States’ rights: Alaska AG Taylor pushes back on AG Garland’s threat to curb voter ID laws

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Seventeen state attorneys general, including Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor, have written a stern letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland last month, telling him to back off his comments regarding the role of the Department of Justice in overseeing elections. The letter, dated April 10, 2024, highlights the attorneys generals’ apprehension over what they perceive as federal overreach into states’ rights.

Representing states including Indiana, West Virginia, Alaska, Georgia, and Texas, among others, the top law officers take issue with Garland’s remarks made at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Selma, Alabama.

They assert that Garland’s statements, characterizing certain state election laws as discriminatory and unnecessary, demonstrate an intent to undermine states’ authority over their election processes.

The attorneys general remind Garland that the U.S. Constitution explicitly grants states the primary responsibility for regulating the “Times, Places, and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives.” They argue that any attempt by the federal government to encroach upon this authority threatens the foundational principles of federalism and the separation of powers.

A central point of contention is Garland’s criticism of voter identification laws, which he says as barriers to ballot access.

The attorneys general counter Garland’s assertion by citing the Supreme Court’s validation of such laws in the 2008 case Crawford v. Marion County Election Board. They argue that voter ID laws are essential for preventing fraud and safeguarding election integrity, citing specific instances of voter fraud convictions.

Furthermore, the attorneys general push back against Garland’s criticism of absentee voting regulations, including his support for the use of mail-in ballots and drop boxes.

The attorneys write, “you claim states have imposed ‘unnecessary restrictions’ related to absentee voting, including ‘mail-in voting’ and ‘the use of drop boxes.’ Numerous security risks exist with mail-in voting and drop boxes, and these methods of voting have led to the proliferation of election fraud. For instance, surveillance videos of a Connecticut woman stuffing papers into an absentee ballot box in a mayoral primary has led to an investigation by election officials. If election fraud at drop boxes occurs for small, local mayoral primary races, then it’s likely the same type of fraud occurs during state-wide and federal elections at those same drop boxes. In another case, a woman was convicted for a voter fraud scheme in Iowa in November of 2023. She ‘submitted or caused others to submit dozens of voter registrations, absentee ballot request forms, and absentee ballots containing false information’ as well as ‘signed voter forms without voters’ permission and told others that they could sign on behalf of relatives who were not present.’ In still another case, a West Virginia mail carrier was convicted after he was found to have altered the party affiliation on several absentee ballot request forms. And that was certainly not the first time absentee ballots had been used to manipulated elections just in West Virginia; for instance, Democrat officials in Lincoln County, West Virginia were convicted of falsifying absentee ballots in a vast election scheme years before.”

They argue that absentee voting poses significant security risks and they cite examples of election fraud associated with these methods. They emphasize the states’ right to regulate absentee voting and highlight court rulings affirming the constitutionality of certain voting restrictions.

The attorneys general also challenge Garland’s assertion that recent legislative measures have weakened the Voting Rights Act They maintain that state election security measures do not impede voting rights but rather strengthen the electoral process. They criticize Garland for what they perceive as a mischaracterization of the VRA’s purpose and effectiveness.

In response to Garland’s announcement of expanding the DOJ’s involvement in election matters, including doubling the number of lawyers in the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division and launching the Election Threats Task Force, the attorneys general express alarm, seeing these federal actions as an unwarranted intrusion into states’ affairs and accusing Garland of politicizing the Department of Justice to advance partisan objectives.

The letter concludes with a vow from the attorneys general to vigorously defend their states’ election laws against any attempts at federal interference. They assert their commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring the safety and security of elections, particularly in light of what they perceive as the federal government’s failure to address border security concerns.

Read the letter here:

15 COMMENTS

  1. Do any of the readers remember the “good ole days” of journalists and broadcasting news of favorite newsmen of those days? I do because I was listening. Here is where “Treg” should take wisdom and turn it to the thinking that the made impressions unlike those we have today. One of those famous and wise broadcasters was none other then Paul Harvey… Remember him? His work on one of his shows fits for today when he talked about the essay he wrote. It was about this very concern and more and how we got there with the people elected and those whose purpose took us down to this path we are on. Paul Harvey’s essay and broadcast was in 1965 and was called, “If I Were the Devil.” Its on Youtube, so go find it and listen. It fits the people we have elected to higher positions and what they have done along the way with the power of their votes in congress and the senate and the presidency.

    • Exactly right, can you imagine the shape this country would be in if he had been appointed to the SC? The DOJ has no business sticking their nose into states business and every state AG should be sending these letters.

  2. Funny how the usual suspects who cry big tears over non existent church/state violations are dead silent regarding the disproportionate impact of electioneering in black churches.

  3. Garland is a dishonest US Attorney General. The entire Department of Justice has been corrupted by him. He’s been getting even with Republicans ever since his confirmation to the US Supreme Court was denied in the Senate.

  4. It is not possible to have a secure election without requiring ID for voters. I’ve said this before on here, and I’ll say it again: Mail in ballots, drop boxes and voting machines are all in place specifically and explicitly for the purpose of cheating. Any system that involves software or internet connections is by default far too corruptible for voting. Paper ballots and hand counts at the precinct level should be way elections are done. There is no defensible reason for the forced application of technology for elections. When it comes to elections and voting, simpler is always better. Period.

  5. Why would anyone expect a lawless regime who ignores the Constitution to care about lawsuits?

    • Yet the Dunleavy Administrator keeps filing them. Dunleavy and his cronies have shown that the rules only apply to the other guys, not to themselves.

  6. America – The only nation in the world where you need a government issued photo ID to purchase Sudafed but can vote to influence the very direction of the country simply because you are physically present. Wow. Treg Taylor is correct and deserves our support.

  7. We can make up whatever rules we want to those who might vote for the D’s have a harder time. I propose we only be allowed to cast ballots in Wasilla, on the first Tuesday of November in even number years. If you can’t get there to bad. We are the Republicans and we cheat, but blame the other guy.

  8. ID for driving, smoking, drinking alcohol, buying weed, applying for welfare, going to school, going to work & using a bank.
    BUT no ID for voting?
    Why?

    Because minorities, young people & the poor might not have IDs.
    It is unbelievable how simplistic Democrats are.

    Hey idiots, if your pathetic voters don’t have ID, what makes you think they will have a stamp, bus fare or be able to make it out of their house & travel to your crooked drop box?
    Remember your voters are Democrats, so therefore mentally handicapped.

  9. But there has been no fraud, no problems with mail-in ballots, no problems. These rules are only meant to defraud citizens of the right to vote. What are you so scared of? Maybe your policies are not that popular.

  10. Just watch the Documentary “Kill Chain” and you will be sick with what is happening since 2006. They even hacked the “My Alaska” data base and the state sent out Letters for your Credit Reports to be monitored

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