After the hotly contested election in 2000, Republicans and Democrats came together to pass the bipartisan Help America Vote Act ("HAVA"). HAVA was a response to the chaos of the 2000 Florida recount. HAVA was not perfect but it represented a good faith effort on all sides to come together and passed 357-48 in the House and 92-2 in the Senate. This should be the way all election reform is done. Unfortunately, it is not true anymore.
Fast forward to 2019 and we have the Democrats trying to pass HR 1, a sweeping election reform without Republican input. The bill was rightly dubbed the Democrat Politician Protection Act. No Republicans supported it.
Part of the failure of HR 1 is that it addressed the far left’s wish list and not the problems facing the country in election administration. For example, HR 1 did little to address the Russian interference problem identified in the Mueller report. Next, Democrats forced through an election security bill that had the support of exactly one Republican.
Republicans have done something and are doing something on election security. As Rep. Rodney Davis, Ranking Member on the Committee on House Administration, notes in a recent op-ed entitled Three ways Republicans in Congress have worked to protect American voters:
Thanks primarily to Republicans, who held the majority in Congress during the last mid-term election, the federal government provided hundreds of millions of dollars to states to bolster their election infrastructure and security efforts. Those efforts paid off in the 2018 election, which proceeded without the same issues we saw in 2016.
Of course, Democrats are not going to give Republicans any credit and have even taken to defaming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. As Davis further points out:
Instead of working with their Republican colleagues to create legislation that would protect American voters, we continue to hear false claims that Republicans don’t want to secure elections and careless, pointed attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, including an implication that McConnell’s decision not to take up their partisan election legislation makes him a Russian operative.
Rep. Davis is not just defending Republicans or talking about the past. He has also introduced H.R. 3412: The Election Security Assistance Act to deal with the problem of Russian interference. RNLA supports HR 3412.
Democrats should support Rep. Davis’ bill or at least work with him to draft a solution. We’re not holding our breath.