WASHINGTON D.C. — Republican Senator Roy Blunt addressed Congress on September 24, urging politicians and the public to take faith that the upcoming election will have safe and fair voting.
“Confidence in the voting process is the thread that holds the fabric of democracy together,” Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said. “The system is going to work.”
Blunt is the Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee and a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He said Congress has spent more than a billion dollars over the past four years updating internal voting systems. Various hearings and investigations have also highlighted previous issues, including foreign meddling.
However, Blunt’s words come just a day after his own party leader, President Donald Trump, again degraded the voting system. When asked if he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the November election, Trump deflected.
“We’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”
For the last few months, he has been criticizing mail in voting, suggesting it will lead to “massive fraud.” A pinned tweet on the president’s account states, “Democrats are Rigging our 2020 Election!”
Twitter has consistently added a alerts to Trumps tweets, encouraging those who see the tweet to “Learn how voting by mail is safe and secure.”
Blunt quoted Obama in his speech, saying, “‘There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig American elections, in part because they are so decentralized in the number of votes involved.’ Now, I think that’s right… he’s exactly right.”
Some reports throughout the country have sparked concern that increased mail-in voting may come with some issues. The same day Blunt spoke, a box of mail full of absentee ballots was found in a ditch in Wisconsin.
After Postmaster General Louis DeJoy set several cost-cutting measures for USPS this summer, mail delivery has lagged behind target dates in districts across the country. This raises the possibility that scores of mailed ballots could miss deadlines for reaching local election offices if voters wait too long. Missing a deadline is a key reason mail-in ballots get rejected.
A federal judge recently ruled that absentee ballots in Wisconsin can be counted up to six days after the Nov. 3 presidential election as long as they are postmarked by Election Day.
Blunt acknowledged that voting in person was the easiest and simplest way to make sure a person’s vote is counted. However, he reassured Congress that the other ways help to make America’s election system strong.
“The diversity of this system is the strength of the system,” Blunt said. If you don’t want to vote at a polling place on Election Day or can’t vote at a polling place on Election Day, you should still vote. Confidence in everything you hear or read should not be complete, but I think confidence that the election system itself is going to tabulate the results that came in and the votes that were cast is a pretty safe bet.”
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