H.R.1 For the People Act is currently finding its way through the U.S. Congress. The bill purports to federalize election rules for the entire nation.
The U.S. Constitution vests the power to each individual state to make its own elections rules. Our Foundering Fathers understood that some form of checks and balances would have to be part of the Constitution they were forming, and it would have to be maintained if the nation was to survive.
The For the People Act makes what might be called radical changes in national election procedures. If it becomes law and passes judicial review, each state would be mandated to follow new federal guidelines established by Congress for conducting national elections in their state. Just some of the changes being proposed:
- It would be prohibited to require a photo I.D. before a vote could be cast.
- The For the People Act would allow same-day registration.
- Mail-in ballots would be accepted up to 10 days after Election Day.
- A complicated system of ballot harvesting would be allowed — a practice which could lead to absentee ballot fraud.
Representative Robin Kelly, who represents Lansing in Congress, has posted her views on the For the People Act: “Throughout last year’s election,” she said, “we saw attempt after attempt to suppress Americans’ right to vote, particularly in communities of color and in other vulnerable communities. These attempts were clear partisan plays for power, and we must act now to protect the rights of American voters. Passing this legislation is a first critical step not only ensuring that we stop voter suppression efforts, but also take on special interests, and it provides overdue campaign financial reforms to reduce dark money in politics. The For the People Act will put more power back into the hands of the American people to decide who their elected representatives should be, and hold those representatives accountable. I urge my Senate colleagues to support this bill and strengthen our democratic process.”
The For the People Act was passed by Congress by a partisan vote. The margin was nine members. Not a clear mandate!
I would ask Lansing residents to decide for themselves what side they would be on if they were to vote on this issue. The entire For the People Act can be seen online at congress.gov/117/bills/hr1/BILLS-117hr1ih.pdf.
I urge Lansing residents to note how Illinois’s two Senators will vote on the issue. Take the advice of Congresswoman Kelly and hold them responsible.
The fate of the nation could be at stake.
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