McConnell plays down attacks on election officials as Senate voting rights battle escalates

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Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell called concerns about politically motivated dismissals of election officials “ridiculous”. The Kentucky senator made the remarks at a press conference on Tuesday as Senate Democrats prepare for another attempt to push a voting rights bill through the equally divided chamber.

The Democrats’ Free Voting Act seeks to protect voters from restrictive measures adopted by state legislatures following the 2020 election. The law also includes a provision to protect officials administering federal elections from dismissal for dismissal. political reasons.

McConnell rejected the idea that any state legislature would be “foolish enough” not to honor the results of an election.

“I think they assume that the people who are elected to legislatures are idiots,” McConnell said. “They are also elected by the people. Why would a US legislature want to override the vote count? They must also be elected by this people.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke to reporters on Tuesday, rejecting the idea that state lawmakers would undermine the will of voters.
Anna Moneymaker // Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday that the voting rights of people of color, city dwellers, people with disabilities and others were in jeopardy across the country. He said the attacks were motivated by false claims that widespread electoral fraud prevented former President Donald Trump from winning the 2020 election.

“We have seen civil servants – those civil servants whose only job is to count the votes accurately – being threatened by the same forces,” Schumer said. He added that “democracy is at stake here”.

Schumer’s office could not be reached on Tuesday evening by News week for comment.

The non-partisan United States United Democracy Center last month released a report detailing more than 260 bills introduced by Republican lawmakers in states the group described as “promoting election sabotage.” Of those bills, 32 became law in 17 states.

The report cites examples in battlefield states, including Pennsylvania, where lawmakers are proposing a constitutional amendment that would allow the legislature to override regulations issued by the state’s chief electoral officer.

In Wisconsin, lawmakers have targeted the bipartisan state election commission, according to the report. Michigan’s local Republican parties replaced those appointed to county canvassing boards in eight of the state’s 11 largest counties, according to the report.

Across the country, workers and election officials have faced harassment and death threats in the wake of the 2020 elections.

The Freedom to Vote Act would allow election officials to take legal action if they are dismissed for reasons other than “gross negligence, dereliction of duty or wrongdoing in the performance of their duties,” according to an analysis by the nonprofit Brennan Center for Justice at New York University. Faculty of Law. The legislation also adds protections against intimidation of election workers.

Schumer said if Republicans continued to block the bill, he would move forward with a Senate filibuster amendment proposal later this month.

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