(Headline USA) Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, huddled with Republican state lawmakers this week in a call to arms on the issue of voting rights as Democrats attempt to railroad through a controversial election overhaul that could secure permanent majorities for them.
The HR1 bill—which Democrats claim is about voter access—would in fact enable widespread fraud among core leftist constituencies such as “illegal aliens” and “child molesters,” he warned, and Republicans must do all they can to stop them.
The package would require states to automatically register eligible voters, as well as offer same-day registration.
It would limit states’ ability to purge inactive voters from their rolls and restore former felons’ voting rights.
Among dozens of other provisions, it would also require states to offer 15 days of early voting and allow no-excuse absentee balloting.
If they push through far-reaching election legislation now before the Senate, the GOP won’t win elections again for generations, Cruz said on an invitation-only call last week.
While Democrats have dubbed it the “For the People” Act, Cruz said Republican leaders were pushing to rebrand it the “Corrupt Politicians Act.”
Although the bill, as passed by the House on a party-line basis, 220-210, stands little chance of winning any GOP votes, Democrats are ramping up calls to eliminate the filibuster in order to pass it.
Asked if there was room to compromise, Cruz was blunt: “No.”
“HR1′s only objective is to ensure that Democrats can never again lose another election, that they will win and maintain control of the House of Representatives and the Senate and of the state legislatures for the next century,” Cruz said.
The meeting was organized by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a corporate-backed, conservative group that provides model legislation to state legislators.
Cruz’s statements, recorded by a person on the call and obtained by The Associated Press, capture the growing alarm as the underpinnings of many of the Biden administration’s disastrous policies appear bent on one goal: total domination.
Many continue to raise valid doubts and concerns in the aftermath of the 2020 election, in which allegations of widespread vote fraud were ignored by traditional mechanisms for accountability such as the Justice Department, the judiciary and the media.
Now, the same policies that Democrats illegally implemented in several battleground states are poised to become the law of the land for every state if the Senate passes the sweeping election overhaul.
From statehouses to Washington, the fight over who can vote and how—often cast as “voting integrity”—has galvanized a Republican Party.
For a powerful network of conservatives, voting restrictions are now viewed as a political life-or-death debate, and the fight has all-but eclipsed traditional Republican issues like abortion, gun rights and tax cuts as an organizing tool.
That potency is drawing influential figures and money from across the right, ensuring that the clash over the legislation in Washington will be partisan and expensive.
“It kind of feels like an all-hands-on-deck moment for the conservative movement, when the movement writ large realizes the sanctity of our elections is paramount and voter distrust is at an all-time high,” said Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action, an influential conservative advocacy group in Washington. “We’ve had a bit of a battle cry from the grassroots, urging us to pick this fight.”
Several prominent groups have recently entered the fray: Pro-life group, the Susan B. Anthony List, has partnered with another conservative Christian group to fund a new organization, the Election Transparency Initiative.
FreedomWorks, a group formed to push for smaller government, has initiated a $10 million calling for tighter voting laws in the states. It will be run by Cleta Mitchell, a prominent Republican attorney who advised former President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, Heritage Action has announced a new effort also focused on changes in state voting laws. It included a $700,000 ad campaign to back GOP-written bills in Georgia, the group’s first foray into advocating for state policy.
So far, the states have been the center of the debate. More than 250 bills have have been introduced in 43 states that would change how Americans vote, according to a tally by the far-left Brennan Center for Justice.
To do the Left’s audacious power-grab, the focus on voting has become visible across the conservative movement, even among groups with no clear interest in the voting debate.
At a televised town hall in February, leading Christian conservative Tony Perkins fielded several questions about voting before tackling topics on the social issues his Family Research Council typically focuses on.
Perkins answered the question by recalling how voting laws were made stricter in his native Louisiana after a close 1996 Senate race won by Democrats. He noted that the state now votes solidly Republican.
“When you have free, fair elections, you’re going to have outcomes that are positive,” Perkins said before urging viewers to push state lawmakers to “restore election integrity.”
In a sign of the increasing attention to the issue last year, Leonard Leo, a Trump advisor and one of the strategists behind the conservative focus on the federal judiciary, formed The Honest Elections Project to push for voting safeguards and coordinate GOP effort to monitor the 2020 vote.
But the issue expanded beyond what many conservatives expected in the aftermath of the election.
Judges at every level refused to hear more than 50 court cases citing procedural technicalities. Only now, after the election, have the courts begun examining the merits of some of those claims. Of the 21 heard and adjudicated on their merit, Trump has won 15, or 68%.
State lawmakers have also stepped in quickly with bills aimed at fixing phantom problems and restoring confidence in the system.
“We’re certain our vote will count, we’re certain our vote is secure, we’re certain our system is fair and not having any sort of nefarious activities,” said Iowa Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, a Republican who authored a wide-ranging election bill that shortened the state’s early voting period.
Similarly, other outside groups soon jumped into the debate that’s roiling their activists who write the letters, make phone calls and send the small donations that keep the groups relevant.
“It’s gone up the chain of priority,” said Noah Wall, executive vice president of FreedomWorks, which trained 60 top activists in Orlando last weekend on voting issues.
“If you were to poll our activists right now, election integrity is going to be near the top of the list,” he said. “Twelve months ago, that wasn’t the case.”
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press