Former Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli testified in favor of voter ID laws and bans on ballot harvesting during a Wednesday appearance in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“It would help to get beyond the hyperbolic and libelous rhetoric that each and every rule or procedure is not only an onerous restriction, but is allegedly knee-jerkingly racist, particularly given that in America today is easier to vote than ever before,” said Cuccinelli, who also served as the Attorney General for the state of Virginia.
“Elections are the cornerstone of our constitutional republic, and confidence in them is crucial,” Cuccinelli told reporters before his testimony.
“It is not enough that our justice system produce the highest degree of accurate outcomes possible, it must be understood and viewed to produce those outcomes so that America can have confidence in our justice system. The same is true of our elections system,” he said in front of the Judiciary Committee.
Cuccinelli repeatedly pointed to a column by pollster Scott Rasmussen in which he noted that 26% of Americans did not trust the results of the 2016 election, and 31% did not trust the 2020 results.
Committee Chairman and Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal expressed opposition to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee (DNC), which upheld regulations on absentee ballot distribution and a ban on ballot harvesting. Blumenthal repeated his frequent call for Democrats to eliminate the filibuster to pass new election laws, including the S1 “For The People” Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. (RELATED: Biden Condemns SCOTUS Arizona Voting Law Decision, Says ‘Severe Damage’ Has Been Done To Voting Rights Act)
Committee Ranking Member and Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz slammed the legislation as “not protecting the right to vote,” but “stealing the right to vote.” He referred to it as the “Corrupt Politicians Act.”
Cuccinelli panned S1 as “undermining confidence in the outcome of elections.”
The “For The People” Act would ban states from requiring IDs to cast ballots and would legalize ballot harvesting in all 50 states.
Cuccinelli cited a 2018 congressional election that a judge ordered be re-run after a contractor for the Republican candidate illegally harvested ballots. The initial Republican candidate, Mark Harris, did not run in the special election.
“Biden and his allies on the radical left are trying to take over our elections, make it easier to cheat, and harder to prove,” he told reporters.
Many Republicans expressed concern about the pre-clearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which are included in the “For The People” Act.
“If your state moves your polling place here in Virginia, where I was from the firehouse to the to the schoolhouse, you had to get federal permission. If you moved from the cafeteria to the gym, you had to get federal permission,” Cuccinelli said.
Another witness, Judicial Watch attorney Russell Nobile, testified that a new pre-clearance requirement modeled after the one in the Voting Rights Act of 1965 could take aim at New England states like Massachusetts and Connecticut, calling them “patient zero” for “racial disparities in turnout and registration.”