Are We Not Supposed to Take “Jealous Care” of Our Right to Vote and to Make Absolutely Sure That Each Citizen’s Vote Counts Equally?

by Diane Rufino

The year 2020 is the year of election interference and election tampering. No other presidential election (aside from the election of 1960 between Nixon and John F. Kennedy) has been fraught with such intentional, deliberate, anti-American, unconstitutional, and treasonous activities. The goal, of course, was to minimize the votes of conservatives, stack votes (illegally, fraudulently) for Joe Biden, and, ultimately to pre-determine the winning candidate and outcome of the election. In short, it was a political coup to remove Donald Trump. The data and information, as well as first-hand accounts and affidavits, that was made known before and has been made known since, show there was election fraud, illegalities, and material irregularities in the Presidential election, and without a doubt evidence a common plan or conspiracy to violate the Constitution and disenfranchise over 73 million Americans of their votes for President.

The right to vote is at the core of our American system of government. It is addressed in the Declaration of Independence and has been the topic of much concern and warning by our Founding Fathers.  We are a republic, yes, but the beauty is that our republic includes certain democratic elements, such as the right of the people to vote – to have a direct say in their government, in how legislators make law and who should be the chief executive (ie, our President).  The power of the people, as we all know, is at the ballot box. How many times have we heard “The people have the chance to change the things in government  they don’t like at the ballot box.”  But the reality is that we don’t any more.  The election of 2020 proves that. The reality now is that our government, which has become so very powerful and has so many instruments, offices, options, and unholy alliances at its disposal can derail an election from the People. It can manipulate and, as we have seen, pre-determine the outcome. The same with the all-powerful and all-corrupt Democratic Party. The Party has become a source of immense and dangerous power.

The Right to Vote is so sacred and so essential and critical to the system established at our creation by the wisest and most well-meaning of freedom-seekers that the Supreme Court has come up with a bright line rule – “ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE.”  It is this unshakable principle that guided the ruling in Bush v. Gore (2000).  In other words, every citizen is equal at the ballot box in our country. Every person’s vote counts equal. No person’s vote counts more than another’s.

All our Founding Fathers (especially those who served as president) addressed the sanctity of our Right to Vote. For example, in his Inaugural Address, President Thomas Jefferson offered these important remarks:

“Let us, with courage and confidence, pursue our own Federal and Republican principles, our attachment to union and representative government. Kindly separated by nature and a wide ocean from the exterminating havoc of one quarter of the globe; too high-minded to endure the degradation of the others; possessing a chosen country, with room enough for our descendant to the thousandth and thousandth generation; entertaining a due sense of our equal right to the use of our faculties, to the acquisitions of our own industry, to honor and confidence from our fellow citizens, resulting not from birth but from our actions and their sense of them; enlightened by a benign religion, professed indeed and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter – with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens…. a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another , shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities. 

About to enter, fellow citizens, on the exercise of duties which comprehend everything dear and valuable to you, it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our Government, and consequently those which ought to shape its administration. I will compress them within the narrowest compass they will bear, stating the general principle, but not all its limitations:  Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none; the support of the State governments in all their rights, as bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies; the preservation of the General Government (federal government) in its whole constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad; a jealous care of the right of election by the people – a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are lopped by the sword of revolution where peaceable remedies are unprovided; absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics, from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism; a well-disciplined militia, our best reliance in peace and for the first moments of war, till regulars may relieve them; the supremacy of the civil over the military authority; economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burthened; the honest payment of our debts and sacred preservation of the public faith; encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce as its handmaid; the diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason; freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom of person under the protection of habeas corpus, and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation. The wisdom of our sages and blood of our heroes have been devoted to their attainment. They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.”

Americans need faith in our election system; they need to know that their vote counts. Most work, pay taxes, own property, have a house, maybe own a small business, and try to invest for their children’s college and their own future; they need to have faith in the system because government touches directly on their lives, their property, the salary they work honestly for, and their pursuit of happiness. Americans lose faith in our democratic processes and become highly skeptical when the election process is manipulated, undermined, and compromised, as well as when the voting and ballot integrity systems themselves have become corrupt.

Taking all this into account, I am shocked that more people aren’t enraged over the current tactics of voter fraud and more onerous, election fraud by the Democratic Party and even by foreign actors. We are supposed to take “jealous care” of our right to vote and our right to have our votes count equally with other voters – not less. I mean, the tactics the Democrats planned and took in the 2020 election were to the point of unconscionable. The illegalities and material irregularities were extraordinary in that they were done in ways that exceeded what Americans could have imagined. The fraud and irregularities were on a scale that was simply mind-boggling.  

