Ken Blackwell is Senior Fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance. This article appeared on Townhall.com on June 24, 2021.
This week, the Democrats' bill to federalize our elections, S.1, failed in the U.S. Senate. Thanks to the filibuster, the bill fell short of its needed sixty-vote threshold.
The filibuster stopped a partisan power grab that was designed to protect the Democrats' majority. S.1 was a radical bill that would have made our elections less secure, and made it easier to commit voter fraud. It even would have even banned popular voter ID laws.
We should all be thankful for Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema for resisting calls from the radical left to eliminate the filibuster. Without them, we would be having a federal takeover of our elections now.
The filibuster was designed to build consensus among the states. The states would have lost power under S.1, and it was important for any fundamental restructuring of American elections had broad consensus. The filibuster worked the way it was supposed to.
Yet Americans should not let their guard down following the defeat of S.1. The Left is already pushing an even worse bill, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
Do not let the bill’s name fool you. It is not a civil rights bill. It is an attempt to strip states of their powers to govern and run their own elections.
If you opposed S.1, then you should oppose The John Lewis Voting Rights Act. It is still a massive federal takeover of elections. It would put ideologically radical bureaucrats at the Department of Justice in charge of every single detail of our elections.
These far-left bureaucrats would have to approve every change in our elections. From large changes such as mandating voter ID to small changes from moving at the time county election offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 8:35 a.m.
The John Lewis Voting Rights Act removes power from the people and gives it to the Washington swamp.
The Left will try to paint anyone who opposes the John Lewis Voting Rights Act as a racist or a vote suppressor. This sort of language demeans what African Americans went through to fully secure their right to vote in the 1960s. We cannot let these types of attacks stop us from fighting against a federal takeover of elections.
Federal overreach into our elections is unacceptable. It violates our original constitutional arrangement.
For over 200 years, states have run their own elections. The Left should stop trying to fundamentally transform our country and our Constitution. The U.S. Congress should stay out of election reform.
States like Arizona and Florida have passed election integrity legislation that will make their elections more free and secure. Other states should follow their lead. We do not need a federal government power grab.