By Amy Wudel

Guest columnist

I am a constitutional conservative, born in the heartland of the West and raised in the plains of Texas. While the conservative label can mean many things, at its core it means preserving liberty, equality and the constitution. Without free and fair elections, no country can claim it values liberty or equality.

Unfortunately, America’s elections are plagued with corruption and partisanship. But we can fix these flaws with the Freedom to Vote Act. We can strengthen our elections by making certain they do not unfairly favor one party, and striving to put people of all backgrounds on an equal playing field. We also need strong election security so fraud doesn’t taint the results. The Freedom to Vote Act does these things and more, and I urge my fellow conservatives to support it.

One way we can promote equality in elections is by banning gerrymandering, a tactic partisans use to draw congressional lines in a way that virtually guarantees their party wins. Most representatives can safely win their seats without needing to find broad support in the communities they represent.

Because of gerrymandering, only 43 U.S. House races – about 10 percent – were competitive in 2020. Representatives in gerrymandered districts tend to be more extreme because no matter what they do, they likely aren’t risking their electoral prospects. The will of voters in those districts who didn’t support the elected candidates becomes swallowed up in partisan ambition and extreme polarization. As defenders of equality, conservatives should oppose gerrymandering. The Freedom to Vote Act would ban partisan gerrymandering and allow states to choose how to draw fair districts.

Making voting accessible is another way our elections can promote equality. Recent attempts by partisans to decrease the number of voting days, arbitrarily reject valid voter ID methods, and discourage vote by mail are betrayals of the principles and values the Constitution aspires to. The Freedom to Vote Act proposes at least 15 consecutive days of early voting, and Election Day would be an official holiday. These are sensible reforms that ensure all people have enough time and opportunities to vote.

Lastly, many conservatives have been concerned about corruption in our electoral process – in some cases leading them to contest legitimate results and even engage in violence. The Freedom to Vote Act imposes penalties for voter intimidation and giving false election information. Additionally, it gives election officials greater protections against partisan removals, protects against the intentional mishandling of ballots, and prevents the illegal purging of voter rolls. It also requires disclosure of all political spending, including online ads, and cooperation between candidates and super PACs. Conservatives should support this bill to make elections more secure.

It is vital to the health of our democracy that we restore faith in our elections. A threat to one person’s vote is a threat to all. As we strive to live up to our ideals of liberty and equality, we must put down our partisan hats and recognize the need to strengthen our institutions and eliminate the partisan corruption tearing it down. Our constitutional republic depends on it.

Amy Wudel is an advocate for election reform and eliminating political corruption. She volunteers for many democracy groups, including RepresentUs.

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(9) comments

elpolacko100

ARE YOU PEOPLE THROUGH? The "Freedom to vote Law" would only legalize the methods used by the Democrats to steal the 2020 election. Do you really think we are THAT stupid?

SedonaBob

Still off-topic, but the question still demands an answer - Why is THN refusing to follow this story? It has only been a few days since investigative journalist and commentator Rachel Maddow discovered the forged electoral college certificates from five states - ARIZONA, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin, and we already see the first referrals from the states to DOJ for criminal prosecution. Michigan is referring its 16 “electors” (the forged ones) over to the feds for prosecution. According to Michigan A.G. Dana Nessel: “I will tell you that we’ve been evaluating charges based on these activities. I will say that under state law you clearly you have forgery of a public record, which is a 14-year offense, and election law forgery, which is a five-year offense. But what we have decided to do with the investigation, in light of the fact that we have seen … various different false slates of electors from several different states (ARIZONA, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin), in what seems to be a coordinated conspiracy between the Republican parties in various different states, we think this is a matter that is best investigated and potentially prosecuted by the feds.”

Wire fraud, conspiracy, impersonating a state official… the charges go on and on. And yes, one would “hope” that the DOJ might be interested in investigating a case in which one party attempted to overthrow the elected government.

RobertsonO

...

"Why is THN refusing to follow this story?"

I realize this is a rhetorical question, but there is an answer.

I have noticed that important events get ignored UNTIL right-wing talking points start emerging. Ya, not before -- FOX ENTERTAINMENT OPINION NEWS -- issues their talking points and spin (propaganda). That's when you will start seeing comments here repeating their propaganda. Truth is not one of their 'core values' and they have poor critical thinking skills. (Just my observation.)

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"On Tuesday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow devoted much of the first half of her show to discussing forged electoral certificates obtained by American Oversight. The phony documents were submitted to Congress by Republicans in five states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin — seeking to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory in those states by casting the state’s electoral votes for Donald Trump instead."

“This would … appear to be some kind of coordinated effort,” Maddow said. “Or at least, someone gave Republicans in all these states the same template for creating these false records. … That doesn’t happen by accident. Who organized this?”

https://www.americanoversight.org/fake-electoral-certificates-obtained-by-american-oversight-draw-renewed-scrutiny

Seems like there is another Republican scandal on the horizon.

...

Hail Sagan

Well stated! Too bad your conservative brothers and sisters don't share the same lofty ideals.

HavasuGuy

Actually true conservatives do share his ideas.

The far-right fringe of the republican party came together with the Tea Party movement, this is when conservative ideas within the party started to get ridiculed. Along came tRUMP and he capitalized on the Tea Party anger, feeding their hate and division.

A lot of conservative republicans voted against him in the last election and we'll continue to vote against those that espouse his fascist ideas. The party is broken, it's up to all Americans, including republicans, to make sure his brokenness doesn't further infect our great country.

Davel3

[thumbup]HavasuGuy

Middle of the Road

I agree, Trump is done. But conservative republicans need to get active to bring in different candidates. #DeSantisscott2024. I am a right leaning Independent, who voted twice for Trump, and then left the party. The party is split, and maybe it's time the two-party process is redesigned. I don't have that answer, but at the end of the day, we as individuals, need to look forward, and have vision for the future, and stop looking at the old age past.

elpolacko100

No...Biden is done!

Davel3

[thumbup]Hail Sagan

Welcome to the discussion.

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