Skip to content
Search

Latest Stories

Top Stories

Senators who would be president say they want to win, literally, on paper

What's the best way to prevent more high-tech online Russian interference in the 2020 election? Millions of sheets of good old-fashioned paper.

That's what most of the Democratic senators running for president are signaling by proposing legislation Wednesday to require the use of hand-marked paper ballots in all federal elections – ideally starting with their own next year.


When Kamala Harris of California was asked on ABC's "The View" why paper ballots were the best method to ensure election security, her response was simple: "Because Russia can't hack a piece of paper."

Thirteen senators introduced the bill Wednesday. All are Democrats, and five of them are running for the White House, a virtual guarantee the measure will go nowhere in the Republican-majority Senate.

In addition, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, the presidential aspirant who has power over election administration legislation as the top Democrat on the Rules and Administration Committee, has her own ideas for bolstering election security and did not sign on to this bill. Neither did Michael Bennet of Colorado. The presidential candidates who did were Harris, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

In addition to the paper ballot mandate, the bill would ban Internet, Wi-Fi and cellular connections for voting machines. The Department of Homeland Security would also have the authority for the first time to set minimum security standards at each stage in the voting process. And state and local governments would be given $500 million to buy up-to-par ballot scanning machines, with an additional $250 million allocated for ballot-marking machines for voters with disabilities.

Sign up for The Fulcrum newsletter

States would also be reimbursed by the federal government for any expenses incurred for post-election audits or ballot printing, and states would be required to conduct audits after all federal elections to detect any cyberhacks.

The principal sponsor, Ron Wyden of Oregon, says he's already secured endorsements from the League of Women Voters, the Brennan Center for Justice, Protect Democracy, Public Knowledge, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Fair Fight Action, the group created by Stacey Abrams after she narrowly lost the governor's race in Georgia last fall.

Read More

Kamala Harris waiving as she exits an airplane

Kamala Harris waiving as she exits an airplane

Anadolu/Getty Images

GOP attacks against Kamala Harris were already bad – they are about to get worse

Farnsworth is a Professor of Political Science and International Affairs and Director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the University of Mary Washington

Public opinion polls suggest that U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is doing slightly better than Joe Biden was against Donald Trump, but Republican attacks against her are only now ramping up.

Keep ReadingShow less
Candace Asher

Singer/songwriter Candace Asher

Presenting 'This Country Tis of Thee'

As we approach another presidential election, less than 120 days away, uncivil, dysfunctional behaviors continue to divide the nation. Each side blaming the other is never going to unite us.

As the rancor and divide between Americans increases, we need to stop focusing on our differences. The Fulcrum underscores the imperative that we find the common bonds of our humanity — those can, do and must bind us together.

There are many examples in the American Songbook that brought folks together in previous times of great strife and discord, including “Imagine,” “Heal the World,” “Love Can Build a Bridge,” “The Great Divide” and, of course, “We Are the World.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has put us on a path to ruin, writes Jamison.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Preventing the decline and fall of the American republic

Jamison is a retired attorney.

The Supreme Court has jettisoned the time-honored principle that no one is above the law. In its recent ruling in Trump v. United States, the court determined that a president of the United States who solicits and receives from a wealthy indicted financier a bribe of $500 million in return for a pardon cannot be criminally prosecuted for bribery. The pardon power, command of the armed forces, and apparently “overseeing international diplomacy” are, according to the court, “core” powers of the president which can be exercised in violation of the criminal laws without fear of criminal liability.

This is a fire alarm ringing in the night. Here’s why.

Keep ReadingShow less