LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Sen. Mitch McConnell surprised voters at the Fairgrounds in Louisville on Thursday morning when he cast his ballot early and in person.
He said his wife voted by mail, but he found the early-voting process easy and quick, commending both political parties for coming together to create a voting plan.
“I think that the fact that the way we’re voting this year was agreed to by a Republican secretary of state and a Democratic governor comforted everyone,” McConnell said. “I think we’re going to have an election we can be proud of.”
When McConnell cast his ballot, he was greeted by both cheers and boos, including a woman who shouted, “Do your job,” and others who said, “Shame on you,” to the senator.
“There’s plenty of unpleasantness to endure with this job," the Senate majority leader said. “I don’t own this seat. I have to earn it, and I’m confident the people of Kentucky believe I’ve done a good job.”
Dozens of supporters waited outside the polls to take photos with McConnell, including Luis Ponce. Ponce said he immigrated to America after participating in the civil rights movement in Cuba, protesting against the socialist state. He told WAVE 3 News he votes for conservative candidates after seeing how socialism impacted Cuba.
“I say no, go to Cuba, go to Venezuela,” Ponce said. “You’ll see why we support the Republican party because we don’t want that for the United States.”
When asked if there would be a peaceful transfer of power should President Donald Trump lose to Democratic challenger and former Vice President Joe Biden, McConnell said there has been “an orderly transfer of power since 1792” and “that will happen again.”
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McConnell also praised Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett as her confirmation hearings continue.
“Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg set the standard of what you should and shouldn’t say in one of these confirmation hearings, and what you shouldn’t say is how you’re going to rule on anything in the future, and (Judge Barrett) has stuck to that Ginsburg rule flawlessly,” McConnell said.
The senator added he is concerned the Democrats may “stack the Supreme Court” should the party gain control of the Senate.
“(It’s) a huge issue,” McConnell said. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg was asked this question a year ago. She said nine is the right number. It’s been nine since 1869. The fact that Joe Biden will not answer the question until after the election tells you they do intend to pack the Supreme Court. It’s overwhelmingly unpopular in Kentucky and across the country.”
As far as coronavirus relief, McConnell said he plans to put a $500 billion program on the Senate floor soon, which will “target the actual needs the country has.”
Even though McConnell, the longest-serving senator in Kentucky, risks losing his position to opponent Amy McGrath, he said he is confident about the upcoming election.
“I’ll either be the majority leader or the minority leader," he said. “I’ve been both, and I can tell you the majority leader is better.”
FiveThirtyEight.com gives McConnell a 96 percent chance of keeping his seat.
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