Committee on House Administration Elections Subcommittee hearing demonstrates how H.R. 1/S. 1 would actually decrease voter confidence in our elections. Elections Subcommittee Ranking Member Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) and full committee Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) participated in Monday's hearing analyzing voter identification laws.

Davis highlights the hypocrisy of Democrats opposing voter ID while Speaker Pelosi is requiring constituents to show an ID to petition their government by visiting their member of Congress.

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Key Exchange:

Davis: You know, part of our Constitution, specifically relays that our elections should be run at the state and local level. Another very important part of our Constitution is the right of every American to be able to petition our government, right?

Dhillon: That is correct. It's part of the First Amendment.

Davis: So it's part of the First Amendment, and here we are today we're having, we're having another hearing about voter ID, and at the same time, Speaker Pelosi is requiring anyone who visits the United States Capitol, to come petition their government, to show an ID. So, is Speaker Pelosi racist?

Dhillon: She's my, she's my representative and so I won't go so far as to say that; however, I would say that it is very unfortunate that Speaker Pelosi has limited the right of petition, in fact I have a lawsuit pending against Speaker Pelosi and, you know, the United States Congress concerning the right of people to be able to pray on the Capitol grounds so, certainly some constitutional rights are more equal than others today. But I think that right of access to the polls is incredibly important as an immigrant. My mother was a poll worker in Johnston County, North Carolina, a poll observer rather. And, you know, in the 1970s, the access to voting for minorities in this country in the South was very different than it is today, I think we need to recognize the great strides we've made in this country, and make laws that are relevant today, not laws that harken to eras decades combine.

Steil pokes holes in the Democrats' witness' study claiming voter ID was the reason fewer minorities voted in 2016 compared to 2012, but that same study did not take into account candidate likability between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
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Key Exchange:

Steil: In your opinion, you don't, you don't think it would have been different if self-reported to the empirical data. The second question so in your in your third study you looked at turnout changes between 2012 and 2016 in four states and according to your testimony, "I compared racially diverse counties in those states against majority white counties". Your study compared voter turnout and racially diverse counties in those four states two racially diverse counties and states that did not implement strict voter ID laws and how they would compare. Question in, in your analysis and in your model did your study take into effect variables that could affect turnout in particular, such as having a historically bad candidate like Hillary Clinton?

Lajevardi: That was not a variable that we controlled for, but we did control for other statewide covariates that that might…

Steil: So you did not control for the difference maybe between a Barack Obama, and, in my opinion, a historically bad candidate, like Hillary Clinton on the impact of minority voter turnout?

Lajevardi: We simply just looked at the differences in voter turnout in these counties in 2012 and in 2016.

Steil: I will not declare that I have a PhD in statistics, but I can tell you from an empirical data standpoint, just walking around and talking to people in many of these types of communities, that might very well be a worthwhile thing to look to see if you can control for because I think it's going to show up in the empirical data and so with that, Mr. Chairman, looking at the time, I appreciate you giving me the opportunity and I will yield back.
Republican witness and civil rights attorney, Harmeet Dhillon, notes that the bipartisan Carter-Baker Commission recommended in 2005 safeguards, like voter ID, to promote voter confidence because they saw lack of voter confidence as being a huge issue facing future elections, but H.R. 1/S. 1 would eliminate them.
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Key Quote: "And Democrats are doing the opposite by refusing to embrace the bipartisan solutions of the Carter-Baker Commission such as requiring Voter ID. Recent bills in Congress including H.R. 1 and S. 1 would in fact do the complete opposite of the Commission's recommendation by upending Voter ID requirements across the nation. When an election administration proposal that enjoys broad bipartisan support is opposed by elected Democrats, is it any wonder H.R. 1 and S. 1 have bipartisan opposition but no Republican support?," said Dhillon.
Steil and Dhillon, discuss the negative impact Automatic Voter Registration (AVR), which is mandated by H.R. 1, and states not maintaining their voter rolls can have on legal immigrants, but who are non-citizens, if they are incorrectly registered to vote, which has happened in multiple states, including Illinois.
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Key Exchange:

Harmeet: Dating back to that 2005 commission there were recommendations regarding the sharing of data amongst the states. Certainly states are under a mandate to keep their voter rolls updated, but in my beautiful state of California as recently as three or four years ago, litigation was required in Los Angeles County, demonstrated by Judicial Watch, that over a million people were registered in one county in the United States alone, who did not have an entitlement to be on there. That is duplicates, that is people who have moved, people who have died, people who are otherwise ineligible to vote. Other states have similarly showed similar problems. Pennsylvania has had problems with immigrants, legal immigrants being registered inaccurately on the voter rolls, which can have devastating consequences for new immigrants who may not be aware that voting before you are a citizen is a crime. That is a tragic outcome of government incompetence. So these are some of the reasons why it's important to have clean and accurate voter rolls.

Steil: I think you actually bring up a really good point, in particular, the impact that some of these automatic voter registration requirements, in particular that is drafted in H.R. 1 that passed the House, I think could have a really detrimental impact on some of our communities who are not citizens of the United States who would find themselves on voter lists. If any of them accidentally voted, there could be significant consequences for them, as a result of the state, putting them on automatic voter registration. We've seen that play out in Illinois.
Instead of compromising election integrity by eliminating voter ID, states should work to eliminate any barrier to residents getting an ID, which many states have done.
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Key Quote: "I think it is incumbent upon elected officials to increase voter confidence and try to get that participation up. The participation is higher in some developed countries around the world than it is in the United States and so if barriers include the cost of ID, and I accept that as true, the government should work to eliminate those barriers as opposed to eliminating the safeguard. That seems to be very common sense and where you see government officials, wishing required vaccination to enjoy basic civil rights, another issue that I'm litigating, you question why they don't want to solve that problem of identification that is required to access so many fundamental rights today," said Dhillon.
Voter ID protects Americans' right to vote, notes Lori Roman, President of the American Constitutional Rights Union.
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Key Quote: "The rights of American citizens to vote and to also have their vote protected from dilution from fraudulent votes is codified in federal and state laws, supported by Americans, and is grounded in common sense," said Roman.