Mar 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Pence breaks silence to condemn Democrats' sweeping voting reform bill

Mike Pence.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

In some of his most extensive remarks since Jan. 6, former Vice President Mike Pence wrote an op-ed Wednesday condemning House Democrats' sweeping election and anti-corruption proposal as an "unconstitutional power grab" by "leftists."

Why it matters: Pence has largely stayed quiet since the Capitol insurrection, during which rioters were heard chanting "hang Mike Pence" after former President Trump promoted the claim that the vice president could block the certification of the Electoral College.

The big picture: Writing in The Daily Signal, Pence repeated dubious claims that the 2020 election was "marked by significant voting irregularities."

  • Be smart: While some irregularities occur in every election, state and federal officials have vouched for the election's security and integrity.
  • Lawsuits challenging election results have been rejected by courts across the country, including the Supreme Court.

What they're saying: "Polling shows that large numbers of Democrats did not trust the outcome of the 2016 election and that large numbers of Republicans still do not trust the outcome of the 2020 election," Pence wrote.

  • Pence called the Democrats' reform bill, which the House will pass on Wednesday, "an unconstitutional, reckless, and anti-democratic bill that ... could permanently damage our republic."
  • "Leftists not only want you powerless at the ballot box," wrote the former vice president, "they want to silence and censor anyone who would dare to criticize their unconstitutional power grab."

Details: The Democrats' "For the People Act" first introduced in 2019, has provisions to restore voting rights for felons, expand early and absentee voting, set national standards for early voting and voter registration, allow voters to register online or on Election Day and prevent voter purges.

  • Pence argued that the bill would undercut efforts to reform elections at the state and local levels.
  • He wrote that the bill "mandates the most questionable and abuse-prone election rules nationwide, while banning commonsense measures to detect, deter, and prosecute election fraud."

The bottom line: Pence called the events of Jan. 6 "tragic" and said they "deprived the American people of a substantive discussion in Congress about election integrity in America." He did not once mention the name "Trump."

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