Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday courts never really weighed allegations of election fraud waged by former President Trump in the November election.
He said a number of lawsuits were dismissed by the courts based on standing, and the merits of the claims were not fully heard.
“The one thing I think is untrue is that the courts fully heard this,” Mr. Paul said at an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation. “Courts have been hesitant to get involved in elections.”
The Kentucky Republican said judges need to decide whether officials — like a secretary of state — can make changes to election law without permission from the state legislatures.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of state officials made changes to election laws ahead of the November election such as extending the deadline for mail-in ballots.
Mr. Paul said states need to pass election laws that specifically say a secretary of state can’t mail ballots out or make unilateral changes if the law doesn’t expressly give them power to do so.
“It should be one person, one vote at a time,” he said.
The Senate is debating the For the People Act, a bill aimed at nationalizing elections. It was passed by the House last month.
- Republicans argue parts of the Democrats’ massive elections law impedes states’ rights and sets a wide range of rules impacting elections and other aspects of political life, including:
- Allowing 10 days past Election Day to count mail-in ballots.
- Ordering states to allow early voting for at least two weeks.
- Mandating requirements on states for voter registration.
- Requiring states to set up redistricting commissions, instead of allowing state legislatures to do the job.
- Implementing ethics for state Supreme Courts.
- Requiring disclosure of tax returns for presidential candidates.
Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said the bill is a priority for his chamber, with or without bipartisan support.
“Failure is not an option,” Mr. Schumer said.
Liberal activists are calling on Senate Democrats to change procedural rules and eliminate the filibuster, a 60-vote threshold to pass legislation, in order to get the bill passed. With a 50-50 Senate, it’s highly unlikely that 10 Republican senators would join Democrats in supporting the massive elections overhaul.