Elections Media Articles
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Leading up to the August Republican presidential primary debate ... An RNC official told Google via email that the debate would be streaming exclusively on the upstart video platform Rumble. The August 23 debate was broadcast on Fox News and streamed on Fox Nation, which requires a subscription, while Rumble was the only one to stream it for free. On the day of and during the debate, however, potential viewers who searched Google for “GOP debate stream” were returned links to YouTube, Fox News, and news articles about the debate, according to screen recordings. Rumble was nowhere on the first page. For Rumble, which is currently in discovery in an antitrust lawsuit against Google in California, this is a case of Google suppressing its competitors in favor of its own product, YouTube. YouTube is owned by Google, and it has regularly been the subject of anticompetitive allegations from rivals, who charge that Google unfairly and illegally favors YouTube in its search algorithm. Google, in fact, is in the middle of a landmark antitrust trial, charged with anticompetitive practices by the Department of Justice. The company would not have been required by antitrust law to promote [Rumble's] link. It would, however, be barred from suppressing the competitor’s link from organic results. The fact that Rumble’s link did not appear on the first page even though it was the most relevant link the search could return means either the search engine failed at its task or the link was suppressed.
The government of Saudi Arabia is an investor in the private company that owns a virtual monopoly on software that powers Democratic candidates — including management of the Democratic National Committee’s all-important voter list. Sanabil Investments, the company that manages Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, recently published its first list of investments. The list includes two private equity firms involved two years ago in the sale and acquisition of EveryAction and NGP VAN, the companies that make up the Democratic Party’s campaign tech apparatus. Federal regulations are designed to stop sovereign wealth funds from interfering in domestic politics. If a particular investment includes a national security risk, federal regulators can force the transaction to be undone through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States under the Department of the Treasury. Most of that risk is typically mitigated because sovereign wealth funds tend to be invested in companies through intermediaries. Investment in a company that deals with data related to voting and politics could be of potential concern to the Committee on Foreign Investment, even if the investor has no real influence over relevant data. The Sanabil investment doesn’t mean the Saudi government has an interest in the functions of the companies. Instead, said progressive strategist Gabe Tobias, the disclosure is a further indication that the fate of EveryAction and NGP VAN is not a priority for their owners.
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It has been more than four decades, but Ben Barnes said he remembers it vividly. His longtime political mentor invited him on a mission to the Middle East. What Mr. Barnes said he did not realize until later was the real purpose of the mission: to sabotage the re-election campaign of the president of the United States. It was 1980 and Jimmy Carter was in the White House, bedeviled by a hostage crisis in Iran that had paralyzed his presidency and hampered his effort to win a second term. Mr. Carter’s best chance for victory was to free the 52 Americans held captive before Election Day. That was something that Mr. Barnes said his mentor was determined to prevent. His mentor was John B. Connally Jr., a titan of American politics. Now Mr. Connally resolved to help Mr. Reagan beat Mr. Carter. What happened next Mr. Barnes has largely kept secret for nearly 43 years. Mr. Connally, he said, took him to one Middle Eastern capital after another that summer, meeting with a host of regional leaders to deliver a blunt message to be passed to Iran: Don’t release the hostages before the election. Mr. Reagan will win and give you a better deal. Mr. Connally’s files indicated that he did, in fact, leave Houston on July 18, 1980, for a trip that would take him to Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel before returning to Houston on Aug. 11. Iran did hold the hostages until after the election, which Mr. Reagan won, and did not release them until minutes after noon on Jan. 20, 1981, when Mr. Carter left office.
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At least 1,003 people have been arrested and charged so far for participation in events on Jan. 6, with 476 pleading guilty, in what has been the largest single criminal investigation in U.S. history. Of the 394 federal defendants who have had their cases adjudicated and sentenced ... approximately 220 "have been sentenced to periods of incarceration" with a further 100 defendants "sentenced to a period of home detention." There are six convictions and four guilty pleas on charges of "seditious conspiracy." This offense is so widely defined that it includes conspiring to levy war against the government and delaying the execution of any law. Those charged and convicted of "seditious conspiracy" were accused of collaborating to oppose "the lawful transfer of presidential power by force" by preventing or delaying the Certification of the Electoral College vote. Those who walked to the Capitol were not aware that the Department of Justice had created arbitrary markers. Anyone who crossed that invisible line was charged with violating Capitol grounds. The vast majority of those caught up in the incursion of the Capitol did not commit serious crimes, engage in violence or know what they would do in Washington other than protest the election results. Environmental activists ... anti-war activists and even congressional staffers have engaged in numerous occupations of congressional offices and interrupted congressional hearings. Will they be given lengthy prison terms based on dubious interpretations of the law?
