Two Republican lawmakers introduced legislation ostensibly designed to expose the Democrats’ hypocrisy on vaccines and voting laws. The bill does not seem likely to pass either chamber of Congress, but it appears to have been introduced to make a point. There’s a problem, though. The nature of the proposed legislation appears to violate a principle conservatives hold dear.
GOP Lawmakers Make a Proposal
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) and Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-NC) introduced the Vaccine Passport and Voter ID Harmonization Act, which would require states implementing mandatory vaccine passports to also require voter ID. This move is an extension of the observation among conservatives that Democrats favor requiring documentation to participate in ordinary life while arguing against showing identification to vote.
The Daily Caller News Foundation, which was given the full text of the proposal, noted it would force “states and local jurisdictions that institute vaccine passports to require voter identification in federal elections.” Sen. Cramer said in a statement: “It makes no sense for Democrats to adamantly oppose commonsense Voter ID policies which protect the integrity of our elections.” He continued:
“If they’re comfortable making people show their private medical records to simply go to a restaurant, they should be fine having people prove they are who they say they are before they vote. Our legislation shines a light on their hypocrisy.”
The proposal comes as more local and state governments impose various forms of vaccine mandates. The Daily Caller noted that California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced “the state’s educators must present a vaccine record card in order to teach in the classroom.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio demands residents show proof of vaccination to enter indoor establishments. “If you are unvaccinated, unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in many things. If you want to participate in our society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” he said during his announcement.
Rep. Mace also chimed in, noting the absurdity of opposing voter ID laws. “Showing an ID is something we must do in everyday life,” she said in a statement. “We need an ID when we get a job, cash our paychecks, rent an apartment, buy a car, buy alcohol or even cold medicine. States who mandate vaccine passports should be just as rigorous when it comes to something as important as protecting the right to vote.”
What’s the Issue?
Cramer and Mace are correct when they say the proposed legislation highlights the hypocrisy of Democrats. Indeed, it seems the left wants some type of documentation to be shown in every facet of life except voting. Still, it is important to note that if such a bill were to pass, it might not exactly jibe with conservative principles – especially state’s rights.
On the right, people have long contended that most of these decisions should be left up to the states, free from federal interference. It is for this reason Republicans and conservatives vociferously speak out against the “For the People Act,” which would essentially transfer authority from the states to the federal government when it comes to holding elections.
Using the power of Congress to force states to require voter ID is not exactly in line with preserving state’s rights. Even if one disagrees with how one state handles its election processes, using the federal government to enforce their views on this matter seems to be a betrayal of one of the most foundational principles of conservatism, regardless of good intentions.