Is Pence right to call the For the People Act an 'unconstitutional power grab?’


Fact Box

  • Mike Pence was the 48th vice president of the United States under President Donald Trump. Throughout his career, he has been known for his social conservatism, stating his beliefs as “a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican, in that order.” 
  • The For the People Act (H.R.1) is a nearly 800-page bill initiated in 2019 by Democrats that details legislation about federal election laws, voter eligibility, and social media. It includes automatic voter registration for 16-year-olds, the legalization of ballot harvesting, and the ability of the DOJ to remove social media posts via the Foreign Agent Disclaimer Enhancement (FADE) Act
  • Rep. John Sabranes, who reintroduced the bill, expressed his frustration with the 2020 election stating the need for “structural democracy reform.” 
  • Pence criticized the bill as an “unconstitutional power grab” by Democrats, mentioning election reform as necessary, but only at a “state level.”

Andrew (No)

Mike Pence is wrong to call the For the People Act an “unconstitutional power grab” by progressive legislators. The act allows ordinary voters to regain their voices in our national electoral system following years of Republican voter suppression and other tactics used to disenfranchise large blocks of the voting public.

This bill increases ballot access for all Americans in several ways. It requires states to hold early voting for at least fifteen days before the general election, helping people who have difficulties getting to the polls--because of transportation, child care, work, or other obligations--to choose a time convenient for them. Early voting proved hugely popular in the 2020 election for this reason. The act also includes automatic voter registration and same-day registration to ensure that as many people as possible can cast their votes.

Many who oppose fair access to ballots claim that this bill will increase voter fraud; however, this is simply not the case. Our elections are monitored and audited by professionals, and significant fraud has not previously been found. Further, this act increases security by mandating that voter-verified paper ballots are used and that all voting machines be made in America. 

Finally, when Republicans aren’t able to suppress voter turnout enough to sway elections, they rely on the tactic of Gerrymandering--something that this act would eliminate by requiring an independent commission to draw voter districts. 

It is clear that this bill will bring more Americans to the poll, safely and securely. Mike Pence has skewed priorities if he thinks this amounts to a power grab.

Bill (Yes)

Mike Pence is right to criticize H.R.1, the innocent sounding ‘For the People Act,’ which is actually a scandalous attempt by the left to further corrupt and de-legitimize the election process. As Kay C. James, president of The Heritage Foundation, says, “It essentially outlaws voter ID laws and other identity verification procedures.” There is no easier way to ensure voter fraud. 

The bill is laden with anti-transparency provisions that will undermine the public’s confidence in future elections. One such stipulation will prevent states from comparing voter registration lists with each other to detect duplicate registrations. The bill would also call for states to count mail-in ballots that arrive up to 10 days after the election (to give ballot harvesters more time to generate the fraudulent votes they need to guarantee a win). Election integrity is essential to a free society and enjoys broad support among Americans. A recent poll by the Honest Elections Project revealed that 90% of respondents supported measures to increase fairness and integrity in the voting process. 

2020’s presidential election provided numerous examples of voter fraud and irregularities. In Georgia, it is estimated that 20,312 people illegally voted since they did not meet residency requirements. In Pennsylvania, over 51,000 mail-in ballots were received on or before the sent date. Additionally, questions have been raised about the methods used to ensure the validity of mail-in ballots, the reliability of the voting machines used, etc. H.R.1 will simply codify the Democrats’ favorite means of enabling fraudulent elections.

Rather than adopting the ‘For the People Act,’ we should instead execute the most rigorous standards possible to ensure the integrity of future elections.

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