Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican probably voted most punchable by his colleagues in the Senate, had another embarrassing self-own on Twitter this week. "One way of determining fraud in mail-in ballots would be to examine a random sample of a few thousand to find the rate of fraud," he wrote. "If fraud rate is low, voters may be convinced of the elections legitimacy. If the fraud rate is high, then every mail-in ballot should be examined."
"Guess what?" half of Twitter informed him—those are called "risk-limiting audits" and Kentucky already has that law on the books. What's more, the House passed legislation to make those audits federal and Republicans blocked them from coming to the Senate floor. Republicans who are now shouting "fraud" in fact have made a hobby out of blocking election security legislation as stand alone bills or as part of larger packages over the last two years.
After the pandemic hit, Democrats in the House and Senate tried to pass legislation to help states deal with what Paul and Republicans are screaming fraud over now—a massive wave of mail-in ballots spurred by voter safety concerns over COVID-19. That included funding specifically for risk-limiting audits, $20 million for it, in fact. Mitch McConnell wouldn't even think about bringing that to the floor. Republicans called it part of her "liberal wish list." Securing elections from the supposed "fraud" they're now trying to hype.
Before the pandemic, the issue that was topmost in was foreign election meddling. Special counsel Robert Mueller warned about it in the summer of 2019. FBI Director Christopher Wray warned about it earlier this year. But for a solid who years, McConnell and team had been fighting even modest efforts to prevent it.
In June, 2019, they blocked legislation requiring presidential campaigns to report offers from foreign government for election assistance to the FBI. Nope. Trump might have needed Putin, so no go there. They did it again a few months later, blocking three different bills that would have helped states beef up their security and try to limit foreign interference.
So spare us the scaremongering now, Rand and every other Republican. We dodged a bullet this time. States were able to mostly scrabble together their elections, and the fact that it was so hugely mail-in, the possibilities for Russian hacking were minimal. That's no thanks at all to any Republican.
Posted with permission from Daily Kos.