Everything that’s wrong with the H.R. 1 election takeover bill can be summed up with the propagandistic misnomer the Democrats have labeled it with—the “For the People Act.” It undermines the very right it purports to uphold, a citizen’s right to have a say in our representative democracy. Enabling fraudulent ballots to cancel out legitimate votes doesn’t empower the people, it empowers the political machine—by design.

The America of our founders and the very way of life that we cherish are under constant assault from the left, and our election systems are a key target of this plan.

Last summer and fall, I was appalled about how the widespread increase of reckless practices across the country, which led directly to the crisis of confidence that now plagues our election system. But instead of working to restore the public’s trust in the ballot box, Democrats are seizing upon the opportunity to concentrate power in Washington. Under the guise of fixing the election system, they’re seeking to fix election outcomes—permanently.

That’s why I and other conservatives voted against HR 1. The Constitution is clear—state legislatures decide the manner in which elections are conducted. The bill that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shoved through recently would usurp that power and remove all protections that states like my own, Texas, have put in place to ensure that elections are free and fair—protections ranging from voter ID laws to bans on ballot-harvesting.

My hope — and the hope of those who want secure elections —is that this disastrous bill will die in the Senate, which is and should remain a legislative graveyard for bad ideas. If Senate procedural shenanigans ultimately allow its passage, then we can only hope that a U.S. Supreme Court now more faithful to the real meaning of the Constitution—President Trump’s lasting legacy—will rule against it.

But in the meantime, we must shore up our election systems state-by-state. That’s where the Constitution places primary responsibility over these matters, and that’s where those of us who value its wisdom should focus. There are very few things that can adequately be addressed by a one-size-fits-all solution from Washington, and election reform certainly isn’t one of them.

In Texas, for example, we must work to clean up our own house by banning the use of public money to fund elections offices, eliminating unsecured ballot drop boxes, and ensuring the accuracy of voter rolls.

Regarding the problems seen throughout the rest of the union, my team and I are currently hard at work putting together a national coalition to plan, organize, and take the fight for election integrity to state legislatures around the country. This group will include policy experts and conservative leaders who will work together to unrig election systems, protect your voice at the ballot box, and uphold the principles of federalism in the process.

State by state, this coalition will advocate for principles like:

  • Requiring voter ID
  • Reasonable limits on early voting
  • Ending mass mail-in voting
  • Restricting and securing absentee ballots
  • Banning ballot harvesting
  • Mandating that all ballots be counted on Election Day

We will work with state-level organizations and legislators here in Texas and every other state to demand these reforms. An effort of this scale will certainly not be easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.

For this republic to survive — for representative government to mean anything — all of its citizens must have complete confidence that their vote counts and that their voices matter. Our country simply cannot allow the kind of disaster we have seen these last few months to ever happen again.