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Location: Washington, DC


Mr. McCONNELL. Will the Senator yield for a question?

Mr. BOND. I would be happy to yield.

Mr. McCONNELL. I ask my friend from Missouri, is it not true that if we do not get this omnibus bill funded, the election reform money, which guarantees that next year it will be easier to vote and harder to cheat, as the Senator from Missouri has said on so many occasions, that that money simply will not be there in time to begin this lengthy process of getting the money out to States and getting the reforms made in time for the 2004 election?

Mr. BOND. The distinguished Senator from Kentucky makes a very valid point. The time is now to get that money into the voting system in every State. We cannot delay any longer. Every week, every month we delay, means less likelihood that we will make the changes that were promised.

This body overwhelmingly adopted the Help America Vote Act which, as Senator McConnell has said, will make it easier to vote and tougher to cheat. This is a commitment we made to the people of America that we would provide these reforms and we would fund them. If this money has to wait until the approval of these appropriations bills sometime in February and getting the money out in March or April, we are not going to get it done in time. They are not going to be able to implement these vitally important reforms in election.

I know many people want to get their voting machines improved. Frankly, I want to see the end of dogs and dead people voting. They are still trying that in St. Louis. There was a nice 180-count indictment issued by the prosecuting attorney in the city of St. Louis, the circuit attorney. That problem needs to stop and the only way we can get it to stop is by funding the Help America Vote Act.

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