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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) argued Tuesday on the Senate floor that Democrats are responsible for the absentee ballot fraud that benefited Republican candidate Mark Harris in a disputed congressional district race last year, because they haven’t supported measures such as voter ID laws.

Reality check: McConnell is incorrect when he states that measures like voter IDs would have prevented the absentee ballot fraud scandal in North Carolina. In fact, the workers Harris hired violated North Carolina election law by collecting absentee ballots from voters, forging signatures, opening unsealed ballots and filling out down-ballot races in favor of Republicans.

  • McConnell also conflated voter fraud with election fraud. The former happens when a voter casts a vote illegally. Election fraud, like what occurred in North Carolina, is when a legitimate voter's ballot has been manipulated.

The big picture: Democrats have fought back against restrictive voting laws pushed by Republicans, who claim that the measures will help curb what they're calling widespread voter fraud. But Democrats and election experts, citing numerous studies, argue that rampant voter fraud does not exist and the measures will disenfranchise minority voters.

Go deeper:

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CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions

CDC director Rochelle Walensky warned states on Monday that "now is not the time" to lift public health restrictions, as the recent dramatic declines in coronavirus cases and deaths "appear to be stalling."

Why it matters: While the average of 70,000 new infections and 2,000 daily deaths is nowhere near the extremely high levels recorded at the start of 2021, the figures are still a poor baseline to "stop a potential fourth surge" — especially with the threat posed by more contagious new variants, Walensky warned.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduces "ultra-millionaire" wealth tax bill

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday introduced a bill in the Senate that would impose a new tax on the assets of America's wealthiest individuals.

Why it matters: The plan, which Warren introduced along with Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) is similar to a proposal that was the centerpiece of Warren's campaign for the presidency in 2020.

3 hours ago - World

Former French President Sarkozy sentenced to jail for corruption

Nicolas Sarkozy, 2011. Photo: XINHUA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

A court in Paris on Monday sentenced former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to one year in prison and a two-year suspended sentence after he was found guilty of trying to bribe a magistrate, AP reports.

Driving the news: Sarkozy, who was president from 2007 to 2012, is the first president in France’s modern history to have gone on trial for corruption, per AP. He was charged with corruption and influence-peddling.