In late October, Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) blocked a key bill that brought more security to American elections, known as H.R. 1., even though it had passed the House.
It wasn’t the first time.
In fact, Senate majority leader ‘Moscow Mitch’ McConnell has been repeatedly criticized for blocking election security bills, so the Republicans could maintain deniability about 2020.
Now even officials in his home state of Kentucky are worried.
“Mitch’s inaction is directly harming his home state,” Blevins said. “There’s no question in my mind.”
That is Don Blevins, Jr., the clerk at Fayette County. He told Mother Jones that a range of possible threats could disrupt elections in his home state — from bomb scares to jamming internet connections used to verify voter registration.
Larry Norden, director of the Brennan Center’s election reform program, said Mitch McConnell was to blame:
“At the end of the day, around the country, election jurisdictions are underfunded, we don’t have national standards or a floor for election security for the most part. And he’s [McConnell] one of the main reasons we don’t.”
Impact in recent elections
The spare funding of infrastructure also impacted the recent election for Governor, Mother Jones reports.
When Andy Beshear won the race, 29 of 120 Kentucky counties voted on machines with no voter-verifiable paper trail. They are hampered by a lack of funds.
Democrats passed the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act in June 2019, which allocated over $1 billion to states and mandated voting machines be manufactured in the United States, use voter-verified paper ballots, and not be connected to the internet.
But Republicans won’t let that pass the senate.
As Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said recently:
“[Mitch McConnell] knows full well that blocking election security legislation makes it easier for Russia and other foreign powers to attack the next election. And my sense is this is a price Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump are willing to accept.”