116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
The big lie is alive and well.
Just two months after the big lie about a flawed, fraudulent and stolen presidential election drove Trump supporters to invade the Capitol, the anti-democratic fiction still is being used by Republicans to great effect.
It was the rationale behind the Iowa elections bill signed this week by Gov. Kim Reynolds, which would make absentee balloting more difficult, shorten Election Day voting and threaten local elections staff with criminal penalties. This in a state Donald Trump carried easily.
Several other states, including Georgia and Arizona, states won by Joe Biden, are also considering bills that would make it harder to vote, especially among constituencies that voted for Biden. And, of course, tales of voter fraud, debunked and rejected in courts across the country, are cited as the need for change.
Now Democrats in the U.S. House have passed HR 1, a national voting rights bill. You'll never guess what strategy Republicans are using to attack the bill.
'The 2020 election was chaotic and dysfunctional; millions of Americans across the country felt their legal votes were not counted while illegal ones were,” U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, who represents Iowa's 1st District wrote in an op-ed appearing in today's Gazette. 'The pandemic-style voting process was harmful to our country.”
Pandemic-style voting? Is that anything like Chicago-style pizza?
Hinson has condemned violence at the Capitol that sent her colleagues fleeing from an armed mob. But she's clearly eager to continue pushing the big lie that drove them to attack our seat of government.
HR 1 is Democrats' answer to the state-by-state GOP effort to suppress voting. It sets some national standards for voter registration and mail in voting, such as requiring at least 15 days, 10 hours each day, for early voting. It makes it harder to toss people from the voting rolls, seeks to address long lines at polling places and enacts new cybersecurity measures.
The bill would require 'dark money” groups to disclose their donors and require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns. The bill sets up a system of public campaign financing paid for with a fee on banks and corporations when paying criminal or civil penalties. Public servants, including Supreme Court justices, would be subject to new ethics rules.
Like Iowa, HR 1 would require nonpartisan redistricting and it would restore voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences. Iowa's new law allows 20 days of early voting, so HR 1 wouldn't have much effect.
Hinson says the bill 'embodies everything people hate about Washington” and would benefit Democrats. People apparently like long lines, secret donors filling their TV screens with garbage and gerrymandering that's contributed greatly to a calcified Congress incapable of overcoming partisan divisions.
Republicans can't win if it's easier to register and vote, and if more people are able to send in ballots or make it to the polls? Not much of a ringing endorsement of the GOP brand.
The 2020 election was not chaotic or dysfunctional. The real chaos is being sown in state capitols where Republicans are smashing up our voting systems for partisan gain. Much of HR 1 wouldn't be needed if Republicans still respected and protected our democracy.
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