by Richard A. Viguerie
Conservatives on Capitol Hill and in the media have been spreading the word about all the extraneous provisions Democrats have been trying to insert into the third coronavirus stimulus bill that is now before the Senate. And we should all be concerned about the massive spending and pork that Democrats want to add to the bill – but that’s not the worst part of what Democrats are demanding.
What conservatives must recognize as a life or death struggle for the future of constitutional liberty and the Republican Party are the election law changes that Democrats are demanding as their price for allowing the coronavirus relief bill to pass.
Buried in a bill that, in its last draft was over 1,400 pages long, are these election law changes that will ensure that Republicans will never again elect a majority in the House or Senate and that no Republican, and certainly no conservative-populist like Donald Trump, will ever again be elected President.
The bill as it stands now:
1.) Abolishes Voter ID
2.) Mandates Same Day Voter Registration
3.) Mandates states allow “ballot harvesting” by allowing anyone “designated by the voter” to turn a ballot in on his or her behalf
4.) Mandates “ballot harvesting” be allowed on Indian Reservations
5.) Mandates Mail-in ballots must be sent automatically to all registered voters
6.) States are mandated to pre-pay the postage on absentee ballots and balloting materials
7.) Mandates 15 Day Early Voting
8.) Political parties receive a bailout in the form of payments to cover the cost of mailing primary voting materials.
9.) Creates a new auditing entity with the power to review and conduct “risk-limiting audits” of the results of elections that it determines have an “incorrect” outcome.
10.) Prohibits the states from imposing any conditions or requirements on the eligibility of the individual to cast a vote by absentee ballot by mail.
11.) Prohibits requiring any form of identification as a condition of obtaining an absentee ballot and prohibits requiring notarization or witness signature or other formal authentication (other than voter attestation) as a condition of the acceptance of the ballot by an election official.
12.) Mandates that if there’s a discrepancy between a voter’s signature and the signature on a ballot, election officials must chase down voters and give them an opportunity to cure the fault.
13.) The bill also requires a minimum of two officials to pronounce the signature non-matching – and only people who have “received training in procedures used to verify signatures” can make such a determination.
Back in the 1970s when Jimmy Carter tried to mandate same-day voter registration the advice I gave to my conservative colleagues then is something Republicans should continue to take to heart today, and that is that we can’t kick all barking dogs.
The first battles it is necessary to fight are those battles that will grow the movement; then there are also those issues that aren’t as exciting to a lot of people but will make it more difficult to elect Republicans and conservatives and might even put us out of business.
The election law changes Democrats are demanding are not going to be top of mind to people who are out of work or facing a layoff due to the coronavirus panic, but they are a death sentence for Republican election prospects, the conservative movement, and constitutional liberty.
And they must be opposed with absolutely no compromise by Capitol Hill Republicans.
The toll-free Capitol Switchboard number (1-866-220-0044), I urge all my conservative friends to call their Republic Senators to demand that they maintain absolutely no compromise opposition to any election law changes in the final coronavirus stimulus bill.
As a conservative leader I also urge you to use every channel available to rally opposition to Pelosi and Schumer’s bill to kill the Republican Party and the conservative movement: get before the media, send email updates to your list, give speeches, answer questions for people in your network, and share information on social media to help fight this existential battle for constitutional liberty.
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Richard A Viguerie is the Chairman of ConservativeHQ.