But Pence also made claims about what happened in the 2020 election. Most notably, he began the article by claiming that the election involved “significant voting irregularities.”
Unlike Trump, Pence did not say the election involved significant “fraud.” But he left his vaguer claim about “voting irregularities” wide open for readers to interpret as an endorsement of Trump’s fraud lie.
Pence’s claims about HR 1
Pence claimed that under the bill, “voter ID would be banned from coast to coast.”
Facts First: This is false. The bill does not prohibit states from having voter identification requirements. Rather, it requires states to allow voters who do not show ID to instead submit a signed statement under penalty of perjury attesting to their identity and eligibility to vote.
Undocumented immigrants and voting
Pence suggested that the bill would allow undocumented immigrants to register to vote. Specifically, he claimed that by requiring “automatic voter registration for any individual listed in state and federal government databases,” like the Department of Motor Vehicles and welfare offices, the bill would ensure “that millions of illegal immigrants are quickly registered to vote.”
Facts First: This is false. The bill does not change current law that bans people who aren’t citizens of the United States, including undocumented immigrants, from voting in federal elections. The bill makes clear that people would still have to affirm that they are US citizens before they are added to the voter rolls. It also says that the government agencies involved in the process are to inform only US citizens that they will be registered to vote unless they choose to opt out. And it says the agencies are required to send state elections officials not only people’s names but “information showing that the individual is a citizen of the United States.”
Regardless: Pence was wrong in suggesting that “any individual” listed in government databases would be registered to vote regardless of their citizenship status.
The deadline for mail-in ballots
Pence wrote that “states would be required to count every mail-in vote that arrives up to 10 days after Election Day.”
Facts First: This is misleading at best. The bill requires states to accept mail-in ballots that arrive up to 10 days after Election Day only if these ballots are mailed on or before Election Day. Ballots mailed after Election Day would not be counted even if they arrived before the 10-day deadline.
“This proposal does not allow individuals to vote after Election Day and would help ensure that all valid ballots are counted regardless of postal delays that are outside the control of the voter,” Sarah Brannon, managing attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights Project, said in an email.
Voting by formerly incarcerated people
Pence wrote that the passage of the bill would mean “felons would be able to vote the moment they set foot out of prison.”
Facts First: This is correct. Under the bill, people who have committed felonies would be allowed to vote in federal elections unless they are currently incarcerated.
“Individuals who have completed a felony sentence would have their right to vote in federal elections reinstated once they are released from custody or receive a probation sentence,” Matthew Weil, director of the Elections Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center think tank, said in an email. “States would be required to notify these individuals of their re-enfranchisement.”
In a bipartisan vote this week, the House voted 328 to 97 to defeat an amendment from progressive Democrats to extend federal voting rights to people who are still incarcerated.
“Universal” mail-in ballots
Pence claimed that “the bill would force states to adopt universal mail-in ballots.”
Facts First: The accuracy of this claim depends on how you define the phrase “universal mail-in ballots.” Specifically, it is only accurate if you define the phrase differently than Trump himself appeared to define it during the 2020 campaign.
The Democrats’ bill does not require states to send out ballots that voters have not explicitly solicited. Rather, the bill requires states to give all voters the option of requesting a mail-in ballot without an excuse.
“H.R. 1 would require a no-excuse absentee voting process for all federal elections. This is different from what some call ‘universal mail-in ballots,'” said Weil of the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Pence said that, under the bill, “congressional districts would be redrawn by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats.”
What constitutes an “unaccountable bureaucrat” is up for debate, but the commissions are not designed to be filled by government employees as Pence’s language may have suggested. Members of the public would be able to apply; political consultants, lobbyists and government contractors would be banned.
Undocumented immigrants and representation
Pence said that, under the bill, “illegal immigrants and law-abiding American citizens would receive equal representation in Congress.”
Weiner of the Brennan Center said that Pence was “dressing up the status quo as something new and nefarious.”