The U.S. House is expected to vote this week on H.R. 1, a massive overhaul of election and campaign law. It’s called the “For the People Act.”

The legislation is crammed with good ideas. It requires states to offer same-day voter registration in federal elections. States must use voter-verified paper ballots. Voter ID is prohibited, while a 15-day early voting period is mandatory. States must set up independent commissions to draw House districts.

At the same time, it’s a hard bill to like. As introduced, it’s almost 800 pages long, with sections on voter rights, campaign finance and ethics. It addresses foreign interference in elections, campaign disclosure requirements, even an ethics code for the Supreme Court.

It requires presidents and vice presidents to make their income tax returns public.

It proposes a voluntary matching fund mechanism for congressional campaigns. The money wouldn’t come from taxpayers, but “through a surcharge on settlements paid by corporate lawbreakers and wealthy tax cheats.” Oh.

There are simply too many items in the bill for a reasonable debate on its merits. It would almost certainly face legal challenges.

But let there be no doubt: The need for federal election reform and oversight is clear. That’s because state legislatures, including those in Missouri and Kansas, are considering another frontal assault on the right to vote.

STATE VOTER ID LAWS, PURGES OF REGISTRATIONS

The Missouri House, for example, recently passed a new voter ID law to replace the one discarded by the state’s Supreme Court. The state Senate is expected to debate the measure later in the session.

Legislators want to make it harder to gather petition signatures to amend the Missouri Constitution. There’s talk of rolling back absentee voting regulations in the state. Aggressive purges of registered voters are on the table. Mail-in voting may be reduced.

In Kansas, legislators are considering a bill prohibiting the courts or election officials from changing the deadline for receipt of mail-in votes, which would be shortened by two days.

Nationally, the Brennan Center for Justice found, lawmakers have offered more than 250 measures to restrict voting rights.

Why? “The voters of Missouri want their votes protected and counted properly,” said state Rep. John Simmons last week.

Of course they do. But their votes are fully protected under current law, and they’re counted correctly. There is no evidence otherwise. If Simmons or anyone else can prove fraud, let them do so. Send it to Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft.

At the same time, there is an important lesson embedded in the 2020 results: When voting is easier, more people vote. In Missouri, more than 3 million voters took advantage of expanded absentee and mail-in rules to cast presidential ballots. That’s 200,000 more people than cast such ballots in 2016.

We should all want that. Republicans should want more voters — even with November’s high turnout, the party still swept elections, up and down the ballot. There is no reason voting rules need to be rolled back.

GOP stalwarts who oppose H.R. 1 claim it would intrude on a state’s right to conduct elections. Sorry. The party abandoned that argument when states supported lawsuits throwing out millions of votes in other states. If you’re afraid of nationalized elections, blame Attorneys General Eric Schmitt of Missouri and Derek Schmidt of Kansas for their recent craven behavior. And Donald Trump’s.

The goal is clear. All adult Americans deserve free, fair, open elections with a guaranteed right to vote and a transparent process for counting those ballots. State lawmakers should stop trying to protect themselves by blocking access to the voting booth.

The Kansas City Star

(21) comments

sail

Have a good week Aim High ,,

Aim_High

You have an even better one, my friend.

sail

Aim High,, im concerned that the def spending done by both parties have done our economy great harm,,,,,but biden is on sterroids trying to spend way beyond our abilities .Your brother is correct the city fathers seem to keep blowing our water lines.

Aim_High

At least Bidens spending helps actual working americans... Trumps tax cuts for the super rich and also allowing millions of covid relief to end up in the hands of megachurches is not something yours or my tax dollars should go towards.

By the way, I did remember the name "Sydney powell" like you told me to... her defense is that she's not guilty of defamation because no reasonable person would believe claims of election fraud." After reading that i was kraken up!

sail

ohhhh man,,,let the good times roll,,, THREE TRILLION more proposed today,,,,and we still have more progressive spending to come,,,,,,,,,,,this will end well ,im sure !!

Aim_High

This is actually good news for Republican states since they overwhelmingly take more handouts than they send to Washington. Democrat states and democrat presidents will ultimately be the responsible ones who will ensure it gets repaid. Just sit back with the rest of the welfare queen republican party and enjoy your free money. 😄

sail

Aim High, you think we won’t have a green new deal bill and an infrastructure bill and additional stimulus and everybody’s fav ,Our slave tax !

