
HR1 also compels states to automatically register everyone who signs up for food assistance, unemployment benefits or other government support. That includes noncitizens, unless they declare themselves ineligible.
It bans photo-ID requirements. Anyone can show up on Election Day to vote and simply sign a statement claiming to be registered.
Senate Democrats don’t have 60 votes to overcome a filibuster and bring HR1 to a vote, but they’re still hoping to pass it by August to change voting laws nationwide before the midterm elections. The goal is to do what the Supreme Court refused to do, eliminate state election laws.
Since the court’s ruling, Democrats and the media have ramped up demands to end the filibuster and pass the bill with a simple majority. The New York Times declared that “the ball is in Congress’s court and time is fast running out.” Before Thursday’s meeting, Sharpton said the president needs to consider “how to go around the 60-vote necessity.”
The Times claims HR1 would “restore the heart of the Voting Rights Act.” Nonsense. Discrimination against minority voters is already illegal, as it should be. Let’s get real. HR1 would tilt the scale to ensure that Democrats stay in power.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.
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