Week In Review 12-6-2019
The security of our elections has been scrutinized since the 2016 election. It was also a prevalent theme during the House Intelligence Committee's recent impeachment hearing.
President Donald Trump and the GOP have suggested Ukraine meddled in the 2016 campaign. However, evidence points to the Russians. The fact that we are even discussing two foreign countries meddling in our election is reason for concern.
Following the Committee's release of its report on the impeachment case against Trump, Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) said that the President's actions seek to "undermine the integrity of the next election."
There is no denying that our election process, the bedrock of our democracy, was vulnerable to foreign interference - and still is. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (D-KY) refuses to take action.
"[Mitch McConnell] knows full well that blocking election security legislation makes it easier for Russia and other foreign powers to attack the next election," said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) "And my sense is this is a price Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump are willing to accept."
The House has passed three election security bills. The most recent bill requires campaigns to report any illicit offers of assistance by foreign governments or agents and would take steps to ensure that online political advertisements are subject to the same rules as TV and radio ads.
The House passed $600 million to help states bolster election security. The Senate reluctantly passed $250 million for election security. The final amount will be negotiated by the House and Senate as part of a final spending bill. The Senate will not be eager to provide more funding.
At home voter suppression is also influencing our elections and weakening the process. This week the House approved a bill that would restore key sections of the Voting Rights Act to help prevent voter suppression in the South and other areas.
Our founding leaders established a representative form of government. This can only be achieved when everyone eligible to vote is allowed to participate - and when there is no foreign interference in our elections.
Voting matters. Elections matter.