Why are so many Republicans knuckling under to Democrats’ “temporary” election rules changes?
Crafty Democrats used 2020’s COVID-19 catastrophe to change the way Americans pick our leaders. Democrats filed hundreds of lawsuits to demand mass mail-in ballots, early voting, late arrivals of ballots and other “emergency” measures. They argued that the Coronavirus was just too dangerous for traditional, in-person voting. The George Floyd riots were too important to let these microbes stand in the way, Democrats like former New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio argued. And yet this virus was so deadly that it merited a Mao-worthy revolution in voting practices. (RELATED: FORMER REP. JASON LEWIS: House Republicans Circle The Wagons And Target Their Own — Once Again)
Now, as the 2024 election looms, COVID-19 is in the rear-view mirror. Previously ubiquitous masks disfigure the faces of only a few germaphobes and diehards. Social distancing has gone the way of the Hustle. And yet Democrats’ “one-time” ballot procedures are becoming permanent. Shamefully, top Republicans now bow before them, as if in worship.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Virginia’s otherwise admirable Republican governor, has launched Secure Your Vote Virginia. He wants GOP voters and their cross-party supporters to cast their ballots early, mail them in and practice ballot trafficking, with voters handing their ballots to party activists, free of the adult supervision found at polling places.
“I need your early vote this year,” Youngkin stated. “We can’t go into Election Day down thousands of votes.”
The Republican National Committee is taking this thinking from coast to coast. Last month, it unveiled Bank Your Vote, an effort to “encourage, educate, and activate Republican voters on when, where, and how to lock in their votes as early as possible, through in-person early voting, absentee voting, and ballot harvesting where legal.”
All of this is premature, at best.
At worst, it’s totally illegal.
While Virginia can do whatever it wants with state and local elections, it is bound by federal law, as is the RNC’s plan. Federal Election Day is “the Tuesday next after the 1st Monday in November, in every even numbered year.” This is not a passage from Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack nor a line that Mark Twain wrote for Ulysses S. Grant. It’s the law.
Also, voting anywhere other than in person, behind a curtain, destroys something sacred: the secret ballot. Voting at home, by mail, or through ballot traffickers demolishes voters’ confidence that they, and only they, know how they voted. Absentee ballots potentially allow spouses, relatives, bosses, and even door-to-door political activists to pressure voters into casting their ballots one way or another.
“No heart medicine for you, Grandpa, until we inspect your ballot.”
Rather than surrender to the Democrats’ COVID-era assaults on U.S election norms, Republicans should fight ferociously in local, state and federal court to reverse these “one-time, special measures.”
“Election Day has ceased to be a day,” said PILF President, J. Christian Adams. “Instead, we have election month because states accept ballots that arrive days and even weeks after Election Day. Not only does this lead to distrust and chaos in the system, but it also violates federal law. PILF is fighting to end this lawlessness and restore the day in Election Day.”
(Full disclosure: PILF is representing me in a federal lawsuit designed to overturn New York City’s law that allows foreign citizens to vote in local elections.)
If such relentless, robust litigation succeeds, Americans can look forward to a return to election integrity.
And if such lawsuits fail in the U.S. Supreme Court, then — and only then — should Republicans accept as permanent the Democrats’ COVID-era attacks on America’s voting system.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News Contributor.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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