"The right conservative response is clear: Halt the advance of automatic voter registration laws and roll back same-day registration in Virginia, North Carolina, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, New Hampshire, and Iowa. The left demands you expand their pool of voters for zero conservative gain. Republicans, tell them to pound sand—do not be bullied by whiny self-servers. ..."
The left wants all future elections to look just like they did in 2020, and we have the blueprints to prove it. Covid-19 was the excuse Democrats used to radically transform our nation’s election systems in ways that make them less secure, less fair, and more vulnerable to mischief. Virtually all of the “temporary” changes introduced—ever-earlier voting, mass mail-in balloting, and lax penalties for fraudsters—have become codified everywhere Democrats rule unopposed. It was never about protecting Americans from the coronavirus; it was always about seizing power. If conservatives are to win in 2024, they must be all-in. In many states that will mean using the left’s tools against them, until principled patriots once again have the power to restore trust and confidence in our elections. That starts by understanding the left’s playbook for meddling with 2024. The 2020 election might fairly be called the country’s first all-mail election, given how Democrats changed our laws and procedures to encourage voting by mail simply to defeat Donald Trump. Credit the National Vote at Home Institute for that grift—whose ex-leader, Amber McReynolds, now leads the campaign to seize control of the U.S. Postal Service in order to continue the campaign for all-mail elections. Every “progressive” group supports that objective, but the left-wing NewDEAL Forum explains why in its “Democracy Playbook” for warping 2024, which the Washington Post endorsed in February. It is worth first noting the document’s authors: Michigan's Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who wants Michigan to adopt all-mail elections after trying the scheme in 2020, and Arizona's Democratic Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, who calls Republicans “fascists” and “election deniers”; Sandra Jauregui, a Las Vegas assemblywoman who introduced legislation in March to curb right-wing “domestic terrorism”; and Ken Lawrence, election board chairman for Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, which voted narrowly to certify the 2020 election results despite receiving numerous ballots after Election Day. NewDEAL wants every state to expand early voting and adopt no-excuse absentee voting—note that eleven of the fifteen states that require a reason to vote absentee are Republican-run—as well as automatically mail every voter a ballot without their solicitation. That is effectively adopting all-mail elections, something eight states currently do (only one of which, Utah, is Republican-run). Democrats knew they needed private drop boxes purchased with “Zuck bucks” to hoover up all of those mail-in ballots in 2020, so NewDEAL recommends making them a permanent feature of all future elections. (The true goal is to turn USPS into a mail-in ballot collection machine, with drop boxes as a stopgap measure.) NewDEAL also wants to weaken signature-matching requirements on absentee ballots because they “discriminate against voters who already face other obstacles to voting.” Any errors, the group says, can then be corrected with liberal ballot-curing laws. But that’s not all—states, they say, should also extend the deadline for postmarking absentee ballots to Election Day, guaranteeing that ballot-counting will drag on for days or weeks after the first Tuesday in November. Eighteen states plus D.C. currently accept and tabulate ballots received after Election Day, in some cases up to 14 days later. They aren’t all blue states, either—North Dakota is engaged in a lawsuit with the right-leaning Public Interest Legal Foundation for its late-acceptance law. Yet this policy is “the most voter-friendly,” the group assures us, with my emphasis allowing voters to fill out and mail their ballot on Election Day. While this method could result in a longer waiting period to determine the winner of an election, it allows the most voters to participate. The parties have known for decades that voting by mail is the least-secure way of conducting elections. That was a central finding of the 2005 bipartisan Carter-Baker report. Both Team Obama and Clinton protested a recount in Florida’s 2008 presidential primary because officials wanted to hold it via mail, with Obama campaign manager David Plouffe voicing his “real deep concerns” about the “reliability and security of a mail-in vote.” One of the ugliest features of the 2020 and 2022 elections was the way counting dragged on long past Election Day, creating ample opportunities for mischief and secrecy. No one seriously thinks codifying these malpractices will encourage trust in election security—that was never the point. Democrats have put all their resources into building a gigantic ballot-harvesting machine that can register and turn out tens of millions of voters each cycle. But this juggernaut relies on unreliable voters who fail to register or show up on Election Day. So operatives have staked everything on mail-in ballots, believing they can ensure those ballots are marked and counted, and each of these policies makes their job easier. For conservatives, the goal must be to block Democrats from expanding the all-mail election project in red and purple states while also teaching Republican voters to vote early and by mail. The 2020 election proved the left’s multi-million-dollar voter registration machine’s worth, by unseating a sitting president and seizing narrow control of Congress. Restoration News has written extensively on the premium Democratic operatives place on voter registration, something conservatives gave up on doing 15 years ago. Leftists have only doubled-down since then. The Brennan Center, the think tank largely responsible for devising this strategy, wants to cement the left’s advantage with automatically registering every citizen to vote. This is a key provision of the Democrats’ extreme “For the People Act” (H.R.1) that the think tank takes credit for first proposing. In practice, that means that individuals are “automatically signed up to vote,” when they “give information to [government] agencies.” Twenty-three states and D.C. currently do this, only three of which are reliably Republican. The Brennan Center estimates this policy would add 50 million people to the voter rolls nationwide—roughly one-third the number of ballots cast in 2020. Automatic voter registration’s “sister” policy is same-day registration (also in H.R.1), which allows individuals to register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day—often Election Day—leaving little time for officials to verify their eligibility. If that sounds trifling, consider that New York has both same-day registration and no ID requirement to vote. What is to stop a non-citizen from registering and voting under a fake name and address? NewDEAL Forum supports both of these policies while pretending they are fair and absolutely, positively won’t favor Democrats. NewDEAL also proposes pre-registering 16-year-olds to vote when they turn 18. But that is a smokescreen; the real objective is to lower the voting age to 16, something supported by the leftist group FairVote and enshrined in legislation introduced in January by Democratic Rep. Grace Meng of New York—with endorsements from Rock the Vote, Generation Citizen, and other left-wing activist groups. As if that was not enough, the Brennan Center urges states to automatically restore voting rights to felons, or even allow inmates to vote from prison. But they don’t want prisoners voting in their home states, but rather the states they are incarcerated in—giving them inroads into many southern and southeastern states such as North Carolina and Texas. The right conservative response is clear: Halt the advance of automatic voter registration laws and roll back same-day registration in Virginia, North Carolina, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, New Hampshire, and Iowa. The left demands you expand their pool of voters for zero conservative gain. Republicans, tell them to pound sand—do not be bullied by whiny self-servers. “The number one threat to democracy is unending misinformation,” Minnesota Secretary of State Steven Simon blasted in 2022. NewDEAL Forum agrees. Until recently, the terms “misinformation” and “disinformation” were confined to warcraft and espionage—then the left turned them into weapons to use against conservatives. Living in a free society means enduring opinions you dislike, whether spread by accident or by liars. The First Amendment to the Constitution does not recognize any authority (beyond God) to define “facts” and acceptable political speech. But that is exactly what the efforts to police mis- and disinformation are: A way to dictate politically expedient “facts” by a power-hungry party, Pravda-style. Conservatives rightly booed Biden’s Disinformation Board, but they haven’t paid enough attention to Democrats’ efforts to criminalize election integrity advocates’ speech in the states. NewDEAL wants election officials to “aggressively counter misinformation” in part by “form[ing] relationships with journalists”—doubtless those at the New York Times and not, say, Tucker Carlson—and supplying them with the “facts.” NewDEAL also wants heftier laws to prosecute voter “intimidation,” which the left may define as any effort by conservative groups to monitor election administration and polling places. Meanwhile, the Brennan Center goes much further. To counter “misinformation,” the center writes, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) should spread “accurate information” through “public-private partnerships.” The center wants states to “prohibit the spread of materially false information concerning the time, place, or manner of voting with the intent to prevent voters from exercising their right to vote.” But who is to prove intent? Further, the think tank demands, states must “establish [an] authority to prohibit individuals who violate election laws from administering elections and to decommission jeopardized equipment.” In practice, that almost certainly means barring anyone who raised objections to certifying the 2020 election from ever working in elections again. The center also proposes laws allowing “affected voters and other aggrieved parties to sue individuals...[who] deliberately spread election falsehoods,” an act that would unleash the ACLU and other professional litigation groups upon anyone who questioned the 2020 election results. And for those electors who threatened not to certify the Electoral College results in December 2020, the Brennan Center wants to open them up to lawsuits if they fail to certify by a certain deadline. Such a law would reduce the Electoral College to an absurd formality, rather than what the Founders meant it to be: One more check to prevent tyranny. But Americans don’t want the totalitarianism the left offers. Even run of the mill Democratic voters don’t consider “expanding voting rights” anything like a top priority, per a recent poll by the leftist group Data for Progress. Subscribe Today Get weekly emails in your inbox Email Address: Today’s Democratic Party is addicted to power and will not surrender it, no matter which presidential nominee Republicans put forth in 2024. Conservatives have a big opportunity to be the party of free speech and liberty, but only if they are serious about battling “misinformation” laws and defending the Electoral College. House Republicans’ newly introduced ACE Act suggests they might be. Almost every provision in the bill is designed to counter or preempt these measures, from mandating photo ID for first-time mail voters, to banning private funding for elections, to prohibiting non-citizens from voting in state and local elections. The ACE Act is an excellent start, but it needs to go further. Conservatives are learning that saving the country means learning to out-fox the enemy in mail-in ballots and ballot harvesting. That may look ugly to many, but they should remember this: The true glory we aim for is not simply to win an election, but to restore our republic.