In a letter to congressional leaders, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita warns that a reckless piece of legislation under consideration on Capitol Hill “would allow the United States Department of Justice to usurp the authority states rightly possess over their own elections, essentially federalizing the election system.”
Attorney General Rokita’s letter opposing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act — or H.R. 4 — is joined by 22 other attorneys general.
Already passed in the House, the legislation requires states to obtain “preclearance” from the federal government before enacting election reforms such as voter identification requirements and voter list maintenance laws.
“This legislation is a misguided, clumsy, and heavy-handed effort to circumvent Supreme Court decisions, state sovereignty, and the will of the people,” Attorney General Rokita writes in the letter.
The legislation essentially establishes the U.S. Department of Justice as a national election czar dictating to states exactly how they must administer their elections.
“States that create laws based on what works best for their jurisdiction to respond to a crisis of confidence in our elections systems,” Attorney General Todd Rokita writes, “will inevitably be targeted by the Department of Justice leading to more confusion, litigation, and concerns over the validity of elections going forward.”
The proposed legislation ignores states’ legitimate interest in preventing voter fraud, safeguarding the right to vote and ensuring that every legal vote is counted without being diluted by illegal votes.