Sorry Republicans, a Federal Takeover of Elections Was Baked Into the Constitution
The mantra of the Republican Party is “states’ rights”. Everywhere I turn I see them extolling the virtues of states’ rights. Lately, states’ rights have been the GOP’s defense of new rules enacted in many states that impose greater restrictions on voters. It seems to them that states have the right to determine the time, manner, and place that elections are held. I think they might find that the Constitution and decades of jurisprudence contradict them.
The latest example is that of Senator Joni Ernst (R-ID) doing her best to appear reasonable with respect to federal elections. From Politico:
Last week, Senate Democrats failed to advance legislation designed to solidify voting rights and improve access to the ballot box nationwide, particularly in the wake of recent legislation in numerous states that has been seen as making it harder to vote. Senate Republicans were unanimous in opposing the legislation, which they claimed would federalize the nation’s elections.
“Every state will put in place its own voting systems. Their election systems. That is a state’s right,” Ernst said.
Ernst said red states have nothing to be ashamed of in their efforts to improve election security.
“Election security” is the latest ruse in their longstanding gambit to limit access to the polls, despite the tiny statistical occurrence of voter fraud. It’s pretty well documented that when voter turnout rises, Republican fortunes tend to fall. That middle part above really irked me, that part about how it’s a state’s right to regulate elections. So I did a little bit of research.
As luck would have it, I found a report issued by the General Accounting Office in March of 2001, a mere 3 months after the Supreme Court issued a ruling that would give us the second-worst president in history, George W. Bush. This is a report written by staffers in a Republican administration, and approved by the head of the agency for release to the public. I suspect that they did their research.
In that report to Congress, “ELECTIONS, The Scope of Congressional Authority in Election Administration”, the following statements can…