COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA)- U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Gov. Henry McMaster were in Columbia Tuesday, speaking against a federal bill that would transform voting systems across the country.
H.R. 1 would expand early and mail-in voting, require automatic voter registration, and make it harder to purge voter rolls. Proponents say this would expand voter participation, especially among minorities. The bill was passed by the U.S House of Representatives last week. House Democrats claim it’s a part of an effort to fight Republican efforts in states like Georgia to restrict voting access.
Sen. Graham called the proposal a power grab and said he’s never been more worried about a piece of legislation.
“It would expand the franchise,” said Nancy Abudu, who is the deputy legal director for voting rights at the Southern Poverty Law Center.” It would protect voters. It would allow for a lot more confidence in our democracy.”
Sen. Graham and gov. Henry McMaster said they don’t want the federal government to get involved in the states’ election systems.
“This is not about making it easier to vote,” Sen. Graham said. “This is not about anything other than trying to consolidate power on terms most advantageous to the liberal left.”
H.R. 1 would guarantee voters same-day registration at early voting sites or at polls on election day and would loosen voter ID laws, allowing people to sign a sworn affidavit attesting to their identity under penalty of perjury rather than show ID to vote.
“This to me is a very serious attempt to alter the balance of power to centralize in the federal government a voting system that’s ripe for fraud at the expense of every American who wants to vote fairly,” Sen. Graham said.
McMaster also suggested the bill would invite fraud.
Experts say there’s no evidence of widespread voting fraud.
“In fact I believe that they’re afraid,” Abudu said. “They’re afraid of losing power and giving it back to the people which is what H.R. 1 does.”
Sen. Graham also spokes against the bill’s proposal to combat gerrymandering by implementing nonpartisan redistricting.
“That’s a tremendous infringement on the ability of a state to run it’s election as envisioned by the constitution,” said Sen. Graham.
“This bill will ensure and protect voters, and…put the power back in the hands of the people and out of the politicians,” Abudu said.