WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., today described how S.1 would undermine election security and diminish voter trust in America's election system during a Senate Rules Committee hearing.
“The people of the United States may like the sound of a bill that says it will be easier for people to vote,” Wicker said. “I think it makes it easier for people to cheat at elections.”
In his remarks to the committee, Wicker pointed to recent polling of 1200 Americans that show there is widespread opposition to many provisions in the legislation.
“When you go step by step and ask the questions, the American people object to many provisions in this bill,” Wicker said.
Among those provisions:
- 71 percent expressed concern with universal mail-in voting;
- 74 percent expressed concern with remote ballot drop boxes; and
- 82 percent expressed concern with preventing states from regularly cleaning up voter registration files.
In his line of questioning, Wicker also pointed to the hypocrisy of some provisions of the legislation, including provisions to allow the use of ballot harvesting. As recently as 2018, House Democrats refused to seat Mark Harris, a Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in North Carolina, who was accused of employing ballot harvesting to tilt a close race in his favor. As Wicker noted to the committee, ballot harvesting is illegal in North Carolina, but would be forced upon all 50 states if S. 1 were to become law.
“I am completely against [ballot harvesting],” West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner said. “The gold standard for elections is voting in person at a polling precinct under the supervision of trained poll workers on election day.”
“It’s a terrible idea,” Attorney General of Indiana Todd Rokita said. “This bill does not allow you to challenge [compromised] ballots.”
S. 1 is virtually identical to HR. 1, which was introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this year. Wicker authored a column explaining his opposition to the legislation.
Every member of the Mississippi congressional delegation opposed HR. 1 when it was considered, including Democrat Rep. Bennie Thompson, who was an original cosponsor of the legislation.