Fiery controversy surrounds House Resolution 1, which would permit Congress to promulgate a federal election code, binding on all 50 states. The measure offends the Constitution and its motives are, mildly put, suspect.

Under the guise of “voting rights,” HR1 seeks to codify what were meant to be temporary COVID-19 emergency-voting procedures. Its provisions include same-day registration; automatic registration for certain groups; elimination of voter IDs, even at election-day polls; ballot harvesting; ubiquitous, unsecured drop boxes; and pandemic-era, unrestricted mail-in voting sans photo voter ID or any other identifying marker. All of those measures are actual or potential organs of fraud represented as weapons against Jim Crow.

Contrast HR1 to Georgia’s recent ballot integrity legislation, which, among other positive things, requires the same level of voter ID for mail-in votes as it does for those cast in person on Election Day; establishes reasonable deadlines for requesting a mail-in ballot; limits drop box locations to early voting sites, open during regular voting hours under constant surveillance by election security staff; and rolls back unlimited mail-in voting that potentially obviates election-day, in-the-flesh voting at intensely local precincts — a venerable practice fundamental to American democracy. The left, which includes HR1’s framers, has assailed Georgia’s law, while singling out voter ID as a voter-suppression cudgel. Naysayers either haven’t examined the Georgia law or choose to ignore what they read.

Common sense tells us that when a voter shows up at the polls, he/she should be able to confirm: “I am who I claim to be.” That fundamental declaration, duly documented by a driver’s license, state ID card or other probative means, preserves and defends that voter’s franchise. No one can vote in his/her place.

That’s hardly voter suppression: To the contrary, it’s voter protection. The mail-in voter deserves the same safeguard.

There, “I am who I claim to be” can only be verified by some identifying marker on that ballot, such as a driver’s license or state ID number, date of birth and/or the last four digits of the Social Security number. HR1 casts that requirement aside. So much for voting rights.

The left charges the ID requisite is a barrier to minority voting rights. That claim is cruel sophistry. Anyone can secure a state ID card. If one drives, he/she is issued a license, in essence an ID document. Everyone should know his/her birth date or Social Security number, both valid, alternative ID markers.

Jim Crow is gone with the wind, thank God. It’s time to abandon demagoguery and get on with the nation’s business.

JON GEGENHEIMER

Jefferson Parish clerk of court

Gretna