Trump just killed a bipartisan effort save all future elections from Russian attacks

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While it appears increasingly likely that a blue wave is building to wipe out the Republican congressional majority come the mid-terms this November, it’s still a far from guaranteed outcome.

GOP-favored gerrymandering poses a major obstacle as does a repeat of the foreign interference we witnessed during the 2016 election. The latter problem could be addressed by bipartisan efforts, but the Trump administration has failed to take any meaningful steps to ensure the security of the election. The reason why is obvious.

Russia, under the direct orders of Vladimir Putin, actively sought to help get Trump into the White House in order to weaken the United States. Now that the real estate conman is president, Russia has a vested interest in maintaining Republican control of Congress so that Trump can continue to wreak havoc without fear of reprisal from a Democratic majority. It’s an unprecedented dereliction of duty on the part of the administration, and an indefensible betrayal of the values that underpin our democracy.

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Now, it appears that the White House is no longer even bothering to hide their ill intentions. Yahoo News reports that a bill intended to bolster election security has been blocked by the Trump administration.

The legislation looked poised to move out of the Senate Rules Committee, but then the administration stepped in and Committee Chairman Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) subsequently refused to give the bill the chairman’s mark it would need to proceed.

The Secure Elections Act, a bill which had support from prominent Democrats and Republicans alike, would give security clearance to to each state’s highest election official, arming them against election threats as they are discovered. The bill would also codify cooperation and intelligence sharing between the Department of Homeland Security and individual states.

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The act would also mandate a “statistically significant audit” after each federal election and would encourage states to use paper voting, a method which provides a safeguard against cyber interference.

Yahoo states that White House Spokeswoman Lindsay Walters claims the administration  “appreciates Congress’s interest in election security” but insisted that DHS doesn’t need any further help in improve election security. The excuse is as weak as it is transparent. The United States needs every bit of increased protection it can get. Trump, on the other hand, will benefit greatly from continued election weaknesses, as they will allow his Russian allies to continue undermining democracy in his favor.

If there was any need for more evidence that Trump is serving himself and not the interests of the country he swore to defend, now we have it. This president has no sense of patriotism and no loyalty to the Republic. The only way forward is for Americans to head to the ballot boxes in such great numbers that it counteracts the Republican efforts to sabotage the vote.

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Robert Haffey

Robert Haffey is a political writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.

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