Mike Pence comes out firmly against voting rights

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Despite being threatened with public hanging by the pro-Trump mob at the Capitol, Mike Pence said he empathizes with their concerns about the 2020 election.

Mike Pence on Wednesday morning finally broke his silence nearly two full months after a mob of Donald Trump-supporting insurrectionists sought to hang him during their violent attack on the Capitol, saying that he actually "share[s] the concerns ... about the integrity of the 2020 election."

Pence made the comments in an op-ed published in the Daily Signal, a right-wing outlet run by the conservative Heritage Foundation, in which he sought to explain his role presiding over the certification of the Electoral College results on Jan. 6 — when a pro-Trump mob sought to prevent Congress from making President Joe Biden's victory official.

The attack left five people dead, with evidence emerging in the days after the insurrection that showed Pence and other lawmakers who were in the Capitol were in grave danger. In fact, the evidence showed the insurrectionists were hunting for Pence in the building, with some chanting that they wanted to hang him.

While Pence had previously said he did not have the Constitutional authority to block the certification of the Electoral College results, he wrote in the op-ed on Wednesday that he did want to oversee a "substantive discussion" about the 2020 election, falsely saying there were "troubling voting irregularities."

His comments mirror the lies Trump and other Republicans told about the election results, which helped lead to the Jan. 6 attack.

They are also not true, with dozens of judges finding no evidence of voter fraud and Trump's own former attorney general, William Barr, also saying there was not fraud that could have changed the outcome.

However, Pence continued to promote that voter fraud lie and used it to push back against Democratic efforts to pass H.R. 1 — a pro-democracy bill on the precipice of passing the House that would make it easier to register to vote and easier to cast ballots.

He also endorsed efforts by Republican-run state legislatures across the country to pass laws that suppress the vote, and said that the Democratic effort to pass H.R. 1 to stop the GOP voter suppression laws was an effort to "further erode confidence in our elections, and forever dilute the votes of legally qualified eligible voters." He based that belief on lies about what the bill does.

H.R. 1 is slated to pass the House, despite Republican opposition.

Its fate is less certain in the Senate.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will put it up for a vote. But it's unlikely there are enough — or even any — Republican senators who support the bill for it to avoid the filibuster.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.