Rising GOP star Sears vows to fight federal election takeover: Ballot 'must be sacrosanct'
"I do not know how it is possible that a centralized government in Washington, D.C., that has had difficulty getting enough" COVID-19 test kits out "would be able to properly operate our elections at the local level," Texas Secretary of State John Scott said.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
States are facing off with the federal government as they seek to secure their elections while Washington, D.C., attempts to gain control over them.
As Democrats in Congress seek to federalize elections and abolish state election integrity laws such as voter ID, the majority of Americans actually favor those security measures. According to a national poll by Scott Rasmussen, 85% of all voters support photo ID as a requirement to vote.
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden held a rally in Georgia to promote national election reform through the Democrat-led Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, while deriding Republican election integrity initiatives as voter suppression.
State leaders spoke with Just the News Editor-in-Chief John Solomon on the TV special report "How State Legislation Exemplifies Election Integrity" about how their states are working to secure their elections as the federal government tries to stop them.
Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp discussed his state's election integrity law enacted last year, which Democrats claimed was voter suppression and "Jim Crow 2.0." Georgia voter turnout activist Stacey Abrams even sparked the campaign to move the Major League Baseball All-Star game from Atlanta to Denver in protest of the law.
But by the end of the year, when the Atlanta Braves were hosting World Series games in their hometown, "you didn't hear a word about Senate Bill 202, because finally, I think, the Democrats have read the bill and realized that it's not suppressive, it's not Jim Crow 2.0," said Kemp.
"We want to have secure, accessible, fair elections, and what we did was address mechanical issues that we saw in the last election," the governor continued. "But you know, the Democrats are using this as an excuse to have a federalization and to take over states' elections all over the country."
Kemp observed that the media didn't report on the fact that his state "had no problems, no suppression" during the Atlanta mayoral election in November last year.
Now, he said, Georgia is focusing on defending their election law against the Biden Department of Justice, which is suing the state over it.
"[O]ur job now is to fight in the court of law to make sure that this stays the law of the land in Georgia, and that's exactly what we're gonna do," said Kemp, who previously served on the Georgia State Election Board for nine years.
Kemp slammed Biden's trip to Georgia earlier this month, calling it a "disaster," and charging he "wasn't telling the truth" about "Georgia's election laws when his own state of Delaware is much more restrictive."
Abrams, the Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate who's running against Kemp in a rematch this year after losing to him in 2018, was notably absent from Biden's speech in the state earlier this month, noted Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow Hans von Spakovsky.
"I think that was because there was a huge backlash against her when she was attacking Georgia's election reform bill, and Major League Baseball, as you know, pulled the All-Star game," von Spakovsky said. "A lot of people got mad at her, because they said, 'Look, you're driving all this business out of the state, and why?' Because the state has had a voter ID law in place for many years, and black turnout in the state has actually gone up, not down."
Abrams' absence "was her recognizing they are going against the headwinds," offered von Spakovsky, noting that voter ID is actually popular among the majority of Americans. "Other Democrats have not recognized that problem."
Von Spakovsky noted that Georgia has had voter ID in place since 2008, the same year Indiana won its case in the Supreme Court to keep its voter ID law in place.
"[T]he Supreme Court issued a decision saying that that's a common-sense requirement, it is perfectly constitutional," he said.
The Framers of the Constitution "wanted a decentralized system — we have the most decentralized of any of the Western democracies — because they did not want the political party in power in Washington setting the rules for the elections," he explained, "because they were afraid that they would set the rules so that it would be easy to manipulate elections and make sure they stayed in power."
"And that is still true today — that's why we allow states to run our elections, and that's the way it ought to remain," von Spakovsky opined, later adding that "the essence of these bills in Congress are to get rid of and destroy all of the safety and security protocols that states have put in place."
Texas Secretary of State John Scott expressed his doubts that the federal government would be able to administer state elections at the national level.
"I do not know how it is possible that a centralized government in Washington, D.C., that has had difficulty getting enough kits out to do tests to find out if someone has COVID would be able to properly operate our elections at the local level," Scott said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is using Democrats' voting legislation "to blow up the Senate and blow up the Senate rules so that he can blow up the rule of law and the court and pack those courts and push this agenda," said Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.). "They know they have a very short window to radically transform this country, to push their socialist agenda," such as federalizing elections, open borders, and D.C. statehood.
Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears commented on the hypocrisy of Democrats for admitting that they required photo ID to enter one of their fundraising events but don't want the same requirement for voting because it would supposedly suppress the minority vote.
"I thought you said you were for the little people, you know?" Sears said. "So if a photo ID is required to enter your event as Democrats, then why shouldn't you have a photo ID to come to the polls?"
She also mentioned how, at restaurants in New York, a photo ID is required when presenting proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
"Listen, we must have the ballot box, the polling, be sacrosanct, we must know who's coming to the polls," she said. "It's disingenuous, and it's just another divisive measure."
During the Virginia gubernatorial election, "we ensured that Republicans, as much as possible, went and registered to become officers of the election," Sears recounted. "They could see what was happening, they could ensure that, you know, people had access to the ballots as they should have.
"[A]nd then, of course, we had people outside the polls to ensure that, you know, people were being led here and led there. It was wonderful. You can't complain about elections and not offer yourself to say, 'Well, I'm going to ensure that our elections are what they should be.' And so that's what we're saying to people: 'Get involved.'"
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