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  • Ashley N. Baker

Conservatives Oppose H.R. 1, a Partisan Attack on the First Amendment

Conservatives are united in opposing H.R. 1, the attempt by House Democrats to fundamentally undermine the American electoral system.

While they cloak the bill in terms of “restoring democracy” and “preventing corruption,” the legislation has one goal: to protect incumbents at the expense of the First Amendment, federalism, and individual voter integrity.

H.R. 1 undermines the First Amendment. H.R. 1 undermines key Supreme Court cases that protect elections as fundamental to free speech. It would allow the Federal Election Commission to track and catalogue more of what Americans are saying, register even very small political donations, and make public those who donate to different charitable and nonprofit organizations. The legislation will subject private citizens to intimidation and harassment for their private and political beliefs, far broader than what was done in the IRS targeting scandal in 2013.

H.R. 1 yanks election authority away from the states. H.R. 1 reasserts the ability of the federal government to micromanage state elections through a process known as “preclearance.” Preclearance, which was previously overturned by the Supreme Court, requires states to get permission from the federal government for changes as small as modifying the hours of an election office, or moving a voting location from a school gym to the library. Critically, none of these practices would undo any fraud or corruption. Rather, these same practices result in incorrect registrations and inaccurate voter data, while failing to address actual corrupt practices like ballot harvesting. Moreover, they are all designed to eliminate the federalism that keeps elections transparent, local, and fair.

H.R. 1 attacks individual voter integrity. America was founded on the principle of “one person, one vote.” H.R. 1 turns this on its head by weaponizing every aspect of the political regulatory system. The Federal Election Commission, which is currently a neutral body, would be given a 3-2 makeup, guaranteeing a partisan outcome with little accountability toward the actual votes which are cast. H.R. 1 also includes a 600 percent government match for political donations, and authorizes even more public dollars to campaigns. The bill also wants to make Election Day a new paid holiday for government workers, with additional paid vacation given to bureaucrats to oversee the polls. All of these changes are designed to distance the outcome of the election from those casting their votes.

H.R. 1 would also implement the following changes:

Forces states to implement mandatory voter registration, removing civic participation as a voluntary choice, and increasing chances for error.

Mandates that states allow all felons to vote.

Forces states to extend periods of early voting, which has shown to have no effect on turnout.

Mandates same-day voter registration, which encourages voter fraud.

Limits the ability of states to cooperate to see who is registered in multiple states at the same time.

Prohibits election observers from cooperating with election officials to file formal challenges to suspicious voter registrations.

Criminalizes protected political speech by making it a crime to “discourage” someone from voting

Bars states from making their own laws about voting by mail.

Prohibits chief election officials in each state from participating in federal election campaigns.

Mandates free mailing of absentee ballots.

Mandates that states adopt new redistricting commissions.

H.R. 1 would cause sweeping and irrevocable damage to the free speech, privacy, and integrity that are central components to free and fair elections in America. We oppose H.R. 1 in the strongest terms, and urge all conservatives to do likewise.

The Honorable Edwin Meese III

Attorney General

President Ronald Reagan (1985-1988)

Adam Brandon

President

FreedomWorks

The Honorable Colin A. Hanna

President

Let Freedom Ring, Inc.

Noah Wall

Vice President of Advocacy

FreedomWorks

Jessica Anderson

Vice President

Heritage Action for America

David Bozell

President

ForAmerica

Lisa B. Nelson

Chief Executive Officer

American Legislative Exchange Council

The Honorable David McIntosh

President

Club for Growth

Daniel Schneider

Executive Director

American Conservative Union (ACU)

The Honorable Becky Norton Dunlop

White House Advisor

President Ronald Reagan (1981-1985)

The Honorable Jim DeMint

Member, South Carolina

United States Senate (2005-2013)

Ed Corrigan

Vice Chairman, Conservative Action Project and

Executive Director, Senate Steering Committee (2003-2012)

Thomas Fitton

President

Judicial Watch, Inc.

The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell

Chairman

Constitutional Congress, Inc.

The Honorable Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II

President

Senate Conservatives Fund

The Honorable Hans A. von Spakovsky

Commissioner

Federal Election Commission (2006-2007)

The Honorable Tom DeLay

Former Majority Leader

US House of Representatives

Grover Norquist

President

Americans for Tax Reform

Floyd Brown

Chairman

America Fighting Back PAC

The Honorable Donald Hodel

Secretary of Energy, President Reagan

Secretary of Interior, President Reagan

Rod D. Martin

Founder and CEO

The Martin Organization, Inc.