The outright election manipulation and voter fraud that occurred in this year’s presidential election include the following: 

  • Even presuming the best of intentions, the legality and integrity of the electoral process was contaminated before the vote by mailing unsolicited mail-in ballots in violation of the will of the people as expressed by state legislatures through laws governing the process;
  • Signature verification procedures of mail-in ballots were ignored or kept hidden from election integrity monitors;
  • There were instances of drop-off boxes of ballots, after the close of polling sites;
  • It has been demonstrated, by a forensic audit, that Dominion software has the capability of intentional manipulation of vote selection, and in fact voted were switched from Donald Trump to Joe Biden;
  • In unprecedented lockstep, certain states stopped counting votes, sending home election monitors, and thereby increasing the opportunities for voter fraud;
  • In many states, there were precincts where the numbers of ballots received and counted far exceeded the number of registered (and living) voters;
  • The Dominion voting machines have Software with internal parts produced in China. The allowable error rate established by the federal government is .0008% but in Antrum County Michigan a forensic analysis revealed a 68.05% error rate and 6,000 votes were switched, by the tabulator, from President Trump to Joe Biden. Now Clark County Nevada has reported an error rate of approximately 70%. The theft in one county in each of those states gives us an idea of the scope of this fraud. In Georgia there is video evidence of cheating by election workers that entered batches of ballots multiple times that were all marked for Joe Biden;
  • Signature verification procedures of mail-in ballots were ignored or kept hidden from election integrity monitors;
  • There were after-hours deposits of secretive ballot boxes dropped off at polling locations, to be certified by poll workers to chose to remain for that purpose;  these boxes contained forged ballots;
  • It has been demonstrated and shown that Dominion software was manipulated to switch votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden;
  • A man who’s made a living developing fraud detection algorithms has discovered a curious phenomenon: Counties that started using Dominion Voting Systems machines have on average moved by 2 to 3 points to the Democrat presidential candidate from the Republican compared to counties that didn’t adopt the machines. This man is Ben Turner.  He documented that the difference persisted even after he controlled for a number of factors, including county population and various demographic characteristics. In light of such irregularities and potential for vote manipulation, Turner recommended that the machines be audited from time to time. Ben Turner used to be the chief actuary at Texas Mutual Workers’ Compensation Insurance. He now runs Fraud Spotters, a consultancy specializing in detecting insurance fraud;
  • Again, even presuming the best intentions (a far stretch, of course), thanks to the mainly Democratic majority or strongarm of state legislatures and the laws they insisted on being passed governing the election process, the legality and integrity of the electoral process was contaminated before the vote by mailing out unsolicited mail-in ballots in violation of the will of the people.
  • The level of fraud in Georgia Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Nevada should be enough to prevent Joe Biden from entering the White House;
  • For all intents and purposes, Joe Biden and his family are bought and paid for by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The CCP is a participant in entire process of our election system, from the machines to the mail-ballots, and even including paying the workers that are counting the ballots. The drop boxes were financed by Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame who is also a CCP stooge as is Jack Dorsey of Twitter;
  • There is a problem of covert Chinese operatives in our country. The covert infiltration of CCP operatives into our country was exposed this week by a hacker in Australia. A list of approximately 2 million Communist Chinese loyalists that are embedded in every aspect of life worldwide. It is reported that there are 57,000 in the United States but most likely many more since we are the most coveted possession of the CCP. They are stealing our most closely held and important secrets from national security to intellectual property and have been doing so for many decades. It was a brilliant plan because of our naturally inclusive society. They have used our best qualities against us in an effort to conquer us. That is the purest form of evil. 

More irregularities and fraudulent schemes can be mentioned, no doubt. Yet it is crystal clear and unquestionable that there was an unprecedented level of election fraud (intentional, planned, designed) illegalities, and material irregularities in the 2020 Presidential election..  and as such over 73 million Americans had their votes cancelled and their voices silenced. 73 million American citizens were disenfranchised. This happened in key Democratic states and in key Democratic localities. This coordinated and premeditated effort to steal the Presidency must be the biggest scandal in American history and certainly the most consequential criminal conspiracy. 

