H.R. 1, also known as the “For the People Act,” is under consideration in Congress. Earlier this month, the House passed H.R. 1, and last week, the Senate Rules Committee held a hearing on S.1, the Senate companion to H.R. 1.
We all want fair and free elections with results that we can trust. This is a critical component of government. Unfortunately, the provisions in H.R. 1 would undermine or eliminate basic election security measures. For example, H.R. 1 would bar states from requiring voters to “provide any form of identification as a condition of obtaining an absentee ballot,” and dictates that states accept a statement “attesting to the individual’s identity and attesting that the individual is eligible to vote in the election.”
The voter identification ban would also apply to mail-in ballots. Under H.R. 1, mail-in ballots would only require a signature, making it near impossible to verify that the identity belongs to the person who’s claiming it. As IWF Visiting Fellow May Davis recently put it, “Any high-school kid who has forged a parent’s signature on a field trip form knows how this goes.”
Opponents of voter identification requirements claim they are discriminatory and would create unnecessary barriers for minorities and low-income voters. Yet the vast majority of American voters, across all demographics, overwhelmingly support common-sense measures to protect the integrity of our electoral system.
In a new survey of 1,200 voters conducted by the Honest Elections Project, 64% said they support voting safeguards to prevent fraud and 77% said they favor voter identification provisions. Similarly, a recent survey from Rasmussen Reports found that 75% of likely voters think voters should be required to show identification before voting.
In fact, polling shows that the public has long supported voting identification measures. A 2016 Gallup survey found widespread support for voting identification laws, and a 2018 survey from Pew Research found that 76% of American adults favor these requirements.
Free and fair elections ensure that Americans have the opportunity to make their voices heard at every level of government. Sadly, H.R. 1 runs counter to the wishes of the American people and would undermine our electoral system. This is why efforts to protect the integrity of our elections are urgently needed. To learn more about efforts to safeguard elections in states across the country, check out this new report from the Honest Elections Project.
IWF also has serious concerns about Title IV of H.R. 1 which would require certain non-profit groups to publicly disclose the names and addresses of donors who give $10,000 or more. Many organizations dedicated to empowering women have relied on anonymous donations, including the women’s suffrage movement, and many women’s organizations continue to benefit substantially from these donations today. To learn more about this assault on the right of freedom of association and how it would harm groups that advocate for policies that benefit women, I encourage you to take a look at the letter we sent to the Members of the Senate Rules Committee ahead of last week’s hearing.