In the weeks following November’s election, former Vice President Mike Pence attracted criticism from some conservatives who believed he did not do enough to sound the alarm over alleged ballot fraud and irregularities at the poll.
Pence now seems intent on making election integrity a top issue, as he explained in a full-throated statement of opposition to a bill being pushed by some Democrats on Capitol Hill.
“Troubling voting irregularities”
As Newsmax reported, the impetus for his decision to speak out on the topic is H.R. 1, a proposed plan to overhaul and reform the nation’s electoral system.
Commonly known as the “For The People Act,” supporters effectively seek to nationalize state-election laws with a number of reform measures that critics say would decidedly benefit the Democratic Party.
Pence penned an op-ed outlining his position, writing for the Daily Signal that he shared the “concerns” of millions of Americans regarding the “significant voting irregularities and numerous instances of officials setting aside state election law” in the recent presidential race.
“Many of the most troubling voting irregularities took place in states that set aside laws enacted by state legislatures in favor of sweeping changes ordered by governors, secretaries of state, and courts,” he added.
Opponents of H.R. 1 argue that many of those changes would be codified as federal law if the bill passes both chambers of Congress.
“Leveraging legitimate concerns”
The former vice president noted that “legislators in many states have begun work on election reform to restore public confidence in state elections” even as “congressional Democrats have chosen to sweep those valid concerns and reforms aside and to push forward a brazen attempt to nationalize elections in blatant disregard of the U.S. Constitution.”
Addressing H.R. 1 directly, Pence panned it as a massive overhaul of the nation’s disparate state-level electoral systems that would “increase opportunities for election fraud, trample the First Amendment, further erode confidence in our elections, and forever dilute the votes of legally qualified eligible voters.”
If the bill, which passed in the House this week, is ultimately voted into law, he said that it would “force states to adopt universal mail-in ballots, early voting, same-day registration, online voter registration, and automatic voter registration for any individual listed in state and federal government databases.”
The massive proposal was approved by a narrow 220-210 vote in the Democratic-controlled House on Wednesday, with every single Republican lawmaker voting against it. How it will fare in the evenly split Senate, where 60 votes would be needed to advance the measures, remains to be seen.
Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) was one of the more outspoken opponents in the House, writing in an op-ed: “House Democrats are leveraging legitimate concerns about election integrity to rush this dangerous bill through Congress. It won’t make our elections safer, instead it will give House Democrats an advantage in future elections by eliminating nearly every institutional guardrail that preserves the sanctity of the ballot box today.”