We value our right to vote as one of our most important duties as an American. We were gifted a real gem – a republic where freedom rings.  Liberty for all. But it won’t remain so much longer unless we are all willing, at each election time, to vote responsibly for the good of our republic and the longevity of our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, and our longstanding principles. In fact, President Ronald Reagan gave us this warning: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

How important is it that each person have a vote and is able to cast it?  And how important is it that each person’s vote counts equally to the next person?  (ie, all citizens’ votes carry equal weight).  Well, in the case of Anderson v. Celebrezze (1983), the US Supreme Court recognized that “in the context of a Presidential election, the impact of the votes cast in each State is affected by the votes cast for the various candidates in other States.”  The Court has long held this view.  In 1974, Justice Thurgood Marshall wrote the majority opinion in the case Anderson v. United States and asserted that the federal criminal statute 18 U.S.C. §241 (“Conspiracy Against Rights”) applies to voter fraud cases.  In that opinion, Marshall said that the “injury” under §241 is the dilution of votes. He wrote:

        “It has long been settled that §241 embraces a conspiracy to stuff the ballot box at an election for federal officers, and thereby to dilute the value of votes of qualified voters….   That petitioners may have had no purpose to change the outcome of the federal election is irrelevant. The specific intent required under §241 is not the intent to change the outcome of a federal election, but rather the intent to have false votes cast and thereby to injure the right of all voters in a federal election to express their choice for a particular candidate and to have their expressions of choice given full value and effect, without being diluted or distorted by the casting of fraudulent ballots….  The deposit of forged ballots in the ballot boxes, no matter how small or great their number, dilutes the influence of honest votes in an election, and whether in greater or less degree is immaterial. The right to an honest (count) is a right possessed by each voting elector, and to the extent that the importance of his vote is nullified, wholly or in part, he has been injured in the free exercise of a right or privilege secured to him by the laws and the Constitution of the United States.”   

The result of all the tampering, irregularities, the software manipulation, the fake votes, repeat voters, dead voters, switched votes, pre-prepared drop off box of ballots, the highly probability of voter fraud with the massive mail-in vote initiative by Democrats (such fraud has been shown repeatedly yet Democrats continue to push for it), the counting of ballots in secret, the questionable drop-off boxes of forged ballots, and the allowing of non-citizens to vote all result in a dilution of the vote of good, ordinary, law-abiding American citizens – the ones who have the most to gain by having their voice heard at the ballot box.

Top attorneys are reviewing the election results and investigators such as James OKeefe keep digging. I personally have not one shred of confidence in this year’s presidential election results. I don’t believe we can honestly, truthfully, and dutifully elect a new president based on such shameful, devious and ambitious shenanigans. I know I would have the hardest of times playing income tax to such a government and obeying its laws. An illegitimate president nullifies our allegiance to the government. 

I recently read the remarks of Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen and was disheartened, to be honest, that of all the tampering and irregularities and scheming and premeditated election interference by self-professed political royalty and a dangerously-motivated political party in this year’s presidential election, and the very possible political coup that may result from such tampering and interference and scheming, he chose instead to focus on the “malign foreign influence” in the election. Rosen essentially ignored the overwhelming, the shocking, and the unconscionable tactics of the Democratic party in this election and focused instead on something that seems a bit more benign and something we Americans have lived with for many years. Yet he brings up some excellent points. And for that reason, I want to highlight his remarks:

Remarks of Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, delivered August 26, 2020:

One thing that has not been much noted in recent years is that malign foreign influence in our elections has been a concern since the Founding of our Republic. 

Going all the way back in 1787, when the Founders were debating the merits of “our new Constitution,” Thomas Jefferson told John Adams that he was “apprehensive of foreign interference, intrigue, influence.”  Adams too worried that “as often as elections happen, the danger of foreign influence recurs.”  Nine years later, the two squared off in the first contested presidential election in American history.

The election of 1796 occurred while Britain and revolutionary France were locked in war.  Adams favored the Washington Administration’s pro-British trade policy, while Jefferson favored the French Republic.  A few months before the election, in his famous farewell address, President George Washington issued a stern public warning: “Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake ….”

Nonetheless, France tried to exert its influence.  The French minister to the United States, Pierre-Auguste Adet, told his superiors that he could “get out the vote for a man devoted to France.”  He suggested that France should “adopt measures that will cause the merchants to fear for their property, and to make them see the need to place at the head of the government a man whose known character would inspire confidence in the [French] Republic.”  On the eve of the election, Adet sent the U.S. Secretary of State a series of letters effectively threatening that France would begin to seize American merchant ships and trigger war unless Jefferson were elected.  Adet had them published in the Philadelphia Aurora, one of the most widely circulated and partisan newspapers of the era.

Adams did not forget the risk that France’s attempted coercion posed.  In his inaugural address, he implored the American people never to “lose sight of the danger” that foreign influence, whether “by flattery or menaces, by fraud or violence, by terror, intrigue, or venality,” presents to our “free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.”  The next year, Jefferson, too, objected to France’s continuing coercive efforts to stir up American partisanship, telling Madison that the efforts were “very unworthy of a great nation.”  He felt that they contributed to a mistaken presumption that Jefferson’s supporters’ “first passion” was “an attachment to France, and hatred to” Adams’s party, rather than what American voters’ passion really was: “the love of their country.”

