Following last week’s vote on H.R. 1, Congresswoman Ashley Hinson penned an opinion piece for The Gazette to explain her opposition to the legislation. The Gazette promised to run the column today, March 11th. Before posting Congresswoman Hinson’s column online, The Gazette Editorial Board published a piece meant to rebut her column. The column attacking Congresswoman Hinson’s piece was online for hours before they even published Hinson’s initial column.
Hinson released the following statement calling on The Gazette Editorial Board to apologize to their readers for this blatant violation of basic journalistic ethics and integrity.
“It’s important to me that my constituents understand how and why I vote on major pieces of legislation, like H.R. 1. That’s why I wrote an op-ed for The Gazette explaining my opposition to the bill. Instead of running my piece as promised, they published a piece rebutting it – attempting to undermine my opinion that they had yet to even post for their readers. The Gazette should come clean about their clear intention to only express one side of a very important issue and apologize to their readers for this blatant violation of ethics and trust.” –Congresswoman Ashley Hinson
Read the full column on H.R. 1 below:
The 2020 election was chaotic and dysfunctional; millions of Americans across the country felt their legal votes were not counted while illegal ones were. The pandemic-style voting process was harmful to our country. We should be working hard, and in a bipartisan manner, to restore the trust that was lost and improve faith in our electoral process. Instead, Democrats’ top priority in this new Congress was H.R. 1—a federal takeover of our election system that serves Democratic politicians but undermines our democratic process.
H.R. 1 embodies everything people hate about Washington—and what Iowans sent me here to fight against. It takes away power from the people and sends it straight to D.C.—specifically to the Democratic party.
Each states’ right to control its own election is clearly enshrined in our Constitution. From determining voter registration and election day practices to ultimately certifying results—states have clear legal authority to run their own elections. H.R. 1 strips this decision-handing control to bureaucrats in D.C. by overruling state election law and imposing one-size-fits all voting policies and practices nationwide.
When I served in the Iowa State House, we worked hard to build an election system with integrity, and that election system held strong during the tumultuous 2020 election. But H.R. 1 would eviscerate our successful efforts to safeguard against fraud and undermine our efforts to ensure only legal votes counted. For example, to vote in Iowa, you are required to present a verified form of identification that matches your voter registration. Should H.R. 1 be signed into law, this practical policy that protects against fraud would no longer exist. Instead, anyone who signs a “sworn statement” could legally cast a ballot.
H.R. 1 would systematically dismantle states’ election systems, overriding state laws on everything from provisional ballots and early voting to voter rolls and absentee ballots. That’s not common sense; it’s unconstitutional. If implemented, H.R. 1 would be the largest federal takeover of our elections—ever. There is a reason our Founding Fathers intended for states to run their own elections: to protect against a federal power grab like this one that would clearly shift power to one political party and centralize all control in Washington.
Among the worst aspects included in this 800-page monstrosity of a bill is the public funding of political campaigns with taxpayer dollars. H.R. 1 creates a six-to-one government match of campaign contributions—for every $200 sent to a congressional or presidential campaign, the federal government will match $1,200. On top of that, the bill establishes a pilot program that sends individuals a $25 in taxpayer dollars to donate to any campaign of their choosing. As a result, your hard-earned money could fill the campaign coffers of a political candidate with whom you disagree. In the middle of a public health crisis, Democrats are trying to send your tax dollars to their campaigns. We need to be using these limited resources to help people get their lives back on track, not lining the pockets of political candidates.
The pandemic-style voting thrust upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic undermined confidence in our elections and exposed vulnerabilities in our system. State legislatures across this country should examine their election laws, look at what can be improved from the 2020 cycle, and make those changes. Instead, H.R. 1 codifies the chaos on the federal level—setting the stage for a replay of the 2020 election cycle. Providing nation-wide mail in voting and automatic voter registration, while eliminating voter ID laws, will erode Americans’ faith in our electoral system, not restore it.
Election laws should follow one guiding principle: we should make it easy to vote and harder to cheat. But H.R. 1 simply makes it easier for Democrats to win at the expense of our Constitution – and at the expense of the taxpayer.