Note: Read this article in full to understand the scope of this criminal investigation undertaken by the federal government, and why there are massive concerns of government overreach and erosion of civil liberties. Watch a brief video of Attorney Joseph D. McBride discussing his work with the Jan. 6 defendants, describing the horrendous conditions many of them faced.
Electoral denialism did not start with Trump. In the U.S., this chicanery dates back to the early days of the republic. In , Clinton and the DNC machine borrowed from the Republican playbook, and rationalized with speculations and outright falsehoods to cover for her loss in order to delegitimize the Trump presidency. Unlike the Democrats who rightly rejected the results in 2000, Clinton and her DNC supporters spent four years spreading false and baseless reasons for their defeat. If past is prologue, each party may well continue to escalate their electoral denial to a level where election results will simply not matter at all. In 2016, Clinton officially conceded, but publicly denied the election results. In 2020, Trump exploited the electoral cynicism that was decades in the making and refused to officially concede. This inspired his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol and reject the election results. Granted, Democrats didn’t do the same in 2016, but who knows the degree to which continued hyper-partisanship will escalate electoral denialism in the future? Nonetheless, the point remains that denial and lack of acceptance of election outcomes was very much part of the Democrats’ narrative from 2016, parroted by MSNBC and CNN in particular. It’s not just Fox News and Trump that are the problem here. It’s civic decay. Bottom line: it is simply unsustainable for a country to have half of the voters, not to mention the candidates or party leaders, refuse to accept election results.
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Gov. Ron DeSantis ... held a news conference two months ago, announcing that the Florida Office of Election Crimes and Security had found roughly 20 people who voted illegally in 2020. DeSantis, surrounded by uniformed officers, assured the public that the suspects were in custody and would be prosecuted. The Tampa Bay Times published a report yesterday, highlighting the nature of those arrests, alongside a video of police bodycam footage that's painful to watch. Politico reported a week after the arrests that several of those taken away in handcuffs had been "notified by official government entities they were eligible to vote." Floridians ... seemed utterly baffled as to why they were being taken away in handcuffs, insisting they had cast perfectly legal votes – not only because Floridians approved a state constitutional amendment in 2018, restoring voting rights to many felons, but also because they'd been explicitly told by officials that they could legally cast ballots.
Democratic strategists have spent millions of dollars to aid extremists. In the current election cycle ... Democrats across the country spent millions of dollars to boost the candidacies of right-wing Maga candidates in the Republican primaries, on the theory that those extremists would be easier to defeat in the general election. The Washington Post found that Democrats had spent close to $20m in eight states on ads meant to elevate the profile of far-right candidates and election deniers running for governorships and for Congress. A number of those candidates, like the maniacal Christian zealots Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania and Darren Bailey in Illinois, did in fact win their primaries, setting up, in theory, easier races for the Democrats in those states to win, because, in theory, swing voters prefer not to vote for lunatics. It is not hard to see why it is dumb to dedicate resources to making Maga Republicans more visible and viable within their own party. You are promoting an awful ideology in hopes of winning votes – but in the long run, politics is a battle of ideology. The votes follow the ideology. The consultants are fighting on the wrong battleground, and no matter how many polls they have, they are not clever enough to predict the chaotic long-run effects of fueling a movement that is the opposite of the movement we should be trying to build. Spending money to try to dupe hapless Republican voters into backing the goofiest fascist is not just stupid; it goes against justice.
During its summer meeting over the weekend, the Democratic National Committee quietly amended its bylaws, giving the narrower body power to override decisions made by its members at its quadrennial convention. The national committee approved language requiring that it must ratify any bylaw amendments that the convention, a broader body, wants to adopt. “No such Bylaw or amendment shall be effective unless and until it is subsequently ratified by a vote of the majority of the entire membership of the Democratic National Committee,” the amended measure from the Rules and Bylaws Committee states. “These decisions are made to move ultimate power from the members of the convention into the hands of the committee, and that can become a dangerous precedent,” Nevada Democratic Party Chair Judith Whitmer [said]. “These seem to us as increasingly anti-democratic decisions.” The amendment removes the authority over DNC decisions from the national convention, which includes thousands of members, and places it instead with the smaller national committee of just under 500. Democratic National Committee Member Jessica Chambers ... called the DNC “the least democratic organization that I’m involved with,” in part because paid staff whip votes against members. The recent attempt to suppress dissent is an example of how committee staff undermine elected members “for someone else’s agenda,” she added. “And I don’t know whose agenda it really is.”
