Commentary: Reject Federal Takeover of Elections – Again

by Rick Manning


Yogi Berra once said, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”

That is exactly how Americans must feel as they learn that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is trying to ram through another bill orchestrating a federal takeover of elections, despite the previous failed attempt in the Senate.

The bill, H.R. 4, is expected to come up in the House of Representatives this week, and it is stunning in its breadth. In short, Pelosi would give broad, sweeping powers to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to rewrite every state and local election law in the country.

This desperate attempt to preserve Pelosi’s razor-thin congressional majority became even more frenzied after the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 30 ruling in Brnovich v. DNC. In Brnovich, the court decided 6-3 that Arizona did not have discriminatory intent, nor did its policy of disqualifying votes cast outside of a person’s precinct and the prohibition on ballot harvesting have a disproportionate impact on racial minorities.


The court tapped the brakes on Democrats’ attempts to institutionalize ballot harvesting, a corrupt voting process that allows nongovernmental officials to collect and turn in ballots. The court’s limited ruling did not overturn California’s Wild West voting system, where ballots are collected on street corners by political operatives who may or may not submit them to county officials for counting, but only affirmed that other states are not required to to permit this dubious practice in their states.

And that has Pelosi’s Democrats steaming mad.

Their response is H.R. 4, which sets up a convoluted and very easy to reach set of criteria for the U.S. Justice Department to take over state and local elections.

This is not a passive review of local laws, but quite literally a takeover. It would end simple reforms like commonsense voter identification laws under the guise that they are somehow racist. Among other absurdities, Justice Department attorneys would also be able to move the locations of every polling place and dictate locations for nonsecure ballot drop boxes.

It’s easy to imagine California’s system of mailing ballots to every registered voter would be pressed on the rest of the nation. Remember, a 2019 Judicial Watch lawsuit compelled Los Angeles County to purge 1.5 million inactive voters from the voting roster after the completion of two federal elections. Before that purge could occur, these inactive voters received 1.5 million ballots mailed to apartment complexes and other locations where many of these inactive voters no longer lived.

What could go wrong?

Well, the 2020 presidential General Election in Los Angeles County produced a miracle.

As difficult as it may be to believe, Los Angeles County reports that an astonishing 94.8 percent of eligible persons in the county were registered to vote, and of these 5.8 million registered voters, 4.3 million voted.

With 1.5 million people historically inactive and yet to be purged from the rolls, the amazing people of the L.A. County registrar’s office somehow got everyone else who were previously active or newly registered voters to vote—78 percent of them by mail.

If you believe that such an outcome is legitimate, you probably think Joe Biden is doing a bang-up job in Afghanistan.

Yet Pelosi, who represents San Francisco, wants to pass H.R. 4 in order to force this slipshod, fraud-ridden system on the rest of the country. No voter ID, just an old-fashioned Tammany Hall vote collection system where everyone gets a vote so long as they vote the way they are told.

Just because California’s system effectively has ended the principle of “one person, one vote” thanks to ballot harvesting does not mean the rest of the country should be compelled by Congress to do the same.

Let’s continue to allow the people of West Virginia, Arizona, Utah, Alaska, and other states to determine whether they want ballot harvesting or voter identification laws rather than having California’s corrupt system jammed down their throats by the Justice Department.

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Rick Manning is president of Americans for Limited Government in Fairfax, Virginia.







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