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Congressman Baird Votes No on Election Power Grab

Washington, DC - Congressman Jim Baird (R-IN) voted no on H.R. 1, For the People Act. 

“They should have named this bill For the Politicians Act because that is who benefits. This bill is an attempt by Democrats to nationalize elections and have Washington, D.C. dictate state legislatures on how to run their elections,” said Congressman Baird. “This bill would force states to permanently expand mail-in voting, legalize ballot harvesting, and disregard voter ID laws. In addition, this bill threatens free speech by creating a ‘Speech Czar’ that would limit free speech by determining what speech is allowed and not allowed during a campaign.”

H.R. 1 will further entrench career politicians in their office, create unconstitutional restrictions on political speech, and target nonprofit organizations who advocate on behalf of their community.

Here are several provisions in the bill that Congressman Baird opposes:

1. Political campaigns receiving taxpayer dollars. This bill creates a 6:1 funding match to any small donor contributions of $200 or less in all federal campaigns. This means for every $200; the federal government will match that with $1,200. It also establishes a new program that gives eligible voters a $25 voucher to donate to any campaign of their choosing.

2. Nationalizes elections and usurps the constitutional authority of state legislatures. This bill would undermine the Constitution by impeding on the states’ ability to determine their registration and voting practices, as protected under Article 1, Section 4 of the Constitution.

3. Undermines voter confidence in our elections. During 2020, many states were pressured to make quick changes to their election processes due to COVID-19, like expand mail-in voting without proper safeguards to protect ballot integrity. These quick changes, many not properly vetted and debated by state legislatures, caused many Americans to question and lose trust in our elections.

4. Imposes liberal voting methods on every state and disregards states’ safeguards on voter integrity. This bill would force states to permanently expand mail-in voting, legalize ballot harvesting, and disregard voter ID laws. In addition to removing all voter ID laws, this bill would disregard election safeguards by forcing states to count provisional ballots cast outside of the voter’s correct precinct.

5. Weaponizes the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and empowers unelected bureaucrats. Transforms the FEC into a partisan commission and creates a “Speech Czar” that will limit political speech in campaigns.

6. Increases vulnerability for foreign election interference. H.R. 1 centralizes our elections, making it easier for foreign powers and bad actors to interfere in our elections. By forcing states to implement online voter registration, automatic voter registration, and same-day voter registration with no safeguards, makes our elections more susceptible to fraud and abuse.

7. Infringes upon the First Amendment. With the creation of a “Speech Czar,” H.R. 1 would infringe upon Americans’ First Amendment rights. It would impose vague standards that would put a government target on nonprofits and other organizations that advocate on legislative issues.