GOP Senator Blocks Bill To Boost Mail-In And Early Voting Amid Pandemic

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)Screengrab / Senator Roy Blunt / YouTube

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Sen. says passing the bill would lead to state and local election officials having less control over elections.

According to The Hill, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) on Tuesday blocked an attempt by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to “push legislation through the Senate that would promote mail-in voting and expand early voting during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

  • Blunt, who is chairman of the elections-focused Senate Rules Committee, rejected Klobuchar’s attempt to pass the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act, introduced by Klobuchar and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in March. This bill would have provided $3 million to the Election Assistance Commission to implement the new proposed requirements, The Hill reported.
  • The bill would have required states to expand early voting to 20 days before the election, and extend the time for absentee ballots to be counted.

“I just don’t think this is the time to make this kind of fundamental change,” Blunt said. “There has been a real desire at the federal level to take over the elections process, I don’t think that’s a good idea, and if it was a good idea, it wouldn’t be a good idea six months before the election.”

  • According to The Hill, Klobuchar argued that “passage of the bill would ‘ensure voters do not have to choose between their right to vote and their health.’”
  • Klobuchar, who is the top Democrat on the Senate Rules Committee, pushed back on the narrative that mail-in voting “might increase ballot fraud and other interference efforts” by noting that in Oregon, “where residents have voted entirely by mail for more than two decades, there have only been about ‘a dozen cases of fraud,’” The Hill wrote.

”Support from the federal government is vital because we have seen states struggle when it comes to administering elections,” Klobuchar added. “With fewer than six months left before the general election, Congress must act now to ensure that states have the resources and the funding that they need.”

Read the full report here.

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