OPINION

Congressman Smith Capitol Report: For The Politicians

Jason Smith
Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO) represents Rolla in Missouri's Eighth Congressional District.

The right to vote is one of our most sacred rights as Americans. It is fundamental to our democracy. Protecting the integrity of our elections should matter to everyone, because every single instance of voter fraud amounts to canceling out a legitimate vote. Unelected bureaucrats do not – and should not - get to decide whose votes count and whose votes don't count. The American people choose who represents them, not the other way around. 

Last fall, millions of Americans were disappointed by the presidential election. But they weren’t just disappointed at the outcome. They were disappointed that basic rules of fairness were discarded by officials who should not have had the authority to change or discard laws that were fairly passed by state legislatures across the country. It’s why I was proud to stand with Senator Hawley in objecting to the Electoral College certification.

If you liked what happened in the November elections, then you’ll love S.1, which Senate Democrats tried to ram through earlier this week. This bill is a shockingly partisan plan to tilt every election in America permanently in the direction of Democrats without pause or concern for the long-term damage this would do to the integrity of our country’s election process. This bill represents one of the biggest threats to American democracy in our lifetime. Period.

For starters, S.1. would allow Washington bureaucrats to give federal dollars directly to candidates to be used for everything from yard signs to attack ads. The bill would turn the Federal Election Commission from a bipartisan referee into an agency with rulings made by Washington Democrats for Washington Democrats.

Worse still, S. 1. would further erode our election integrity by allowing partisan campaign staff to collect and turn in as many ballots as they could get in the community – a process known as ballot harvesting – all while blocking state laws that require voter ID.

Simple protections like witness signatures on absentee ballots, official postmarks, photo ID at your polling place and in-person voting by all who are able are all commonsense concepts to ensure that every legal vote counts. But for Democrats, S.1 demonstrates that their objective is only to win, even if that means compromising the integrity of our voting system.

I often say that in Missouri we don’t have a lot of money, but we have a lot of sense. This bill is the exact opposite. It’s a lot of money, and zero sense.

When this bill was considered in the House of Representatives as H.R. 1, I offered a simple amendment called the “Integrity of Our Elections Act.” My commonsense amendment would have ensured only living U.S. citizens could receive a ballot, but my amendment was blocked from even being debated. That tells you everything you need to know about the interest in election integrity.

On Election Day, people who love democracy want to win fair and square—not because someone voted twice, stuffed the ballot box, or “helped” a neighbor by changing a mailed ballot. Under the Washington Democrats’ bill, that’s exactly what would happen.

This bill is for the politicians, not for the people. 

Congressman Jason Smith, R-MO, represents Rolla in Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District.