Graham, McMaster voice opposition to U.S. election reform bill

Sen. Lindsey Graham has called H.R. 1 the “biggest power grab in the history of the country.”
Updated: Apr. 6, 2021 at 1:30 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTV/WIS) - House Resolution 1, or the “For The People Act,” is a comprehensive House bill on election laws soon headed for debate in the U.S. Senate.

Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-SC, co-sponsored part of the bill called the Voter Empowerment Act.

Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Henry McMaster and Sen. Lindsey Graham met at the State House to speak out against H.R. 1.

A voting, elections and ethics bill, H.R. 1 aims to streamline voter registration and would require states to automatically register voters. Proponents of the bill say it would also change campaign finance laws, limit partisan gerrymandering and focus on new ethical rules for people who hold federal office.

Graham has called H.R. 1 the “biggest power grab in the history of the country.” He says it would erode South Carolina’s law requiring a photo ID to vote.

South Carolina Democrats say this bill is needed after Georgia’s controversial move to put more voting restrictions in place. They argue the bill helps to protect voting rights.

“The late Congressman John Lewis nearly gave his life to secure the right to vote and I am committed to honoring his legacy and preserving our democracy,” Clyburn said. “This bill will strengthen critically-needed ballot box protections in this country. As lawmakers, it is our responsibility to ensure that all eligible Americans have the right to cast a ballot that will be counted and make their voices heard.”

Clyburn outlines the Voter Empowerment Act part of H.R. 1 as follows:

Ensure Access to the Ballot

  • Modernize the voter registration system
  • Ensure access to online voter registration
  • Ensure ballots are counted from Americans serving in the military or overseas
  • Allow same day registration
  • Notify voters when voting changes are made
  • Encourage youth to become voters
  • Assist voters with disabilities
  • Restore rehabilitated citizens’ right to vote

Preserve Integrity in Voting Systems

  • Provide informed and reliable poll workers
  • Count all provisional ballots
  • Prohibit voter caging
  • Protect voters from deceptive practices and intimidation

Demand Accountability in Election Administration

  • Create a national voter hotline
  • Ensure votes are counted correctly
  • Reauthorize the Election Assistance Commission

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