Heritage Election Reform Expert Refutes Mother Jones’ Malicious Claims

Heritage Election Reform Expert Refutes Mother Jones’ Malicious Claims

May 14, 2021 2 min read

WASHINGTON — Hans von Spakovsky, manager of The Heritage Foundation’s Election Law Reform Initiative and senior legal fellow, refuted false and incorrect assertions published Thursday by Mother Jones, a far-left tabloid with a history of making disreputable attacks on conservatives.

Every eligible American citizen should have the opportunity to participate in our electoral system. Contrary to the maliciously false claims in the Mother Jones story, I have worked hard for many years to ensure that every eligible citizen is able to vote.

One of the greatest gifts of American citizenship, which I know as a first-generation American whose parents experienced the tyranny of dictatorship, is participation in our political process. But that gift is subverted when election integrity is not taken seriously and safeguards to protect it are not put in place.

That’s why Heritage has worked tirelessly to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat. Unlike the false narratives that are being spread by the media and many on the left, bills like the one in Georgia protect Americans’ right to vote by implementing commonsense voter integrity initiatives that diminish opportunities for election fraud, are overwhelmingly supported by the American people, and do not prevent eligible Americans from registering and voting.

On the other hand, legislation like HR 1 would disenfranchise legitimate voters by having their votes cancelled by ineligible voters and would threaten Americans’ faith in our electoral system.

Mother Jones’ article also incorrectly claims that I violated DOJ ethics rules when I published a law review article about voter ID. That is completely false; I consulted an ethics adviser at DOJ before doing so, who gave me approval for publication, as did my direct supervisor. DOJ employees routinely publish law review articles.

This was such a non-event that the Office of Professional Responsibility at DOJ, which is responsible for investigating all ethics violations of DOJ lawyers, including career lawyers, which I was, never investigated the matter because I was in full compliance with DOJ rules and regulations.

Additionally, Mother Jones’ article falsely claims that I overruled the career lawyers at DOJ to approve the Georgia voter ID law, which has now been in effect for over a decade with no problems. As outlined in the March 2013 report of the Inspector General of the Justice Department, “A Review of the Operations of the Voting Section of the Civil Rights Division,” the 30-year veteran career chief of the Voting Section, John Tanner, made the decision to preclear the law under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act after he concluded it was not discriminatory.

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