Haley E. Martin

President

The Martin Foundation

Shawn A. Mitchell

Former National Chaplain, National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA)

Ellen F. Grigsby

Director of Institutional Partnerships

Open Doors USA

Melissa Ortiz

Founder and Principal

Able Americans

Kathleen Patten

President and CEO

American Target Advertising

Allen Hebert

Chairman

American-Chinese Fellowship of Houston

Trent England

Executive Vice President

Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

The Honorable George K. Rasley, Jr.

Managing Editor

ConservativeHQ.com

Ed Martin

President

Phyllis Schlafly Eagles

Roxanne Phillips

Member, Executive Committee

Council for National Policy

Seton Motley

President

Less Government

Jack Park

Conservative Donor and Activist

Ron Robinson

President

Young America’s Foundation

Mark Fitzgibbons

President of Corporate Affairs

American Target Advertising, Inc.

John F. Tate

President

America's Liberty PAC

C. Preston Noell III

President

Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Bob Carlstrom

President

The Carlstrom Group, LLC

Gary Marx

President

Madison Strategies

Bailey Amaral

Director

The Windrose Project

The Honorable Michael R. Long

State Chairman

NYS Conservative Party

Amapola Hansberger

President

Legal Immigrants for America

Richard Manning

President

Americans for Limited Government

Kayla Moore

President

Foundation for Moral Law

Chad Connelly

President and Founder

Faith Wins

Robert K. Fischer

Meeting Coordinator

Conservatives of Faith

The Honorable Mike Spence

Founding President

Conservative Republicans of California

The Honorable Mike Hill

Representative

Florida State House, D1

Thomas Pyle

President

American Energy Alliance

Robert D. Thompson

Former Administrator

The Weyrich Lunch (1999-2016)

Tim Macy

Chairman

Gun Owners of America

Brett Healy

President, The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy

Jon Pritchett

CEO

Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Heather Lauer

Policy Director

People United for Privacy

Dr. Kevin Roberts

Executive Director

Texas Public Policy Foundation

Becky Gerritson

Executive Director

Eagle Forum of Alabama

L. Jean Lewis

Rabbi Aryeh Spero

Caucus For America

Tom McCabe

CEO

Freedom Foundation

Norman Singleton

President

Campaign for Liberty

Mike Stenhouse

CEO

RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity

Annette Thompson Meeks

CEO

Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

Ron Pearson

Executive Director

Conservative Victory Fund

Khadine L. Ritter

Chairman

Eagle Forum of Ohio

Richard D. Hayes

Partner

Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant, LLP

Alan P. Dye

Senior Partner

Webster, Chamberlain & Bean

The Honorable Diana Denman

Presidential Appointee

President Reagan Administration

Kevin Freeman

Founder

NSIC Institute

Joseph A. Morris

Attorney and Partner

Morris & De La Rosa

Rebecca Hagelin

Secretary

Council for National Policy

Lee A. Beaman

CEO

Beaman Automotive Group

Peter Thomas

Chairman

The Conservative Caucus

Curt Levey

President

Committee for Justice

Michelle Easton

President, Clare Boothe Luce Center for Conservative Women

Susan A. Carleson

Chairman/CEO

American Civil RIghtt Union

Paavo Ensio

Chairman

Minerals Group

The Honorable Terrence Scanlon

Retired Chairman and President

Capital Research Center

Alfred S. Regnery

Chairman, Conservative Action Project

Chairman, Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund

Marjorie Dannenfelser

President

Susan B. Anthony List

Diana Banister

President and Partner

Shirley & Banister Public Affairs

Cleta Mitchell, Esq.

Partner

Foley & Lardner LLP

Myron Ebell

Director, Center for Energy and Environment, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Tom McClusky

President

March for Life Action

The Honorable Bob McEwen

U.S. House of Representatives

Former Member, Ohio

Matt Schlapp

Chairman

American Conservative Union (ACU)

Jenny Beth Martin

Chairman

Tea Party Patriots Citizen Fund

William L. Walton

Chairman

CNP Action, Inc.

