Tues 12/10: Today’s do-it-ourselves-democracy action – 2 actions for election security.

Action #1 – Call your senator to add election security to the budget on Dec. 20th.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code]  and I’m asking Senator______ to protect election security by:
1. Dedicating at least the $600 million the house passed for election security 
2. Requiring hand-marked paper ballots only, no machine marked paper ballots, with the single exception of non-tabulating ballot marking devices for voters who need assistance.
3. Requiring a secure chain of custody of the ballots. 
Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Who is my representative/senator?: hq-salsa.wiredforchange.com 


Action #2 – Working together, we can bring election security to the national debate stage.

This guest post from Jennifer Tanner of Indivisible DA-33 tells us how to do it! We have until Dec. 13th to get this done. SHARE widely!

If you’ve already done this, share with your family and friends! 

Dear Fellow Citizens,

The December debates are being hosted by PBS & Politico. They are soliciting questions for the candidates. Our intent is to come up with one election security question we can share widely and get as many people to submit as possible. The deadline is Dec. 13th. But the sooner we do this, and the more people that participate, the more likely the question will be chosen.

Please post on social media and forward widely to all your networks.

We are asking you to fill it out the question with our script as the language needs to be specific, since we have found this topic is filled with landmines and is easy to distort. We’ve had it reviewed by experts and we spent a lot of time to make sure its correct.

The big win will be to get the conversation out there since this is not being spoken about. Reporters and 10 million people watching the debates will now be aware of the need for election security.

Please cut and paste the following answers into the form at each link – DEADLINE DEC. 13th!:

PBS: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/got-a-question-for-the-2020-democratic-candidates-we-want-to-hear-it

Politico: https://www.politico.com/news/2019/11/21/submit-a-question-for-the-december-2020-debate-stage-069522

Answer for Question #1: What question(s) should we ask on the debate stage? 

(Cut and paste the comment below (213 words) into the forms for both networks for Answer #1)

Voting machines pose a greater threat to our elections than foreign agents.

With so much at stake in 2020, we need to make sure our elections are not vulnerable to hacking or mistakes. We need voting machines and systems to be disconnected from the internet.

(The Hill) “Despite long-standing reassurances by vendors and election officials that voting machines cannot be hacked because they are not connected to the internet, recent security reports reveal that many voting machines are connected to the internet and possibly have been for years. Security experts are alarmed at internet connectivity in voting systems because it can allow hackers to inject malware that disrupts or changes the outcome of an election.  Kevin Skoglund, the lead researcher of one study, confirmed that vendors “know their systems are connecting through the internet.” 

In addition we need hand-marked paper ballots, recognized as the most trustworthy way to cast votes, and, for voters who need assistance, non-tabulating ballot marking devices. Voting this way provides tangible, reliable evidence that can be used as part of a robust manual audit or recount to ensure election results are correct. And we need you, the candidates for President, to speak about this and give it the attention it deserves.

The Hill: https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/464065-voting-machines-pose-a-greater-threat-to-our-elections-than-foreign-agents
The NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/05/opinion/election-voting-machine-hacking-russians.html

As President, what will you do to ensure the security and integrity of our elections?

Answer for Question #2 – Why do you want the candidates to answer this question?

(Cut and paste the comment below (154 words) into the forms for both networks for Answer #2)

Whether you are progressive or conservative, all of the issues that you care about are decided by our elections – yet candidates are rarely asked what they intend to do to repair our elections, which are in frightening need of attention.

Our elections are under attack. Protecting them is critical to our national security and fundamental to our democracy.

The most important thing when conducting an election securely is to be able to verify that the final vote count is correct. Voting machines are just computers. Computers can be hacked and they can make mistakes. Experts recommend ballots must be marked by hand, or marked by a non-tabulating ballot marking device for those needing assistance, and counted by hand to collect sound statistical evidence that the outcome is correct. If ballots are created this way, and have a secure chain of custody, then a robust manual audit or recount can always determine the correct winner.


Jennifer Tanner
Indivisible CA-33
Indivisible California Green Team

 More reading/watching: 

What is Ventura County Election Division doing about voting?

Cyber expers warn of vulnerabilites facing 2020 election machines (npr)

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