Washington D.C. – In their latest partisan political stunt, the Republican-controlled House Administration Committee will hold another hearing in its series called “American Confidence In Elections” in Georgia today. Appropriately for a committee stacked with unapologetic election objectors, the hearing’s star witness is the Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakovsky, best known for spreading right-wing election voter fraud conspiracy theories and pushing laws to limit access to voting aimed at communities of color, an Accountable.US review found. When von Spakovsky served at the Department of Justice during the Bush administration, more than half of the career lawyers in the voting section he oversaw left in protest after von Spakovsky took “every opportunity … to make it difficult for voters — poor, minority and Democratic — to go to the polls.”
These hearings are more than just another MAGA political stunt designed to keep President Biden from helping more Americans get ahead,” said Lindsey Melki, Accountable.US spokesperson.
“This is about manufacturing voter fraud conspiracies as an excuse for more voter suppression laws that target people of color, including onerous voter ID laws that serve as a modern-day poll tax. The MAGA House majority should at least be honest about why they’re seeking to restrict access to voting and further undermine democracy – because it helps them seize power,” Melki continued.
YET ANOTHER POLITICAL STUNT: In previous hearings this year, the House Administration Committee has used its power to deny the January 6th Commission’s findings, pushed for discriminatory voter ID laws, and gave a platform to extremist Ken Cuccinelli.
- In One Of The First Moves Of The Committee In March 2023, Rep. Barry Loudermilk “Looked To Clear His Name” Of Wrongdoing After Being “Investigated By The Select Committee For Allegedly Giving A Reconnaissance Tour On Jan. 5, 2021.” “Rep. Barry Loudermilk looked to clear his name, while taking shots at the Jan. 6 Select Committee, in the first release of findings as part of the House Administration Committee’s reinvestigation of the Capitol attack. Loudermilk, who chairs the panel’s Oversight Subcommittee, was investigated by the select committee for allegedly giving a reconnaissance tour on Jan. 5, 2021, to a group of up to 15 people, some of whom took photos of stairwells, security checkpoints and entry points to the Capitol.” [Roll Call, 3/29/23]
- His Colleagues Described The Hearing As “An Attempt At Revisionism” And An Overstatement Of “The Select Committee’s View Of His Actions.” “But his Democratic colleagues characterized Loudermilk’s release as an attempt at revisionism as well as overstating the select committee’s view of his actions.” [Roll Call, 3/29/23]
- During A May 2023 American Confidence In Elections Hearing, The House Administration Committee “Argued For Strengthening Voter Identification Laws” And “Loosening Donor Disclosure Requirements.” “House Administration Committee Republicans argued for strengthening voter identification laws, while loosening donor disclosure requirements, as they prepare legislation aimed at protecting political speech in elections.” [Roll Call, 5/11/23]
- The Brennan Center For Justice Stated “Voter Impersonation Fraud Is Vanishingly Rare,” And Those Without The Requisite ID’s Listed By Law To Vote Are “Disproportionately People Of Color.” “Take strict voter ID. These laws require voters to present a government-issued photo ID in order to vote, and they offer no meaningful fallback options for people who do not possess one of these IDs. Like their Jim Crow predecessors, strict voter ID laws are often defended by reference to a racially neutral need to defend the ‘integrity’ of elections. Specifically, defenders claim that voter ID laws are needed to combat voter impersonation fraud. But study after study has shown that voter impersonation fraud is vanishingly rare. Many also claim that these laws impose little burden because everyone has the requisite ID — but the reality is that millions of Americans don’t, and they are disproportionately people of color.” [Brennan Center, 1/16/20]
- In June 2023, Ken Cuccinelli, Chairman Of The Election Transparency Initiative, Testified Before The House Administration Committee. [House Administration Committee, 6/7/23]
- Cuccinelli Wrote A June 2021 Opinion Piece Which Said The Purpose Of The Proposed John Lewis Voting Rights Act Was “Not To Protect Voting Rights” But To “Stop Voting Reforms Going On In The States That Are Making Our Elections More Transparent, Secure And Accountable.” “The instrument of their proposed federal control over election law was introduced (and never passed) in the last Congress as H.R. 4, the ‘John Lewis Voting Rights bill.’ […] The purpose of H.R. 4 is not to protect voting rights, it is to stop voting reforms going on in the states that are making our elections more transparent, secure and accountable.” [Fox News, 6/11/21]
- The Brennan Center For Justice Stated “The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act Would Restore The Law To Full Strength” By “Requiring States With Histories Of Voter Discrimination To Receive Approval From The Department Of Justice.” “The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore the law to full strength, in part by once again requiring states with histories of voter discrimination to receive approval from the Department of Justice or a federal court before enacting voting changes.” [Brennan Center, 1/13/22]