Analysis: In 2019, Republicans Have Rejected Three Election-Security Bills


Republican senators appear determined to keep election security bills from reaching a vote in their chamber.

Senate Republicans have made a habit this year of rejecting election security bills, despite ample evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election and continues its efforts heading into 2020.

On three separate occasions in 2019, GOP senators blocked votes on bills that shore up U.S. election infrastructure and process before Americans head to the polls, MSNBC reported this week.

Most recently, the Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act — brought by a bipartisan pair of senators — was shot down by Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), who claimed the legislation was meant to target the Trump administration rather than election interference.

“The mechanisms in this bill have been designed more to attack the Trump administration and Republicans than to attack the Russians and those who would attack our country and our elections,” he said.

But Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), who introduced the bill alongside Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), countered that “This has nothing to do with President Trump, this has to do with protecting our elections.”

In October, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) blocked an attempt by Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) to pass a collection of election-related bills.

And after the House passed the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act — which MSNBC noted “would, among other things, require candidates to notify law enforcement authorities in the event of a foreign power offering campaign assistance” — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would ignore that bill as well.

Despite occasionally calling for a more “bipartisan” effort to address U.S. election legislation, Republicans repeatedly balk at the opportunity to meaningfully address securing U.S. elections.

At some point, one must begin to wonder if there are any changes to be made that would bring the GOP on board with shoring up the democratic process.

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