by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Ken Cuccinelli writes at FoxNews.com about the stakes tied to congressional Democrats’ proposed election regulations.
If you listened solely to Democratic talking points, including the so-called mainstream media, you would be convinced that America is a systemically racist nation and that Republicans are somehow hell bent on disenfranchising large swaths of voters. Both of these notions are patently false.
In fact, thanks to sustained long-term efforts, in 2021 it is easier to register and vote now than at any point in American history – no matter what color your skin is. This is a measure of progress of which we should all be proud.
When the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, voter registration and voter turnout by minorities – specifically Black Americans – were the measure of whether voter suppression was taking place in a state. A moment’s consideration would lead an ordinary American to conclude those are sensible metrics to gauge minority voter suppression.
But, in spite of these facts, Democrats in Congress have manufactured a myth of widespread voter suppression in order to impose a federal takeover of elections.
The instrument of their proposed federal control over election law was introduced (and never passed) in the last Congress as H.R. 4, the “John Lewis Voting Rights bill.” The biggest, but not the only, major change is that H.R. 4 would reinstitute the practice of requiring federal preclearance (i.e., federal permission) for any state election change, no matter how minor.
Preclearance was previously struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the Shelby County v. Holder case in 2013. Thus, H.R. 4 is an attempt by the Democrats to go around the court and once again subject state election reforms to a federal veto – no matter how trivial any proposed change might be.
Under H.R. 4, the federal government could veto and block any, and potentially all, state election reforms (plus redistricting) under the guise of fighting discrimination. However, there is no requirement to actually prove that anything a state was proposing would be discriminatory.