U.S. Rep. Dr. Mark Green (R-TN-07) on Wednesday morning gave Democrats a tongue-lashing over legislation designed to force Tennessee and other states to offer voter registration the same day of elections.
Green made the remarks during an Oversight and Reform Committee hearing over the Democrats’ H.R. 1 bill, “For the People Act of 2019.” The bill’s language and other information is available here.
Green said the bill should be called the “Fill the Swamp Act.”
He added, “It seems every year that passes more and more power is shifted away from the people and into the hands of a wealthy, elite few in Washington. These politicians and bureaucrats can’t help themselves from micromanaging more and more of our everyday lives.
“From our roads and bridges, our firearms, the relationship with our doctors, our elementary schools, our farms, and even our toilets, these freedom and federalism hating politicians can’t help themselves.
“And now … now you want to decide how we run our elections?”
Green did not finish there. He said, “The fact remains there is no constitutional authority for the federal government to come down and seize control of elections in Tennessee. The Constitution creates a federalist system with power disbursed amongst the people, and I will fight to ensure it always does. I will keep my oath to uphold the Constitution and my promise to Tennesseans to drain the swamp.”
The sponsor of H.R. 1 is U.S. Rep. John P. Sarbanes (D-MD-03). The most recent action on the bill was a Committee on the Judiciary hearing on Jan. 29.
According to Roll Call, the bill goes far beyond simply making it easier to register to vote. Measures include:
The measure aims to increase voter registration by requiring states to provide an online option for registering and allowing voters to register the same day they go to the polls to vote. It would also require state election officials to automatically register citizens who don’t register themselves.
Another provision makes it unlawful for anyone to hinder or prevent someone from registering to vote and instructs the Election Assistance Commission to develop best practices for states to deter such violations.
The measure would also ban the practice known as voter caging in which registered voters are purged from the rolls because mail sent to their registered address was returned undeliverable.
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