U.S. Representative Billy Long
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U.S. Representative Billy Long
October 15, 2021

Who's On First?


Fun fact: Major League Baseball decided to move this year’s All Star Game out of majority minority Atlanta because they didn't approve of what they considered restrictive voting laws that had recently been passed by the Georgia legislature. Where did they move it? Interestingly enough they moved it to minority minority Denver which, oh by the way, has more restrictive voting laws than the recently passed Georgia law. As my buddy Congresman Brad Wenstrup likes to point out, the only thing Major League Baseball knows about voting is the voting they oversee for the selection of players for the All Star Game. Oh, and by the way, the league lets their fans vote multiple times and to add insult to injury the managers pick the starting lineup. 

In 1965 when I was ten years old, Congress passed the most substantial voting rights legislation in American History. The Voting Rights Act (VRA) was designed to curb blatantly discriminatory voting laws in southern states, and in the decades since its passage, it has been incredibly successful. Now, 56 years later, the Democrats are trying to bring back outdated provisions of the VRA in an effort to stomp out common sense voting regulations that they don’t like, such as the new voting law in Georgia. They claim that nothing has changed since the 1960s, but reality does not support their false narrative.

The VRA contains a provision allowing the Department of Justice to take discriminatory voting procedures to court. This is the same way any law violations are handled in this country; a prosecutor charges the violation, and a court hears the case, making the final decision based on evidence and facts. This is the constitutional method of due process and it has worked for nearly 250 years. The VRA also contained a provision that required the Department of Justice to approve any voting changes in certain states. Known as preclearance, Section 5 of the VRA allowed the federal government to halt discriminatory procedures, which at the time made sense. However, Section 5 has never been updated and was using vastly out-of-date metrics to decide which states would be subject to preclearance. This led the Supreme Court to strike down Section 5 in 2013. Now the Democrats and their allies in the media want to bring back this anti-due process provision.  

In recent years, the media and Democrats have been crying foul over common sense voting regulations, such as voter ID. When an election does not go their way, they simply claim that Republicans were suppressing voters. These outlandish allegations have no basis in reality, and a quick look at the facts proves it. The last few elections have seen record voter turnout in minority communities, especially in Southern states. If there were widespread voter suppression in these states, would minority turnout be at record highs? Of course not, but the Democrats never let the truth get in the way of a good story. This same logic applies to Georgia’s new elections bill. President Biden said that this bill was worse than Jim Crow, a bold claim by a man who lived during that time and should know better. Funny enough, Georgia’s new law allows up to 17 days of early voting, which is more than President Biden’s home state of Delaware allows. 

In late August, the House of Representatives narrowly passed H.R. 4, a bill that would reinstate Section 5 of the VRA, impose burdensome reporting requirements on local governments, and expand certain aspects of preclearance to all 50 states. Together with H.R. 1, which would force states to implement certain voter registration practices and give federal tax dollars to political candidates, these bills would federalize the election process and take power away from states to determine how their elections are run. I already told you that Democrats despise common sense voting regulations, and these bills are designed to stop them. If the Democrats get their way, there would be no voter ID laws in the United States. All decisions regarding elections would be made by unelected bureaucrats in Washington and not by the proper state election authorities. Throughout our nation’s history, these decisions have always been made at the state and local levels and this separation must remain intact. As long as I am in Congress, I will fight for election integrity, and that includes preventing the federal government from seizing unprecedented control of our elections from state and local governments. Oh, yeah, one other thing. Going to the 2022 All Star game? Be sure and take your ID because Major League Baseball won't let you pick up your tickets without it. Talk about unreasonable and restrictive.

For more information on my activities in our district and in Washington, I encourage you to follow my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Rep.Billy.Long and my Twitter page at https://twitter.com/USRepLong. You can also subscribe to my weekly newsletter, "Long's Short Report,” by visiting https://longforms.house.gov/newsletter.

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