Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked three bills by Democrats this week that would have increased election security amid the specter of foreign interference in the 2020 election, according to reports.
The Democratic legislation would have required campaigns to alert the FBI and Federal Election Commission about offers of foreign assistance and also called for voting machines to be disconnected from the internet.
But consent for the proposals was shot down, along with legislation to provide more election funding, after Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee opposed requests put forth by three Democratic senators, according to The Hill.
Blackburn defended her actions on Twitter.
Under Senate rules, any senator can ask for unanimous consent to pass a bill, but only one senator is required to object and block the requests.
Democratic Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Ron Wyden of Oregon tried to clear the election security bills Tuesday, The Hill reported.
After objecting, Blackburn accused Democrats of only trying to create talking points for the campaign trail.
“They are attempting to bypass this body’s Rules Committee on behalf of various bills that will seize control over elections from the states and take it from the states and where do they want to put it? They want it to rest in the hands of Washington, D.C., bureaucrats,” she said.
Now that Iowa and New Hampshire are in the bag, voting season is in full swing with ballots to be cast next in Nevada and South Carolina.
Super Tuesday is also right around the corner, when more than one-third of America’s voting population in 14 states and American Samoa is expected to vote March 3. Georgia’s primary is March 24.
The Securing America's Federal Elections, or SAFE, Act — the third bill Democrats tried to clear — authorizes more funding for the Election Assistance Commission and includes language that would ban voting machines from being connected to the internet and being produced in foreign countries, The Hill reported.
Wyden commented about the matter Tuesday, saying not having a nationwide ban on connecting voting machines to the internet was like “stashing our ballots in the Kremlin.”
There were even more voices on Twitter sounding off about the matter.
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