Growing up in one of the most politically active communities in Houston, I was taught from an early age that voting was our most important civic duty. My father would always say “If you don’t vote, you don’t count.” In those days, people had a great deal of confidence in one another and our electoral process. We believed that our vote stood as an instrument necessary to elevate America to its greatest potential, and we believed that everyone’s vote should be respected.

However, the thirst for power has now eclipsed the passion for integrity. The extreme left has set itself on a course to redefine America—the first step of which is securing the gavel for many years to come. They have unified their forces around a single target: breaking down the integrity of our election system.

Following the 2020 election, polls say that 74 million Americans feel that the election results were not accurate. According to a Gallup poll, nearly 60% of Americans didn’t have confidence in the honesty of our elections. Even within the Democrat party, 30% do not trust the outcomes from 2020.

With trust in our elections continuing to erode, leadership on the left and global corporations have combined money, politics, and race to create a climate that would allow them to re-write the rules to secure power in perpetuity. The first phase of this strategy is to eliminate voter identification requirements, remove signature verification of mail-in ballots, and promote universal mail-in voting along with ballot harvesting.

Fortunately, there are reasonable measures that can re-establish the lost trust in our system and prevent fraud. Chairman Briscoe Cain filed House Bill 6, which has passed his Elections Committee and stands ready for a floor vote. HB 6 codifies the rules on mail-in ballots, bans the unlawful distribution of unrequested mail-in-ballot applications, and it protects voters from illegal coercion regardless of where they vote. Additionally, Sen. Bryan Hughes has won Senate passage of Senate Bill 7, which now moves to the House. SB 7 strengthens poll watcher protections, requires a verifiable voter paper trail, and secures more timely investigations into evidence of alleged voter fraud.

These bills are commendable steps, but they must include voter ID for mail-in ballots to truly restore trust and integrity.

While some claim that these measures lead to voter suppression and are reminiscent of the days of Jim Crow laws, opponents of election integrity have never been able to produce a single case of voter suppression. The fact is, most Texans and Americans, regardless of their race, support common-sense ballot integrity measures such as ID laws, requiring that those who request a ballot-by-mail are actually eligible for a ballot-by-mail, as well as not allowing administrators to change the rules of the game without Legislature approval.

In a poll conducted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, more than four out of five (81%) of Texans said that voting in person and by mail should have the same voter identification requirements; and from the same poll, 60% believed that voting by mail should be available only to citizens who are elderly, disabled, away from their primary residence for work, or military.

Not only are these ideas the opposite of discrimination, they are also precisely the kind of measures we need in order to restore trust and confidence in our elections.

No voter should have to question if their vote counts, just because we’ve made it too easy for ineligible voters to cast ballots.