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GOP dubs Democrats' voting bill 'Freedom to Cheat Act,' argues they don't want 'fair elections'

Sen. Scott says Democrats are seeking to loosen voter verification rules so they can win elections

Published: January 11, 2022 3:58pm

Updated: January 13, 2022 11:47am

Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel on Tuesday referred to the Democrats' voting rights bill, the "Freedom to Vote Act," as the "Freedom to Cheat Act."

McDaniel and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Sen. Rick Scott held a news briefing ahead of President Biden's scheduled speech in Georgia on voting rights. The Republican leaders argued that the Democrats' voting reforms would result in a take over of local and state elections.

"We call it the Freedom to Cheat Act. It eviscerates state voter ID laws which 36 states have passed. This bill eliminates states' more secure voter ID requirements, replacing them with a process that is rife with fraud, no IDs presented, and a third person only needs to attest that a voter is who they claim to be. I know, based on polling across every spectrum, Democrat, Republican, every minority group, people want people to show ID to vote and this is one aspect, just one, in which -- and there are others -- in which the Freedom to Cheat Act would eviscerate any type of verification for people to vote."

Scott, a senator from Florida, said Democrats are misrepresenting the GOP position on voting laws.

"The Democrat 'Big Lie' is any electoral reforms suggested by Republicans are intended to suppress voters and voting and are racist," he said. "That's not true at all. Our goal is maximum participation and zero fraud, period, not some fraud. We want zero fraud but look, don't be fooled; the Democrats' so-called election reform is not about protecting the right to vote. It's about making sure that they win elections. Democrats don't want free and fair elections. They want elections only Democrats can win."

Scott slammed Democrats in Congress for not focusing on other more pressing issues to address.

"They want to change the rules so they can ban voter ID even though it's very popular around the country, force taxpayers to fund their campaign ads, which nobody wants government to pay for campaign ads. So they're just a joke. They don't care about the issues," he said. "They're not focused on inflation or unemployment or the crisis on the border or Americans still trapped in Afghanistan. They are very focused on how do they win elections?"

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said the Democrat-led Senate will soon vote on the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and if the GOP uses the filibuster to block the legislation, he will bring a rules change to the floor for a vote by Jan. 17.

"If Senate Republicans continue to abuse the filibuster to prevent this body from acting, then the Senate must adapt as it has before," he said. "Changing the rules, there's nothing new."

McDaniel and Scott criticized localities that are attempting to allow non-citizens to cast ballots.

"We don't want anybody's vote diluted by somebody who doesn't have a right to vote. We don't want any cheating," Scott said. 

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