The House passed a bill to help states secure their elections from any hacking attempts.
The House on Thursday passed a bill that would give states resources to beef up their election infrastructure, helping them pay for systems that guard against any attempts to hack into electronic voting systems to change the results of an election.
All but one Republican voted against the bill, which was written in response to attempts by Russia in 2016 to hack into state voting systems as part of concerted attacks on American democracy.
The bill should be totally uncontroversial.
According to a summary of the bill, the SAFE Act "establishes requirements for voting systems, including that systems (1) use individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballots; (2) make a voter's marked ballot available for inspection and verification by the voter before the vote is cast; (3) ensure that individuals with disabilities are given an equivalent opportunity to vote, including with privacy and independence, in a manner that produces a voter-verified paper ballot; and (4) be manufactured in the United States."
The bill also allocates $600 million to the Election Assistance Commission to help states makes the changes to their voting systems.
Republicans' objections to the bill were absurd.
"Mandating the exclusive use of paper ballots will create longer lines at polling places and can be lost, destroyed or manipulated far easier than electronic voting machines with a paper trail backup," Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) said on the House floor, according to the Hill.
Davis failed to mention that the bill doesn't actually ban electronic voting machines — it just makes them more secure, and requires the "paper trail backup" that Davis himself said would be a good idea.
Of course, even though the House did its job to pass legislation to secure elections, there's almost no chance that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would let it come to a vote in the Senate. He's bragged about being the "grim reaper" who kills all House Democratic-passed bills, no matter how meritorious or beneficial they'd be to Americans.
Securing elections should be a bipartisan effort.
And the fact that Republicans are so against ensuring every vote be counted correctly should raise eyebrows.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.