S.1 failed to advance in the Senate, leaving progressives in disarray. For months, activists and politicians have pushed the phony narrative that new “Jim Crow” voting laws are putting democracy in peril, all to build pressure for a sweeping federal takeover of elections. But the euphemistically-named “For the People Act” has failed to win the support of even 50 Senators, prompting progressives to begin teeing up the backup plan: HR4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act.
It’s easy to see why S.1 stalled. The bill upends the election systems of all 50 states. Its provisions eliminate voter ID laws, let partisan operatives collect voters’ ballots without supervision, and remove proven safeguards from absentee votes. It hands the franchise to convicted felons the second they walk out of prison. S.1 saddles election offices with billions of dollars in unfunded mandates while funneling millions in taxpayer money to the campaigns of the politicians voting for it. And it imposes impossible deadlines that will force states to rush wholesale changes. S.1, in short, is an unprecedented, unconstitutional overreach that risks plunging democracy’s foundations into disarray.
These policies are not only unwise, they are unpopular. Recent polling shows that more than three-fourths of Americans favor photo ID laws for voting. By overwhelming margins, Americans want to add safeguards to the voting process to bolster confidence in elections. Only a tenth of the country wants vote trafficking by partisan operatives. When Americans find out what S.1 does, only 28% support it. Progressives may say that S.1 is “for the people,” but they seem intent on passing it in spite of them.
For months, progressives have pushed a narrative that Republican states are passing a wave of discriminatory new laws that put democracy itself at risk. President Biden has said that states like Texas and Georgia are engaged in an “un-American” assault on voting. Senator Chuck Schumer has accused conservatives of importing “autocracy.”