WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) delivered floor remarks regarding how there should only be one vote per person.
To watch Senator Blackburn’s speech, click below or here.
You can read the transcript below or in the Congressional Record.
Madam President, if the Constitution is the
foundation our Republic, then the concept of ``one person, one vote''
is the cornerstone. It is also a promise that every single eligible
voter in America takes with them into that voting booth on that
election day. It gives them confidence that their vote matters. It
helps them to keep the faith in our electoral system and in their local
We can talk about the vote on a grand scale here in Washington, but
this is where it really matters: back home at your local polling place,
in your home county, and in the precincts with the people who do the
standing up elections, running elections, and certifying their own
elections. It is of the people, by the people, for the people that this
process is carried out in each and every one of our counties. And you
know what, that is how it is supposed to be.
Article I, section 4 of our Constitution clearly states--here it is:
Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators
and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the
Well, how about that? The Constitution delegates that authority to
the State legislatures, and that is why our States' secretaries of
state work with our counties to make certain the process is put in
You know, I had the opportunity to serve on my county's local
election commission prior to my being in elective office. One person,
one vote--that is the No. 1 rule that guided the decisions they made.
When we recruit poll workers, it is the No. 1 concern that drives
people to go sign up. When we train the volunteers who are staffing
polling places, it is the No. 1 rule to teach. Every person gets one
vote. All legally cast votes are counted. That is the way it is
supposed to work--one person, one vote.
Here in the Senate, I am concerned that my Democratic colleagues have
forgotten about this rule. Why else would they once again pledge to
move a piece of legislation that would throw ``one person, one vote''
out the window? Many of my Republican colleagues have taken to calling
H.R. 1 or S. 1 the Politician Protection Act or the For the Politician
Act, and I will have to agree that is a fairly apt description.
There are a lot of problems with this bill, but I want to focus on a
few key provisions that will gut ``one person, one vote'' and destroy
confidence in our elections.
If this bill passes, say goodbye to meaningful voter ID laws. My
Democratic colleagues kept the idea of these requirements intact, but
to please their radical base, they added a loophole that would force
every single jurisdiction to accept affidavits in lieu of
identification--that is right, an affidavit. They may as well have
banned voter IDs because that loophole makes requirements that voters
prove they are who they say they are absolutely meaningless. They can
just sign a statement saying ``I am who I say I am'' without having to
The bill also requires States to allow paid campaign operatives to
engage in ballot harvesting schemes. That is right. This allows your
paid campaign operatives to engage in ballot harvesting schemes. Now,
these ballot harvesting schemes have been proven time and again to
increase the risk of fraud, so much so that many States on their own
moved forward and banned ballot harvesting schemes. Why did they ban
this? Because it leads to fraud in elections.
Inexplicably, my colleagues also want to throw ballot drop boxes into
the mix. They pitched them as a convenience, but that convenience will
be nearly impossible to monitor and to protect 24 hours a day, which
means that it will be nearly impossible to monitor and protect the
ballots that are inside those boxes, and these boxes then become a
fairly convenient way to stuff the ballot box.
But perhaps the most dangerous, counterproductive, and outright
infuriating provision my Democratic colleagues have included in this
mess of a bill is a restriction against voter roll maintenance Anyone
with a bit of common sense knows how inaccurate or duplicate entries in
a dataset can add up. That leaves these datasets in a state of
disrepair, and that is how fraud and mistakes occur.
It is just one more provision in a bill raising red flags for local
officials in every single State in this country. And this red flag, in
particular, is prompting people to ask me if my Democratic colleagues
involved in drafting this bill have ever actually volunteered at a
local polling place, which really tells you a lot about how
shortsighted this legislation is.
This bill really doesn't have anything to do with voting rights. This
is a politically motivated Federal takeover of elections that would
give us the exact opposite of what is laid out in the Constitution.
The Founders--the Founders--granted the States power over their own
elections for a reason. The Federal Government is beyond incompetent to
get this job done. If you like the service you get from the IRS or the
EPA or OSHA, that is what you could expect the next time your community
has an election.
If we allow this bill to pass, the promise of one person, one vote
will crumble. The promise of counting eligible ballots and not counting
ineligible ballots would go by the wayside. And what do you get in
exchange? The promise of chaos, confusion, and a lack of confidence in
the integrity of the vote.