ICYMI—Hagerty Questions Witnesses on How Democrats’ H.R. 1/S. 1 Will Seize Power from the States, Result in Chaos

March 24, 2021

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Committee on Rules & Administration, today questioned witnesses—Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita and West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner—in a hearing examining H.R. 1/S. 1, the Democrats’ so-called ‘For the People’ Act.

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Partial Transcript Below:

Hagerty: “General Rokita, is it accurate that under this bill it’s quite possible that a court in Washington, D.C., would redraw every single congressional district in all 50 States before the 2020 midterm elections, rather than allowing the elected representatives of those people in those states?”

Rokita: “Yes, that’s exactly where this is going. And you could argue whether redistricting is good or bad, and if it could be done better, but you make it a lot worse, by definition, when you take it more out of the hands of the people. And the fact of the matter is, state legislatures are directly elected by the people. D.C. circuit judges, or three panel appellate judges are the most removed from the people, by design in terms of the judiciary. But it is the responsibility, as the framers intentionally noted, that the first branch of government, the legislatures, be in charge of this process for accountability reasons.”

Hagerty: “I can tell you, the people in Tennessee would agree with you. We would not want to cede our power to set the rules of elections to the district court here in Washington, D.C. Next question is requiring a voter to present a reliable form of identification an important method of determining that a voter is who that voter claims to be and not trying to impersonate someone else?”

Rokita: “Absolutely, it’s 19th and 20th century technology, and it’s very simple. You know, only a photo allows you to determine that you are who you say you are, and it’s important for confidence. And you can argue whether there’s voter fraud or not voter fraud in your state, it depends if you’re actually looking, number one. Number two, it’s a very difficult crime to spot because the evidence goes away right after the vote is cast. There’s no dead body with an outline to make afterwards to prove a crime. It goes away. So it’s very difficult and prosecutors don’t like prosecuting it because it’s very different than the run of the mill crimes that they’re used to prosecuting. So that shouldn’t be the measure. The measure should be the confidence that it brings to the process, and time and again, like the Mexico example I gave, the Indiana example I gave where voter turnout goes up after the election, after presenting a photo ID as valid because it’s telling people, you know what, we’re going to invest in this process like we do when you go rent a video, as you used to do, or where you go to get out on an airplane. We’re going to care enough about your vote to make sure that it’s one person, one vote. And that’s what photo ID does.”

Hagerty: “One last question. Would you agree that allowing paid-by-the-hour political operatives to go out and harvest ballots and drop them in unmanned boxes would actually decrease election integrity?”

Warner: “Absolutely, Senator, and the answer to your former question was yes.”

Rokita: “That would be chaos. That’s the real definite chaos. Waiting in a line, hopefully a short line, is not chaos. This kind of stuff, coupled with the lawsuits that are going to come with this bill, that is going to be chaos for 2022 and beyond.”