Letter: Holding our elections hostage
U.S. intelligence officials recently informed U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers that Russia is once again targeting our elections and pointed out potential threats from other governments and nonstate actors. This is no surprise to anyone, except maybe Sen. Mitch McConnell, who, per instructions from the current president, has failed to take any action to try to stop election interference from foreign powers with interests hostile to ours.
The House has sent him at least nine election security bills, including the Securing America’s Federal Elections Act, or SAFE Act, which would require voting systems to use backup paper ballots and provide resources to states to improve election security. According to Newsweek, McConnell said he blocked that legislation because it was “highly partisan and came from the same folks who hyped up a conspiracy theory about Trump-Russia collusion.”
Most of the House bills are languishing in the stack of potential legislation that McConnell refuses to even take to the floor of the Senate. Some senators have not been so blind to the threats. Sens. Rubio and Van Holland sponsored a bill they called the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines — the DETER Act.
Sens. Warner, Klobuchar and Wyden sponsored a bill that included, among other things, backup paper ballots and resources to the states. Both bills had bipartisan sponsors, but McConnell has steadfastly refused to even try to pass any elections security bills.
None of this is a surprise, but it is a disgrace. Clearly, re-electing his current boss is more important to McConnell than protecting our elections from outside interference. The day will surely come when even Mitch McConnell regrets his inaction.
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Unity without accountability is impossible or, at best, hollow. We cannot expect to move forward without acknowledging where civil society came off the rails. That holds true all the way from the White House to…