Rep. Matt Gaetz challenged state legislatures to clamp down on election fraud by making voter identification enforcement more vigorous and limiting absentee and mail-in voting.
Speaking on Newsmax TV on Tuesday, the Florida Republican said the election bill passed by House Democrats, known as H.R. 1, that would bar voter identification and greatly expand mail-in balloting nationwide will not pass the Senate.
“Democrats would need either a substantial number of Republicans willing to vote their way to a political death sentence, which seems unlikely, or they will need some other mechanism because they don’t have the votes necessary,” Gaetz said on “The Chris Salcedo Show.” “And this is not a budget issue that would allow them to take action with just 51 votes.
“So, this is dead on arrival in the Senate, but it shows their game plan, their strategy. And remember they don’t have to pass H.R. 1 to execute on election fraud. Stacey Abrams did just fine without H.R. 1 in Georgia.”
However, the 38-year-old Gaetz, a third-term congressman who represents Florida’s 1st Congressional District which encompasses a large swath of the panhandle, said that Republicans need to press the issue in the other direction.
“But we just can’t play defense,” Gaetz said. “We just can’t be in Washington voting against and debating against H.R. 1. We need Republican legislatures to step up to enforce photo ID and to ensure we don’t just have millions of mail-in ballots swirling around the country that aren’t connected to the identity of an actual human being with the intent to that ballot.
“We see that work underway in Georgia, but we need to see in Pennsylvania, in Wisconsin, in a number of states where election integrity needs to be more of a priority.”
Gaetz further criticized the Supreme Court for its decision to not hear a lawsuit out of Texas, joined by several other states, that sued the states of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin for changing election laws by non-legislative means as required by the U.S. Constitution.
“If the state of Georgia was polluting a waterway, and that was flowing into the Sunshine State of Florida, you would have a cause of action against them and the Supreme Court would be obligated to look at it through their original jurisdiction,” Gaetz said. “But if they pollute our republic, if they pollute the election process, if they degrade the confidence that all Americans have in the outcome of a presidential contest, apparently the Supreme Court doesn’t want to exercise jurisdiction? This is what is so frustrating…
“The lack of courage. The lack of ability to step forward and exercise jurisdiction where there are issues that have to be resolved. And so, if they’re not going to do their job, we have to do ours. We have to ensure that when a vote is counted, someone actually intended to cast that vote. And because we didn’t catch them in the act in the last election, they were able to keep the power that they stole. Next time, we need the integrity on the front end, and we need aggressive enforcement so that when people are trying to harvest ballots, generate illegal ballots, that there is an opportunity to showcase that to the country and demand better.”
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