S.B. Waters’ thoughts on H.R. 1 “For the People Act” are biased and do not present an accurate picture. Congress is acting to correct state legislatures which have passed (or are attempting to pass) laws that skew election results in favor of the one party. But H.R.1 goes far beyond that, with anti-corruption standards for candidates for president and vice president. requiring them to reveal 10 years of their income tax returns, and also establishing ethical standards for the US Supreme Court justices. It would also would make Election Day a federal holiday.
Contrary to facilitating illegal voting, H.R.1’s focus is to re-enforce voting access for all citizens. It addresses election security by requiring voter-verified paper ballots for recounts and audits, and it directs the National Science Foundation to study, test and develop accessible paper balloting, verification and casting mechanisms. Its guiding premise is to facilitate legal voting by all citizens. H.R.1 will prevent states from enacting laws that limit participation, such as requiring absentee voters to get their ballots notarized, or eliminate early voting on Sunday - which is very popular with African-Americans. Republican-controlled legislatures in some states are currently seeking to limit ballot collection boxes, eliminate no-excuse absentee voting, and reduce the periods of early voting - making it harder for the disadvantaged to vote. They don’t have to discourage many voters to win elections which are normally decided by a small percentage.
Gerrymandering is a perfect example of existing state laws that need to change, and is addressed in H.R. 1. For those unfamiliar, gerrymandering allows the party in control of state legislatures to draw district boundaries to “pack” concentrations of the opposing party in bizarrely drawn districts so others can have a comfortable majority of the ruling party. This allows states like North Carolina with nearly even distribution between Democrats and Republicans to have far more Republican representatives than Democratic. Wisconsin is another example of Republican gerrymandering, and Maryland is an example of Democratic gerrymandering. It doesn’t matter which party does it - it is wrong and needs to be stopped by a federal law imposed by Congress.
Fair voting is essential to democracies. Gerrymandering, voting restrictions, corrupt politicians and unlimited dark money all contribute to unfair democratic processes. We need H.R. 1 to ensure fairness and ensure each individual has the right and the ability to vote.
— Mike Corbett, Rome