The United States of America is the greatest democratic experiment in human history. Maintaining that status depends on a free, fair, and transparent electoral process – the foundation on which our democratic system rests. Unfortunately, recent events have led many Americans to question the security of their votes. Public trust in our elections is waning. And now, Democrats in Arizona and nationwide are cynically attempting to leverage that mistrust into an unprecedented, partisan power-grab known as House Resolution 1 (H.R. 1).
H.R. 1 is nothing less than a shameless Democrat attempt to hijack our election process, full of provisions that would fundamentally weaken our system. It calls for consolidating control of elections at the federal level, stripping states of the right to administer their own elections. It goes without saying that Arizonans understand Arizona better than federal bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. That simple fact doesn’t matter to Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and their far-left cohorts.
A federal takeover at the expense of states’ rights is bad enough. But H.R. 1 also includes a laundry list of extreme proposals that should concern every Arizonan. The bill would force states to allow ballot harvesting, a controversial practice that allows paid political operatives to collect and deliver ballots directly from voters. It calls for counting illegal immigrants as U.S. residents – if you think it’s a coincidence that such a practice would tip the scales in Democrats’ favor, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. Remember the deeply flawed vote-by-mail systems that many voters used in 2020 as Covid raged across the country? Just as we’re turning the corner in the pandemic (thanks to Operation Warp Speed, President Trump’s groundbreaking vaccine development program), Democrats want to expand vote-by-mail. There’s no logic in doing so other than sheer, shameless political expediency.
Crucially, the legislation would destroy common-sense voter ID requirements. You’ll never hear this reported in the mainstream media, but voter ID requirements enjoy broad public support: 75% of voters, including 69% of Black voters and 60% of Democrats, are in favor of voter ID. You need an ID to drive a car, buy alcohol, book a plane ticket, even to buy a pet – and yet Democrat leaders don’t think you should need one in order to exercise our most sacred and consequential civic duty.
Arizonans don’t want these extreme reforms. We know how to manage our own elections. Gov. Doug Ducey recently provided an excellent example of local leadership by signing House Bill 2569, a common-sense piece of state election reform introduced by Rep. Jake Hoffman, R-Gilbert, into law. HB2569 prevents out-of-state, politically motivated billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg from funding election operations in Arizona. Keeping third-party special interests out of our electoral process benefits every Arizonan, regardless of political persuasion. It’s just common sense. As Ducey wrote in his signing letter, “With public confidence in our elections in peril, it’s clear that elections must be pristine and above reproach… all third–party money must be excluded going forward to avoid any possible allegations of wrongdoing.”
These two bills – H.R. 1 and HB2569 – perfectly illustrate the different approaches to rebuilding trust in our elections. One bill is heavy-handed, driven by a desire for political gains, and so extreme that Democrats want to destroy the filibuster just so they can pass it in the Senate. The other bill is solutions-based, beneficial for both sides of the aisle, and designed with a unique local knowledge of how Arizona elections work.
There’s no question that strengthening election integrity is one of our country’s greatest tasks. And there’s no question that here in Arizona, it should be Arizonans doing that important work.
Paris Dennard is a Phoenix native and national spokesperson, Republican National Committee.