'Moscow Mitch' doesn't want to admit America's election systems are vulnerable, but high-profile conservatives are pressuring him to deal with it.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell isn't a man of principle, but he has shown unwavering commitment to one thing of late: refusing to allow a Senate vote on election security. However, his opposition is becoming too much even for other conservatives.
The most recent conservative activists to demand McConnell deal with America's aging election equipment and vulnerability to hacking are Grover Norquist and Adam Brandon.
Norquist is more typically known for his hatred of taxes and his love of vaping, while Brandon is the president of FreedomWorks, a tea party-aligned super PAC. Neither seems like the typical type to get riled up about election security. But the state of America's election system is so grim that even these two anti-taxers want Congress to spend money to fix it.
Norquist's reasons aren't terribly noble. He wants election security because, according to him, "I expect to be winning elections for the next 20 years and I don't want the Democrats to explain that every single one of those was stolen."
Brandon and Norquist are calling upon McConnell to allow a vote on the Secure Elections Act, which already has bipartisan support. It's not nearly as far-reaching or rigorous as the bill passed by Democrats in the House, but it's better than nothing.
The Senate bill acknowledges that protecting elections is a national security priority and that "an attack on our election systems by a foreign power is a hostile act." It also provides funding for states to upgrade voting machines to those with verifiable paper ballots.
If this sounds a bit familiar, it's because just last month, a different group of high-level Republicans begged McConnell to take action. Led by conservative writer Bill Kristol, Republicans for the Rule of Law is running ads urging Republican senators to pressure the majority leader to allow a vote.
Mitch McConnell says election security is a partisan issue that Democrats have raised to score political points, as he willfully ignores that Russian meddling in the 2016 election was widespread. But he's rapidly losing GOP support for that ludicrous stance. Maybe high-profile shaming from his own party will finally force him to act.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.