A former intelligence contractor who was imprisoned for leaking a report about Russian interference in the US presidential election that Donald Trump won in 2016 has insisted she acted out of love for a nation that was "being lied to". The 30-year-old ... decided to leave her National Security Agency contractor's office at the Fort Gordon army base in Georgia with an intelligence report about Russian attempts to meddle in the election that saw Trump beat Hillary Clinton for the White House. Working for NSA contractor Pluribus International Corporation, Winner printed the document – labeled "TOP SECRET" – that explained how Russian military intelligence officials hacked at least one supplier of voting software and tried to break into more than 100 local election systems before the polls closed in 2016. The Trump administration had her charged under the Espionage Act, which was initially created during the first world war as a means to punish people spying on the US during times of foreign conflict. Winner pleaded guilty ... to be sentenced to five years in prison. Authorities said the sentence was the longest ever handed down by a US federal court to someone convicted of providing government information to the media without permission. Winner said she broke her oath to protect classified material because Americans were being intentionally deceived about Russia's efforts to sow chaos in the presidential election that vaulted Trump into the Oval Office.
Note: Elections fraud and manipulation is by no means a partisan issue. We are very clear that all major political parties in all countries have at times committed elections abuses for many years, if not centuries. Explore top news articles on election fraud, and visit our Elections Information Center for more information from reliable news sources.
In the late summer of 2020, Bruce Bartman went to Pennsylvania’s voter registration website and signed up his mother and mother-in-law to vote. Both women were dead. A few months later, Bartman, who is white, requested a mail-in ballot for his late mother and cast her vote for Donald Trump. Bartman was arrested that December and charged with perjury and unlawful voting. He pleaded guilty, admitted he made a “stupid mistake”, was sentenced to five years of probation and barred from serving on a jury or voting for four years. When Bartman pleaded guilty, nearly 1,000 miles away, in Memphis, a Black Lives Matter activist named Pamela Moses was facing her own election-related criminal charges. A few years previously, Moses, who is Black, permanently lost the right to vote after committing a felony. But no one had actually removed Moses from the voter rolls or told her she couldn’t vote. And in 2019, when state officials began looking into her eligibility, a probation officer signed a certificate saying Moses had completed her sentence and was eligible to vote. So she applied to do so. Even though corrections officials conceded they made an error, Moses was indicted anyway. She was sentenced to six years and one day in prison. The case ... underscored what many experts see as a double standard in the US criminal justice system: white people face relatively light punishment for intentional cases of fraud, while Black people face tougher punishments for unintentional voting errors.
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New state laws tightening voting restrictions come in two basic varieties: those that make it harder to cast a vote and those making it more difficult to get registered to vote in the first place. In Kansas, one law effectively shuts down voter registration drives. It's now a felony offense to impersonate an election official, and the law creates a vague standard for breaking it, a standard that depends on impressions. It criminalizes engaging in conduct that might seem like something an election official would do. Davis Hammet, president of the Kansas civic engagement group Loud Light, says that subjective standard would probably include work his volunteers do, which includes approaching people with clipboards and registering them to vote. "So, if someone accuses you of being an election official or saying they were just confused and thought you were one, and you were arrested, you would be charged with a felony," Hammet says. "And so, a felony means you lose your right to vote. So, you could lose your right to vote for trying to help people vote." This knocks a big hole in efforts to register new voters because county elections officials rely on volunteer groups to do outreach. Tammy Patrick has been tracking an avalanche of election-related legislation. "There have been a little more than 3,000 bills introduced ... this legislative session, which is the most bills we've seen around election administration," Patrick says. "Many of them actually have included things very similar to the Kansas law."
The young couple posing in front of the faux Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel in Las Vegas fit right in, two people in a sea of idealistic Democrats who had arrived in the city in February 2020 for a Democratic primary debate. Large donations to the Democratic National Committee — $10,000 each — had bought Beau Maier and Sofia LaRocca tickets to the debate. In fact, much about them was a lie. Mr. Maier and Ms. LaRocca were part of an undercover operation by conservatives to infiltrate progressive groups, political campaigns and the offices of Democratic as well as moderate Republican elected officials during the 2020 election cycle. Using large campaign donations and cover stories, the operatives aimed to gather dirt that could sabotage the reputations of people and organizations considered threats to a hard-right agenda. At the center of the scheme was an unusual cast: a former British spy connected to the security contractor Erik Prince, a wealthy heiress to the Gore-Tex fortune and undercover operatives like Mr. Maier and Ms. LaRocca who used Wyoming as a base to insinuate themselves into the political fabric of this state and at least two others, Colorado and Arizona. In more than two dozen interviews and a review of federal election records, The New York Times reconstructed many of the operatives’ interactions in Wyoming and other states ... and spoke to people with whom they discussed details of their spying operation.
