Nancy Pelosi is not going to let this public health crisis go to waste. The house speaker is holding much-needed economic relief hostage to gain for Democrats something they have long yearned for: more federal control over state elections.
In a bill ostensibly intended to save American jobs, Pelosi and her Senate allies crammed a wish list of bad election and voting reforms, including mandatory early voting, mandatory voting by mail, and the legalization of California-style ballot harvesting. Pelosi is taking the country closer to federalized elections than ever before.
What’s in it for them? It creates a one-stop shop to engineer the rules of the game. They believe that if they can manipulate the rules, they can manipulate the outcome of the election. This is their ultimate ticket to defeating Trump. Democrats seem willing to let the economy, and your livelihood, continue to flounder.
By constitutional design, states administer their own elections. States decide how we vote and when. This design preserves federalism and individual liberties. It’s hard to engineer the rules of the game when there are 50 different playing fields with unique needs and demographics. What works for South Dakota could fail in New York.
Pelosi knows that federal control makes imposing her political will on a national basis a much easier task. Her reforms are not only fundamentally at odds with the founders’ design — they are bad policy.
For example, Pelosi’s bill would legalize ballot harvesting. This practice allows any person to collect and turn in someone else’s ballot with little limit on how many voters a single agent is working for. In 2018, Democrats used California’s newly enacted ballot-harvesting rules to flip seven red districts blue. Pelosi’s plan says states must accept unlimited ballot harvesting everywhere.
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