Aim_High

I think emporia could maybe use some infrastructure... I hear it can be rough getting around emporia with 12th, 9th, and 6th street closed or under constant construction. My brother told me the company working on elm street hasn't been around for weeks, and left 9th blocked off with no work being done. It doesn't take months anywhere else to fix one block worth of pipe...

sail

MSW, this is the beginning of the end of the once great USA,,,,,when the demms pass this bill and they will,,,,,,,,,,,we will see a scorched earth policy put upon productive tax payers..........ie REPUBLICANS,,,,. but one thing you demmos need to ask is,,,,, who will be left to pay for this train wreck you have started. ,,,im sure many with the capital to leave ,,soon will be looking at options...........

Aim_High

The states with the largest economies paying the most taxes are blue, and the states that receive the most handouts are red. I know thats a hard load to swallow but thats the facts.. Its also pretty funny you ask how we will ever pay for bidens 1.9T relief bill but you never voiced any concerns while Trump ballooned the national debt by 8 trillion in only 4 short years... if you read your history books you will see it is the demms that always act responsibly and pay down debts... the Clinton's even left a surplus that was quickly erased by Bush Jr. ie. republicans!

Gary Lukert

We never hear anything about the Spending of Republicans, and, yes, the Deficit skyrocketed under Trump. Trump's Tax Cut for the Rich was at least One TRILLION dollars. And, yet, Republicans making $8, $10, $15, $20 an hours....praised Trump! Most of those people are suckers for GUNS, FLAG, ANTI-MEXICAN! These people would drink the "Jim Jones Kool-Aid."

Aim_High

I love listening to idiots who make under 40k complain about how a 15 dollar minimum wage will hurt the economy... they really have been drinking too much Kool aid, lol.

MWS

When politicians introduce a bill like "For the People's Act" then you can be sure it's for themselves. The Democrat party wants to take over the U.S. permanently. Their main goal is to let in as many aliens as possible, give them amnesty and then allow them to vote with no voter ID, mail in voting, no permanent address, same day voting, ballot harvesting, all under the guise of giving the people the right to vote. They are letting in thousands of aliens into AZ, TX, NM, to flip the states from red to blue. It will work. They cheated Trump out of the presidency thru voter fraud and HR 1 will ensure they never have to cheat again. The U.S. is headed for socialism and it is too late to stop it now. Just last month 100,000 aliens were let into the U.S. of which 30,000 were children. They are busing them to cities all thru NM, TX and AZ among others. 3,000 alien teenagers were placed in the Dallas Convention Center alone. 16 Iranian aliens were caught in Yuma, AZ last week. All the people coming across the boarder (including criminals, felons, human traffickers, gangsters, terrorists,etc.) including children are all future Democrat voters and HR 1 is designed to let them vote with almost zero restrictions. The transition of the U.S. has begun.

Hollowed Ground

Oh, how horrible. The letting in brown-skinned people? You better run. Are you sure they are "criminals, felons, traffickers, gangsters and terrorists", or are they just tomorrow's restaurant workers, meat packers, landscapers, truck drivers, Walmart stockers and auto dealer workers? I think the criminals, gangsters and terrorists are the ones we saw in action on Jan. 6.

Gary Lukert

Well, I do believe you are right on WHO THE TERRORISTS are....were, on January 6th. Trump fiends! (Most Republicans ARE Trump fiends!)

Rationa1

I would classify the January 6th mob as insurrectionists rather than terrorists. I agree completely that they are a group of anti-patriots. Find, charge, and try each one, I say. There is nothing illegal in believing and advocating that fraudulent voting changed the outcome of the November election, even though objectively that point of view is wrong. There is nothing illegal about informing your Congressional representatives of your opinion, even when the facts belie the opinion. However, violently storming a building, damaging property and threatening people, obstructing Congress and preventing it from doing its work.... Those are (also objectively) crimes.

burn'n daylight

Well said, MWS...

Gary Lukert

Well, if they do...it is to KEEP TRUMP AND THE REPUBLICANS FROM DOING IT!

Fremonster

Since our former president wasn't able to steal the election for himself is why he lost. He has always said the elections were rigged, if he loses. He is as pathetic a loser as he was a president. The GOP used to have a little dignity.

Comment deleted.
burn'n daylight

Why are you so hateful???

Aim_High

Democrats don't want to "take over" anything. It was the Republicans who wanted to stop legal votes from being counted before their insurrection.

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