Rachel Bovard

Policy Director

Senate Steering Committee (2014-2015)

The Honorable T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr.

Chief Domestic Advisor

President Ronald Reagan (1987-1988)

The Honorable Tony Perkins

President, Family Research Council

President, Council for National Policy

Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin (Ret.)

Executive Vice President

Family Research Council

L. Brent Bozell, III

Founder and President

Media Research Center

The Honorable Charles J. Cooper

Assistant Attorney General, President Ronald Reagan

Cooper & Kirk PLLC

J. Christian Adams

President

Public Interest Legal Foundation

The Honorable Gary L. Bauer

President

American Values

Tracie Sharp

President & CEO

State Policy Network

The Honorable James C. Miller III

Budget Director, President Ronald Reagan, (1985-1988)

Sherri R. Martin

Executive Vice President

The Martin Organization, Inc.

Nicholas Stehle

Campaign for the American Future

Jerry Melvin

Former Dean

Florida House of Representatives

Ralph Benko, Esq.

Senior Advisor, Economics

American Principles Project

Phil Kerpen

President

American Commitment

Jenna Ellis

Director of Public Policy

James Dobson Family Institute

Sal Russo

Co-Founder and Chief Strategist

Tea Party Express

Steve Berger

Pastor

Grace Chapel

Rebekah Gantner

Executive Director, Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund

Christopher Malagisi

Host

Conservative Book Club Podcast

Richard H. Wright

CEO

AAndrews Consulting

Stuart Epperson, Sr.

Chairman

Salem Media Group

Dr. Frank Wright

President & CEO

D. James Kennedy Ministries

Kelly Kullberg

President

America Conservancy

The Honorable Jake Hoffman

President & CEO

Rally Forge

Charlie Copeland

President

Intercollegiate Studies Institute

James L. Martin

Founder/President

60 Plus Association

Saul Anuzis

President

60 Plus Association

Lew Uhler

President

National Tax Limitation Committee

The Honorable Penny Pullen

Former State Legislator

Illinois General Assembly

Jay Mount

President

MDS Communications Corporation

The Honorable Belden Bell

Co-Chair Legacy Society

The Heritage Society

The Honorable Roy S. Moore

President Emeritus

Foundation for Moral Law

Matthew Tyrmand

Principal

Matthew Tyrmand, LLC

Dr. Richard Rounsavelle

Trustee

Media Research Center

Randy M. Long

CEO

Long Business Advisors, LLC

Benjamin R. Case

Chief Executive Officer

Focused On Fundraising, Inc.

Carolee Adams

President

Eagle Forum of New Jersey

Elaine Donnelly

President

Center for Military Readiness

Dan Weber

Founder and President, Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC)

Dr. Jameson Taylor

Vice President for Policy

Mississippi Center for Public Policy

Donald Bryson

President and CEO

Civitas Institute

Emily Davenport

Vice President

Pelican Institute for Public Policy

Paul Gessing

President

Rio Grande Foundation

Victor Riches

President & CEO

Goldwater Institute

Stella Morabito

Author

Barbara Ledeen

Brigitte Gabriel

Founder & Chairman

ACT For America

Willes K. Lee

President, National Federation of Republican Assemblies

Wayne Hoffman

President

Idaho Freedom Foundation

Rob Chambers

Vice President

AFA Action

Joseph G. Lehman

President

Mackinac Center for Public Policy

David Williams

President

Taxpayers Protection Alliance

William Shaker

CEO

Washington Marketing Group

Mario Navarro da Costa

Director, Washington Bureau

Tradition, Family, Property

Sean Noble

President

American Encore

Debbie Georgatos

CEO

CWT Publications, LLC

Andresen Blom

President

Hawaiian Values

Charlie Gerow

Vice Chairman

American Conservative Union

James Clymer

Vice President, Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund

William W. Pascoe, III

Board Member

Tea Party Patriots Action

Melvin Adams

Past President

Renewanation

Judson Phillips

Founder

Tea Party Nation

Col. Francis X. De Luca USMC(Ret)

President Emeritus

Civitas Institute

Mario H. Lopez

President

Hispanic Leadership Fund

Ambassador Henry F. Cooper

President Reagan's Chief Defense and Space Negotiator & Former SDI Director

Brent Mead

CEO

Montana Policy Institute

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