April 22, 2020/Media, Press, War Room

Way Back Wednesday: John Cornyn’s Sordid History Undermining Election Security

As a US Senate Intelligence Committee Report Confirms Russia Helped Trump in 2016 Election, Today We Take a Look at Cornyn’s Extensive Past Jeopardizing our Election Security

Austin, TX — Yesterday, the United States Senate Intelligence Committee issued a report confirming Russia aimed to help Trump win the 2016 election, proving yet again that we need robust, comprehensive election security measures to secure our elections this fall.

So who doesn’t support these common-sense election security measures?

Vulnerable Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn, who earlier this month rejected the need for mail-balloting, saying  if people “can go to the grocery store, they can go to the polls.”

This isn’t the only time.

Last year, Senator Cornyn twice rejected the need for more security measures for our elections. 

From Roll Call 7/25/2019:

  •  “As Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn told CQ Roll Call shortly before the release from Burr and Warner, Republicans have expressed skepticism of the need for additional legislative measures. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell objected once again Thursday to some Democratic efforts to pass related bills by unanimous consent, though Congress has already made some moves on a bipartisan basis.”

  • “‘I think Sen. McConnell’s been pretty consistent that he doesn’t want the federal government running all of the elections,’ Cornyn said.”

From the Austin American-Statesman 6/14/2019:

  • “Cornyn: Bill requiring campaigns to report foreign contacts not needed”

  • “U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Friday that he does not support legislation requiring campaigns to report foreign election assistance.”

  • “‘[As] Trump’s Texas whisperer, it comes as no surprise that Cornyn would choose defending Trump over defending the values of our country,’ a spokesman for the Texas Democratic Party said in a statement.”

  • “Senate Republicans blocked legislation on Thursday that would have forced campaigns to notify the Federal Election Commission and the FBI about attempts by foreign entities to influence elections.”

The question becomes, especially during the age of coronavirus, why does Senator Cornyn remain so adamantly opposed to securing our elections?

Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Abhi Rahman issued the following statement:

“Senator Cornyn’s long-standing history putting our election security at-risk is a danger to all Texans. As we face the widespread knowledge that Russia interfered in our 2016 election and now the coronavirus, Cornyn still doesn’t think we need to secure our elections in 2020.

“Cornyn could join Democrats and pass common-sense legislation that protects our democracy from foreign influence, but again he shows us he can’t muster the courage to stand up to Trump and McConnell.

“If Cornyn is unwilling to stand up for Texans and do his job, what exactly is he in Washington for?”


BACKGROUND: Cornyn’s Sordid History Undermining Voting Rights

2020: Cornyn On Absentee Voting: If People “Can Go To The Grocery Store, They Can Go To The Polls.” [CNN, 4/3/20]

2020: Cornyn Cited Russian Interference In 2016 Elections In Explaining Why He Didn’t Support Expanding Vote-By-Mail In Response To Coronavirus. “Cornyn says he doesn’t support expanding vote-by-mail for runoff. It’s up to state leaders, he says, but ‘I think there’s not the infrastructure in place to deal with mail-in ballots’ like that. Also, ‘I do worry a little’ about interference after what happened w/ Russians in ’16.” [Twitter, @PatrickSvitek, 3/25/20

2020: Cornyn, Responding To Concerns Over 4 Hours Lines To Vote In The Primary, Said People Should “Try Voting During [The] 10 Day Early Voting Period.” In response to a tweet that said “4 hour lines in Democratic & minority communities in Texas a preview of voter suppression GOP planning for November,” Cornyn tweeted, “Try voting during 10 day early voting period. As of Friday, which was the last day of early voting in the 2020 primary, a total of 1,113,726 people voted in person and by mail in Texas’ 10 largest counties — 12% of registered voters.” [Twitter, @JohnCornyn, 3/4/20]

2019: Cornyn Dismissed The Need For Additional Legislation To Address Election Security. ‘The truth is the 2018 elections were largely interference-free, but that’s a result of the money that we’ve already appropriated and the technology that is now in place on these state-run systems through the Department of Homeland Security.’” [Roll Call, 7/25/19]

2019: HEADLINE: “Cornyn: Bill Requiring Campaigns To Report Foreign Contacts Not Needed” [Austin American-Statesman, 6/14/19]

2015: Cornyn Effectively Voted Against Bipartisan Measure Providing Funding For Voter Re-Enfranchisement Initiatives. [Senate Vote 133, 3/27/15; Congressional Quarterly, 3/27/15; Congressional Actions, S. Amdt. 367; Congressional Actions, S. Con. Res. 11]

2015: John Cornyn Was The First Top GOP Congressional Leader To Publicly Come Out Against Legislation To Restore The Voting Rights Act. [Yahoo News, 3/11/15]

2014: HEADLINE: “Cornyn Opposes Bipartisan Plan To Revive Voting Rights Act.” [Dallas Morning News, 1/22/14]