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On Election Day 2016, Crystal Mason went to vote. When her name didn’t appear on official voting rolls at her polling place in Tarrant County, Texas, she filled out a provisional ballot. Ms. Mason’s ballot was never officially counted or tallied because she was ineligible to vote: She was on supervised release after serving five years for tax fraud. Nonetheless, that ballot has wrangled her into a lengthy appeals process after a state district court sentenced her to five years in prison for illegal voting, as she was a felon on probation when she cast her ballot. Ms. Mason maintains that she didn’t know she was ineligible to vote. Her case is now headed for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest state court for criminal cases. Ms. Mason unsuccessfully asked for a new trial and lost her case in an appellate court. This new appeal is the last chance for Ms. Mason, 46, who is out on appeal bond, to avoid prison. If her case has to advance to the federal court system, Ms. Mason would have to appeal from a cell. According to Tommy Buser-Clancy, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, Ms. Mason should never have never been convicted. If there is ambiguity in someone’s eligibility, the provisional ballot system is there to account for it, he said. If her eligibility was incorrect, he said, “that should be the end of the story.” 72 percent of [Texas attorney general, Ken] Paxton’s voter fraud cases have targeted people of color.
Voter suppression has taken centre stage in the race to elect potentially the 46th president of the United States. But we’ve heard little about the 5.2 million Native Americans whose ancestors have called this land home before there was a US president. The rights of indigenous communities – including the right to vote – have been systematically violated for generations with devastating consequences. Voter turnout for Native Americans and Alaskan Natives is the lowest in the country, and about one in three eligible voters (1.2 million people) are not registered to vote. In a new book, Voting in Indian County: The View from the Trenches, Jean Reith Schroedel ... at Claremont Graduate University weaves together historical and contemporary voting rights conflicts. American Indians and Native Alaskans were the last group in the United States to get citizenship and to get the vote. Some laws used to disenfranchise them were still in place in 1975. Voting by mail is very challenging for Native Americans for multiple reasons. First and foremost, most reservations do not have home mail delivery. Instead, people need to travel to post offices or postal provide sites – little places that offer minimal mail services and are located in places like gas stations and mini-marts. Take the Navajo Nation that encompasses 27,425 square miles – it’s larger than West Virginia, yet there are only 40 places where people can send and receive mail. In West Virginia, there are 725. Not a single PO box on the Navajo Nation has 24-hour access.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, ordered counties to stop accepting hand-delivered absentee ballots at more than one location, issuing a proclamation that could make it harder for residents to vote early. The proclamation, which goes into effect Friday, modifies part of Abbott's July 27 order that added six days of early absentee voting in the state in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Fellow Republicans in Texas are challenging the additional early voting days in court. Abbott said he issued the new order to ensure the security of the ballots, which President Donald Trump has questioned as Americans have embraced early and absentee voting in response to the pandemic. Texas has 254 counties, the largest of which is rural Brewster, which covers 6,193 square miles. Harris County, which includes much of the sprawling city of Houston, has a population of more than 4.7 million people. The county is home to 25 percent of the state's Black residents and 18 percent of its Hispanic population. Before Abbott's proclamation, the county had created 11 ballot drop-off locations. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner ... criticized the decision. "Growing up, I was bused over 20 miles as a student in the first integrated class at Klein High School," he said. "Because of the Governor's decision today, I would now have to go even farther to drop off an absentee ballot and make sure my vote is counted."
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has informed the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence that it'll no longer be briefing in-person on election security issues, according to letters obtained by CNN. Instead, ODNI will primarily provide written updates to the congressional panels, a senior administration official said. The abrupt announcement is a change that runs counter to the pledge of transparency and regular briefings on election threats by the intelligence community. It also comes after the top intelligence official on election security issued a statement earlier this month saying China, Russia and Iran are seeking to interfere in the 2020 US election. US officials charged with protecting the 2020 election also said last week that they have "no information or intelligence" foreign countries, including Russia, are attempting to undermine any part of the mail-in voting process, contradicting President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly pushed false claims that foreign adversaries are targeting mail ballots as part of a "rigged" presidential race. Senate Intelligence Vice Chairman Mark Warner called the decision to stop in-person briefings an "unprecedented attempt to politicize an issue - protecting our democracy from foreign intervention - that should be non-partisan. Congress and the American public need to know more information about the election interference threat not less," the Virginia Democrat said.
