Mitch McConnell thinks that increased access to the ballot box is a bad thing, of course.
On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor of the Senate to denounce a Democratic bill in the House that would make it easier for people to vote.
It's telling, but not surprising, that the GOP doesn't want to enact measures that would help increase voter turnout. When voter suppression succeeds, conservatives win.
The Democratic bill is a far-reaching effort that would allow for automatic voter registration, increase early voting, and improve voter access through measures like making Election Day a federal holiday and actively encouraging private employers to give workers Election Day off.
Of course, McConnell scorned that, calling it a "new paid holiday for government workers."
On the House floor, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) sounded the same note, saying that making Election Day a federal holiday is "not the respect taxpayers deserve." Many taxpayers would presumably welcome the idea that more people got the opportunity to vote.
McConnell is also unhappy about another provision in the bill that would let federal employees take up to six days off to undergo training and work at polling places on Election Day. McConnell called it a giveaway to "any federal bureaucrat who decides they would like to hang out at the polls during an election" and that government workers would use that time to go work on Democratic campaigns.
Of course, the bill says no such thing. It gives federal workers paid leave to provide "election administration assistance to a State or unit of local government at a polling place on the date of any election" and time to receive training to provide that assistance.
Working at the polling place isn't working on a campaign, and people need the training to work in polling places. Only in the minds of voter suppression enthusiasts like the GOP would training more people to work at the polls be viewed as something that favors their opponents.
McConnell wound up his remarks by claiming darkly that the Democratic bill is "a power grab that is smelling more and more exactly like what it is." Believing that increased voter access is a "power grab" is now something the GOP is happy to say right on the Senate floor rather than just behind closed doors.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.