02/22/2013 12:20 pm ET

Mitch McConnell, Tea Party Fight Fueled By Senator's Role In Military Voting Bill

The United Kentucky Tea Party is accusing Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) of holding up a bill that would ease the voting process for military members serving overseas, WFPL Louisville reported.

The bill would have allowed those serving abroad to cast votes electronically, rather than by mail or fax, and was halted Thursday by a state Senate committee after Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Ky.) reportedly consulted with McConnell.

"UKTP has deep concerns surrounding minority leader in the U.S. Senate Mitch McConnell injecting himself into the Kentucky state Senate legislative process," United Kentucky Tea Party spokesman John Kemper said in a statement to WFPL.

Stivers denied that the stalled process was a direct result of talking to McConnell. He added that the slowed process would have a negligible effect because there are no upcoming elections, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

McConnell's spokesman, Robert Steurer, added that McConnell has no desire to hinder military members from voting.

"As an author of the Help America Vote Act, which devoted an entire title to enhancing the ability of the military to vote, Senator McConnell has a long history on the issue and has long been committed to ensuring that every vote counts while safeguarding the integrity of our ballots," Steurer said in a written statement.

McConnell has recently faced the threat of potential tea party challengers. It was announced Wednesday that Louisville, Ky., business man Matthew Bevin may run against McConnell. Bevin said he believes that there is a desire for a more conservative lawmaker to take McConnell's seat.



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