Prepared Floor Remarks by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Restoring Faith in American Elections
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

 
Between Democrats who believe Russia rigged the vote to elect Trump, and Republicans who believe various theories questioning Biden’s election victory, we seem to have a bipartisan super-majority of Americans casting doubt on our elections.
 
In fact, one prominent claim by some Trump supporters that a particular brand of voting machine switched Trump votes to Biden appears to have been plagiarized from the Democrat Party’s playbook from 2004.
 
I heard from many left-leaning Iowans at that time who questioned President Bush’s victory based on claims that a particular brand of voting machine switched votes in Ohio.
 
Those totally unsubstantiated claims ultimately led Democrats to force a vote in the Joint Session of Congress to reject Ohio’s electoral votes cast for President Bush.
 
There are still Democrat members of Congress in both chambers who voted to overturn that state certified election.
 
After the 2018 gubernatorial election in Georgia, the losing Democrat candidate refused to concede claiming, without evidence that would stand up in court, that she would have won but for voting irregularities.
 
Rather than distance itself from questioning a certified election, the Democrat Party invited her to speak at their convention.
 
Two years later, the tables are now turned.
 
Trump lost Georgia by a far smaller margin, but we are now told that to suggest there were flaws in the 2020 Georgia elections is unacceptable and undermining democracy.
 
We need to break the cycle of partisans questioning elections when their side loses.
 
Both parties must stop finger pointing, blame and partisan accusations.
 
We all need to work together to restore Americans’ faith in elections.
 
That brings me to the Democrats’ so-called “For the People Act.” Incidentally, don’t you find that name a little creepy? So often in history when leaders claimed to speak for “The People” they were just seeking power.
 
This was introduced after the 2018 elections as a clear political statement to build the hyper-partisan narrative that Democrat defeats were due to widespread voter suppression.
 
H.R. 1 was then, and remains, a hastily cobbled together collection of every Democrat proposal for new election mandates. No care was taken to make it cohesive or workable.
 
It is evident that state or local election officials were not consulted in its drafting.
 
This bill passed the House in 2019 on party lines, and was placed directly on the Senate calendar at Senator Schumer’s request.
 
This is typical of political messaging bills so the minority leader can force a vote to proceed.
 
I assume that Senator Schumer did not force a Senate vote to take up the bill because partisan activists got more traction out of blaming Leader McConnell for not bringing it up.
 
Regardless, it clearly wasn’t designed to pass.
 
Now we are back again, considering a totally partisan messaging bill that would radically rework all states’ election systems.
 
How does that jive with the message from Democrats just a couple months ago that state-run elections are beyond reproach? 
 
Either state-run elections are fundamentally flawed and unfair, requiring massive federal intervention, and Americans that question the outcome are taking a moral stand, or state run elections are by-and-large fair, and Americans can have confidence in the outcomes.
 
Either way, the same principle should apply to the last several elections, whether Republicans or Democrats were relatively more successful in each case.
 
I get that having unleashed this partisan tiger, it’s hard to get it back in the cage.
 

But, when this bill fails, as it must, we need to tamp down the partisan accusations and work across party lines to restore faith in American elections. It won’t be easy, but the alternative is unthinkable.