Mitch McConnell Admits He’s Against High Voter Turnout Because He Suspects People Will Vote for Democrats

He openly mocked the idea of an Election Day holiday on the Senate floor and called it a “power grab” by Democrats.

Republicans have long had an election problem. The more people vote, the worse they tend to get beaten. So the solution, since at least the 1970s, has been pretty cut and dry: Figure out who’s likely to vote against them, and prevent them from voting. It may be a more circuitous approach than falsifying votes or straight up hacking an election, but it gives them an air of democratic legitimacy, even though they’re actively fighting against the foundations of democracy.

This covers a host of what seem like common-sense voting policies: online or automatic registration, early voting, same-day registration, you name it. These are measures that would mostly make it easier for poor, young, and minority people to cast ballots, and the GOP is consistently opposed to them. As far as Republicans are concerned, the narrower the window for both registration and voting, the better.

Now, you could say that’s an unfair characterization and that Republicans are just more concerned about election security. But it’s the Republicans themselves who keep admitting to this, declaring that unnecessarily strict voter-ID laws will help them win elections.

On Wednesday, Mitch McConnell once again articulated his commitment to limiting voter turnout, but this time he didn’t try to hide behind “security concerns.” He took to the Senate floor to voice his opposition to a proposal that Election Day be made a federal holiday. It’s a move that would go a long way to improving voter turnout and drastically cutting down wait times. Or, as McConnell sees it, it’s a “power grab” by Democrats.

Video of the comments is no better. He mocks the suggestion that federal employees be granted time off to volunteer at polling places because, in his words, they’re likely to support Democrats. McConnell doesn’t even bother to come up with a half-assed excuse—instead he exposes his blanket contempt for government workers because, he suspects, they vote for Democrats, and for that reason alone, it shouldn’t be easier for them to cast a vote.

This has absolutely nothing to do with voter fraud, the mythical excuse Republicans keep giving for ever stricter and more draconian voting rules. McConnell isn’t saying here that making Election Day a federal holiday would compromise election integrity or that federal employees shouldn’t volunteer at polling places because they would intimidate people. He’s saying, openly and mockingly, that these are bad things because they could benefit Democrats.

What McConnell calls a “power grab” is common practice in most functioning democracies. But building and maintaining a functioning democracy has never been his priority.

Reported GQ