Kentucky lawmakers have warned the state was heading towards a disastrous primary election this week, as ballot problems, voter confusion and a severe shortage of polling places threatened to suppress turnout amid the coronavirus pandemic. State officials ... released a joint statement condemning US District Court Judge Charles Simpsons ruling against a case that argued having just one polling site in most of the states 120 counties would result in voter suppression. We believe the judge disregarded evidence from our expert witness that one location will suppress the vote, particularly among African Americans, read the statement, co-authored by Jason Nemes, a Republican state representative, and Keisha Dorsey, a Democratic councilwoman. The lawmakers were both behind the lawsuit, which demanded an increase in statewide polling locations. Voters throughout Kentucky received inaccurate absentee ballots ... that do not match their party affiliations. In Kentucky, voters must be members of a party to participate in its primary elections. In a typical election year, Kentucky has about 3,700 polling sites. When Election Day arrives ... there will be just 200 polling sites across the state. Ben Jealous, president of People For The American Way, described the situation as Our Next Electoral Nightmare. Half Kentuckys Black voters live in one county, he wrote. It will have one polling place ... for 616,000 registered voters.
For many years Michigan was divided evenly along party lines. Then, in 2011, Michigan’s Republican party legally rigged the system. Charged with drawing new district lines, the lawmakers did so with unprecedented precision – carving unnatural boundaries to keep their favored voters and locales in hand – to guarantee a majority for their party. It worked perfectly. The process of creating these doctored maps, known as gerrymandering, resulted in widespread victories for the Republicans. But in 2016, a then 26-year-old with no political experience uprooted the system. Katie Fahey ... dedicated two years of her life to launching and leading a grassroots campaign that started with a Facebook post and, against the odds, ended gerrymandering in Michigan. Film-makers found Fahey the perfect anchor for their gerrymandering documentary Slay the Dragon, named for the oddly shaped district in Massachusetts created by the man who gerrymandering its name, former vice-president Elbridge Gerry. Slay the Dragon will be released this week during a census year – when the US population will be carefully counted in order to determine the size of electoral districts next year. It’s clear that Fahey’s hard-won movement is a threat to Republicans across the country during that process. But Fahey is hoping the momentum ... can be replicated in the 35 other states that still use congressional redistricting.
If you don’t want to know how easy it is for a canny individual - or a malicious state actor - to hack into the electronic voting technology used in the U.S., don’t watch Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections. In this unnervingly persuasive HBO documentary, directors Simon Ardizzone, Russell Michaels and Sarah Teale marshal cyber-security experts, statisticians and lawmakers to expose cracks in the system that could easily allow hackers to affect voting results. The filmmakers’ sources also include actual hackers, among them an individual who breached Alaska’s voting system in 2016 just to see if he could. One of the central figures of Kill Chain is election-security expert Harri Hursti, who explains, with clarity, just how vulnerable American voting systems are. Although voting machines are supposed to be kept in secure facilities, Hursti found a widely used model for sale - on eBay. The vendor had hundreds of them. Hursti bought a few, using them to explain how easily their workings could be examined and breached. He also brought a selection of voting machines to Def Con, a three-day conference for hackers, and invited attendees to go at them; one expert quickly figured out how to shut down a machine remotely from a laptop. The U.S. voting system is, as several interviewees in Kill Chain put it, a bipartisan concern; still, as the documentary notes, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has blocked votes on the Secure Elections Act and four similar bipartisan bills.
Note: Hackers can easily breach electronic voting machines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.
A Texas appeals court on Thursday upheld a five-year prison sentence for a woman who was convicted of illegally voting even though she didn’t know she was ineligible when she went to the polls in 2016. The punishment for the Fort Worth woman, Crystal Mason, stirred national outrage because of its severity, prompting accusations that prosecutors were trying to intimidate Texans from voting. Four years ago, Mason was on supervised release, similar to probation, for a federal felony conviction. Mason voted in the last presidential election at the urging of her mother and cast a provisional ballot. The ballot was never counted because Mason was not an eligible voter. During her 2018 trial probation officials testified that they never told Mason she could not vote, but the appeals court said that didn’t matter. Mason was guilty, the court said, because she knew she was on supervised release. Texas is one of 48 states that strip people with felony convictions of the right to vote, but the rules on when people regain the right to vote vary widely from state to state and are often extremely confusing, even to elections officials. The decision to prosecute Mason was unusual. Since 2014, at least 12,668 people have voted using a provisional ballot in Tarrant county and 88% of them have been rejected because the voter was not eligible. Mason is the only voter who used a provisional ballot who was prosecuted for illegal voting.
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