As we always say here at Ye Olde Blogge, to judge a person, don’t listen to what they say, pay attention to what they do and the outcome of their actions. #MoscowMitch says elections security is up to the states and that the US government has done all it can to secure the elections. We know that election security is up to the states but that the US government has unheard of amount of influence on how states in act and fund their election security measures. We also know that more, much more can be done to secure our elections.
According to a recent opinion piece in The Hill, the US allocated $380 million to harden state election infrastructure when Help America Vote Act of 2018 became law. That is $2.43 per registered voter. If that doesn’t seem like much, it’s because it isn’t. But, that is what #MoscowMitch means when he says we’ve done all we can.
He’ll also tell you that the states have yet to spend all of the money allocated to them implying that there is no reason for Congress to allocate more until the states have finished that round of funding.
Don’t Be Gaslit
It was difficult for states to spend that money for several reasons: (1) it was for staffing and training, not for purchasing new machines and other cybersecurity improvements. That’s one reason it was so little per voter. (2) It was released 77 days before the 2018 mid-term elections. And (3) the states view the money as part of a series of releases of federal funds not as a one-time permanent fix. In the world of election security planning and funding go hand-in-hand. You can’t enact plans that you do not have funds for. If there is no grant money to apply for to implement your plans, why make the plans. #MoscowMitch is being disingenuous and banking on the electorate to not be interested enough to follow all of this.
He’ll also tell you that we cannot afford to do more. Of course, that was after giving the 1% an unwanted, unneeded, and unnecessary massive permanent tax cut that has ballooned our deficit to unheard of heights. It seems like if you’re willing to engage in $1 trillion of deficit spending, adding a bit more for election security isn’t going to break the bank, right?
What do the rest of the Repubes want to do instead of protecting the vote from the Great Hack of 2020 that is being set up right now? Voter ID laws.
What He’s Not Telling You:
- The US government can help states replace aging voting machines
- We can require that all electronic voting machines produce a paper ballot to be used for auditing purposes
- The Deter Act. Surprisingly this bill has passed the Senate already and is before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship. It was first introduced in 2018, and, of course, didn’t pass. The Director of National Intelligence must certify to Congress that a foreign government entity is attempting to interfere with our elections. Part of that notification is public, which will help avoid the #MoscowMitch led fiasco of 2016 when he refused to go public and threatened to accuse Obama of political motivations for going public with the news of Russian interference. Pretty neat, hunh? That is until you realize that the DNI has been appointed by the Ol’ Pussy Grabber and can probably be co-opted or fired like everyone else around him.
- The Voting System Cybersecurity Act. S. 1464 is a bipartisan bill introduced into the Senate on 14 May 2019. It is before the Committee on Rules and Administration. From The Hill’s article published right after it was introduced: a cybersecurity expert from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) be included on the committee tasked with developing voluntary voting system guidelines as part of the effort to make U.S. elections secure. It may not sound like much, but that added expertise will enable states to create more secure voting system guidelines and, therefore, our elections more secure.
- And, the Honest Ads Act. S 1356 is a bipartisan bill introduced back on 7 May 2019 by Sen. Klobuchar. It is before the Committee on Rules and Administration. The bill would require online political ads be treated like all other political ads on any other media: they would have to disclose the sponsor of the ad.
- You may have noticed that none of these bills actually requires much if any expenditure by the government. It’s not like they are funding new initiatives. They simply add to what we’re already doing. Consequently, #MoscowMitch is full of shit.
Who to Call
First, call #MoscowMitch’s office and let him know that you support aggressive electoral security and that you expect him to protect our elections from foreign interference no matter how much money he or Kentucky gets from Russian oligarchs. Fuck that guy, but fuck him politely.
One of the three bills listed here have passed the Senate (the Deter Act), so call Nancy Pelosi’s office and tell her that you support the Deter Act and would like to see it passed as soon as possible. Also, tell her to pass legislation protecting our elections from foreign interference.
The Deter Act
It has already passed the Senate, so you should call your representative and tell them that you’d like it if they would co-sponsor the bill and certainly support it.
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship
Check this list to see if your representative sits on the committee that the bill is before. If she does, you really really need to call them to express your support.
Chair: Zoe Lofgren (D – California); Vice Chair: Pramila Jayapal (D – Washington); Ranking Member: Ken Buck (R – Colorado)
Democratic Members: J. Luis Correa (D – California), Sylvia Garcia (D – Texas), Joe Neguse (D – Colorado), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D – Florida), Veronica Escobar (D – Texas), Sheila Jackson Lee (D – Texas), Mary Gay Scanlon (D – Pennsylvania)
Repbulican Members: Andy Biggs (R – Arizona), Tom McClintock (R – California), Debbie Lesko (R – Arizona), Kelly Armstrong (R – North Dakota), W. Gregory Steube (R – Florida)
The Voting Systems Cybersecurity Act and The Honest Ads Act
In addition to calling #MoscowMitch about these two specifically, you should call your senators.
The Committee on Rules and Administration
Both of the bills are before the same committee. If your senator sits on the committee, you really must call.
Chair: Roy Blunt (R – Missouri), Ranking Member: Amy Klobuchar (D – Minnesota)
Republican Members: Mitch McConnell (R – Kentucky), Lamar Alexander (R – Tennessee), Pat Roberts (R – Kansas), Richard Shelby (R – Alabama), Ted Cruz (R – Texas), Shelley Moore Capito (R – West Virginia), Roger Wicker (R – Mississippi), Deb Fischer (R – Nebraska), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R – Mississippi)
Democratic Members: Dianne Feinstein (D – California), Charles Schumer (D – New York), Richard Durbin (D – Illinois), Tom Udall (D – New Mexico), Mark Warner (D – Virginia), Patrick Leahy (D – Vermont), Catherine Cortez Masto (D – Nevada)
Independent Members: Angus King (I – Maine)
Tips for Calling
When you call your representative’s office, please remember the following:
- Ask for the aide working on protecting our elections.
- Be polite! No matter whose office you’re calling. No matter what their positions are. No matter how inflamed you are about impeachment — and you should be very passionate — be polite.
- Remember that the people you are talking to are people! So, be nice.
- Call during business hours of the area code their office is in. Typically, that is 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
- Have a script or notes to follow so you don’t forget anything.
- Maybe call with friends. You know like a party.
Contacting Your MoC
Find out how to contact your MoC using these links!
- Common Cause will give you the names, party affiliation, direct phone number, website link, and social media platforms of all of your federal, state, and local elected officials.
- Call My Congress: Uses your zip code to locate your Congressional Representative and your Senators. And, it returns phone numbers, tweeter handle, party affiliation, voting record, and link to C-Span appearances!
- 5 Calls: I am sad to report that Call Your Rep is no longer supported, but you can sign-up for 5 Calls which is a service that will help you contact your Congressional representatives and keep you abreast of on going issues that are important to you! Now, that is a good deal.
- The Capital Hill Switch Board: (202) 224-3121.
- MassacreMitch and #MoscowMitch: (202) 224-2541. Call him throughout the recess!
- Nancy Pelosi: Her DC office, (202) 225-4965; her California office, (415) 556-4862
We the People March
On Saturday 21 September, there will be a massive We the People March in Washington, D.C. to support our democracy in the face of growing authoritarianism and outright fascism of both the Ol’ Pussy Grabber, #MoscowMitch, and the GOP.
There are other marches organized around the country, too. Either find one near you, or organize it yourself!