Rep. Rush Holt’s (D-N.J.) Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act seemed like the kind of bill that should sail through Congress. The legislation would help local governments pay for paper trails and audits for electronic voting machines, adding safeguards to potential recounts and a layer of integrity to the election process.
Indeed, Holt’s bill was so obviously worthwhile, when it came for a vote in the House Administration Committee a few weeks ago, even House Republicans voted for it — unanimously.
It was a very encouraging development. Five years ago, Holt nearly passed a similar bill, before it was blocked by far-right lawmakers. That the bill cleared committee unanimously suggested the elections in 2008 would not be marred by some of the problems we’ve seen in recent cycles. Finally, something everyone could agree on.
[T]wo weeks later, those same Republican members voted against moving the bill to the House floor. It would have taken a two-thirds vote to push the bill to the floor; with most House Republicans opposed, the bill didn’t make it that far. [...]
The result: The elections in November will likely be marred by the same accusations of fraud and error involving voting machines that arose in the aftermath of the 2004 presidential race.
And we'll know who tried to help -- and who got in the way.