WASHINGTON, D.C. – Speaking on the Senate floor this afternoon, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) criticized President Trump’s ongoing misinformation campaign against the security of mail-in voting and called on her colleagues to make needed investments in election infrastructure ahead of this fall’s election.
“I’m kind of questioning whether the heat of Washington D.C. has gotten to people. Clearly it has been a record July here with ninety-plus degree temperatures every day. But the notion that we should somehow cancel the election in the fall, I think, is either the heat of the moment, or just clear wrong-headedness,” Cantwell said.
Speaking directly to President Trump, Cantwell said: “Stop trying to cancel the election based on the success of what has empowered more Americans to vote and be involved and be educated in our democracy. Let America vote.”
In her remarks, Cantwell showed off the ease and security of Washington state’s vote-by-mail system, using her August 4 primary ballot as an example. She said: “And so I just thought it was a great opportunity to come to the Senate floor and put a stop, really, to the myth that I think the president is continuing to create, that you cannot vote by mail. So, here is my mail-in-ballot.”
For months, congressional Democrats have pushed for investment in election security and infrastructure but Senate Republicans have largely refused to take action. Speaking about bipartisan comments from Republicans and Democrats today rebuffing Trump and confirming that this fall’s election will not be delayed, Cantwell said: “I am at least heartened to hear that my Republican colleagues here in the Senate have squashed the President’s idea of canceling the election. Now what I want to hear is, are they going to help us get the dollars to put the systems in place to allow Americans to vote with confidence? Not to constantly hear an undermining of that process, but a support of that process. And not to undermine vote-by-mail because it’s worked in Washington.”
Cantwell has been a long-time advocate of investment to improve election security and make sure every American citizen has the ability to vote. Last week, she joined a bipartisan group of colleagues in introducing legislation— the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act—to restore and strengthen the Voting Rights Act. In 2018 and 2019, she introduced legislation to invest in election security and protect American elections from threats of foreign interference. And as the U.S. Post Office (USPS) becomes an increasingly important part of election infrastructure, Cantwell recently joined colleagues in calling for more funding for the USPS.
“Well, I think instead of suggesting that the election be canceled, the president should be advocating that Congress pass aid and assistance to states to make sure that during the COVID pandemic, things are in place so that poll workers can get to their jobs on time, that they can work effectively in doing that and protect their health and security, and protect the health and security of the public,” Cantwell continued.