WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the former chairman of the Committee on Rules and Administration, today delivered remarks on the Senate floor regarding his concerns with S.1 – Democrats’ partisan election bill – prior to a procedural vote on the legislation.
The Senator stated, “This bill contains a number of alarming provisions that would have a devastating impact on our nation’s electoral process. It would make our elections more chaotic and less secure. This legislation contains more than 800 pages of bad policies that I believe America does not need and does not want.
“S.1 would reverse the years of improvements that have been made in many states – improvements that protect the security, integrity, and credibility of our elections. Each state should be left with the freedom and flexibility to administer their own respective elections, without interference from the federal government,” concluded Senator Shelby.
Senator Shelby’s full remarks, as prepared, are as follows:
“Mr. President. Today I want to discuss my grave concerns with S.1.
“Many have said that this political power-grab is a solution in search of a problem. I agree.
“This bill contains a number of alarming provisions that would have a devastating impact on our nation’s electoral process.
“It would make our elections more chaotic and less secure.
“This legislation contains more than 800 pages of bad policies that I believe America does not need and does not want.
“I believe that the strength of our election system is in its diversity – allowing each state to determine what’s best for them.
“S.1 would force a single, partisan view of elections on more than 10,000 jurisdictions across the country.
“State and local election administrators would be forced to change how they register voters and which voting systems they use, how they handle early voting and absentee ballots, and how they maintain voter lists.
“It makes election fraud easier to commit and harder to detect by allowing unlimited ballot harvesting, undermining voter ID laws, and making it more difficult to maintain accurate voter lists.
“A recent Monmouth University Poll found that 80% of Americans support requiring a form of identification before a person can vote.
“Americans are required to present a photo ID to do a number of things: to board a commercial flight at the airport; for a procedure at the hospital; to purchase over-the-counter sinus medication and certain prescriptions; to open an account at the bank; to apply for a mortgage; to drive, buy, or rent a car; to get married; to purchase a gun; to rent a hotel room; to donate blood; to obtain a passport; and to pick up packages at the U.S. Post Office.
“This legislation would permanently tip the scales in favor of Democrats by politicizing the Federal Election Commission, pouring federal tax dollars into campaigns, and chilling free speech.
“Do Americans really want their taxes going toward a federal campaign fund that would finance the expenses of all candidates running for Congress?
“S.1 would reverse the years of improvements that have been made in many states – improvements that protect the security, integrity, and credibility of our elections.
“Each state should be left with the freedom and flexibility to administer their own respective elections, without interference from the federal government.
“S.1 mandates ballot drop boxes – which increase the risk of fraud by allowing people other than the voter to drop off marked ballots outside of the view of election officials.
“As I mentioned before, this bill provides government funding for campaigns. It provides $6 of federal funding for every $1 raised from small donors. This essentially forces Americans to fund candidates they don’t agree with and support attack ads against those they do.
“It federalizes redistricting, putting in place one set of federal rules for redrawing congressional districts – something that has traditionally been a role for each state.
“Lastly, S.1 requires states to give felons the right to vote once they’re out of prison.
“While this is a bad bill all around, I believe that these are the top worst provisions – and the provisions the American people oppose the most: gutting state voter ID laws, spending taxpayer dollars on political campaigns, allowing unlimited ballot harvesting, and turning the Federal Election Commission into a partisan operation.
“This bill is nothing but a partisan effort by the majority to take over all American elections at the federal level.
“The American people do not want this, and they do not deserve to be the recipients of such harmful policy.
“I do not support this bill and more importantly, I am concerned for the future of our country should it receive the support of the Senate.
“With that, Mr. President, I yield the floor.”