Since the twentieth century, as the United States evolved into a superpower, malign foreign influence has been less about coercion and more about deceptive or covert efforts, meaning that the foreign government has tried to disguise or conceal its role.  In the 1930s, Nazi Germany directed an extensive underground effort to influence U.S. public opinion.  One German agent, for example, entered the United States claiming to be a clergyman and used Nazi funds to take over small, established newspapers and civic organizations until he was indicted for failing to register as a foreign agent and fled the country as a fugitive.  Congress responded to these and similar activities by enacting the Foreign Agents Registration Act in 1938, which requires disclosure of foreign influence activities.  The Justice Department successfully prosecuted some of Germany’s “most useful American agents” who tried to hide their activities.

Germany also targeted U.S. elections, including the 1940 election, which occurred while World War II raged in Europe.  Nazi leaders viewed President Franklin Roosevelt as pro-British and interventionist,  so they employed several “schemes for influencing the outcome of our 1940 Presidential election, as well as the platforms of both major political parties.”

One scheme entailed forging documents and fabricating stories that they hoped would capture the American public’s attention.  In March 1940, the Nazis released diplomatic documents they had supposedly recovered from the Polish Foreign Office’s archives when they captured Warsaw.  The documents purportedly showed that the Roosevelt Administration had promised aid to Poland before the war and assured Poland that the United States would “finish” any war on the Allies’ side.  Germany’s top diplomat in the United States, Hans Thomsen, called the documents a “bombshell,” and two members of Congress demanded a congressional investigation.  But most members of Congress and even the American press were more circumspect; they largely followed the advice that President Roosevelt gave when the story broke “to take all European propaganda at this time with a grain of salt,” which he immediately amended “to stretch it to two and then three grains.”  In the days before the 1940 election, Germany tried to plant another fabricated story claiming evidence that Roosevelt had long been planning to intervene in Europe even before 1939, but no mainstream newspaper would take the bait.

After World War II, the Cold War produced a whole new set of challenges from malign foreign influence.  The Soviet Union employed covert or deceptive tactics as part of its so-called “active measures,” a phrase it used to describe malign influence activities like disseminating forgeries, disinformation, and propaganda and sponsoring front publications to undermine American interests.  Most active measures were directed abroad, such as when, just a few weeks before the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, the KGB mailed athletes from Africa forged letters supposedly from the Ku Klux Klan with threats against them, or when the Soviets published stories in dozens of Soviet-controlled publications around the world claiming that the AIDS epidemic was started by U.S. military experiments.  But the Soviets also used active measures to undermine public confidence or influence public opinion in the United States, including covertly forging documents and funding conspiracy-mongering books that supposedly tied the FBI and CIA to President Kennedy’s assassination or tied FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to the Ku Klux Klan.

The Soviet Union also targeted U.S. elections.  For example, during the 1976 Democratic primary, the KGB adopted a wide-ranging set of active measures to disparage Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, a known anti-Soviet hawk, by instructing their agents to use confidential contacts to find “dark spots” in Jackson’s background.  When they did not turn up much, the Soviets sent a forged FBI memorandum dated June 20, 1940 to the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign purportedly concluding that Jackson was secretly gay.  Neither the journalists nor the Carter campaign published the phony document.

After the 1980 election, Soviet leaders soon grew to loathe and fear President Reagan’s administration, according to an ex-KGB defector, and they ordered the KGB to weaken his 1984 reelection bid.  Intending to discredit President Reagan by portraying him as a McCarthyite, Soviet agents covertly sent American journalists a forged letter, dated October 15, 1947, supposedly from J. Edgar Hoover, that purportedly showed Reagan colluding with the FBI to root out Communists in Hollywood.  The FBI publicly denounced the document when it surfaced in January 1984, explaining that it contained stylistic touches that Hoover would not have tolerated and violated rules for FBI correspondence.   Soviet agents also covertly tried to develop contacts at the Republican and Democratic national party committees to find ways to subvert President Reagan’s campaign.  In addition, they developed a package of narratives to disseminate about President Reagan, trying to portray him as a corrupt warmonger who was subservient to the military-industrial complex and responsible for tensions with NATO allies.  But all of the Soviets’ efforts failed, and President Reagan was re-elected.

Now let me turn to corrupt measures to influence elections.  One attempt was apparently made in 1968, when, according to, the Soviet ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Dobrynin,  “the top Soviet leaders took an extraordinary step, unprecedented in the history of Soviet-American relations,” and ordered him to offer Vice President and Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey’s campaign secret financial aid. But when Dobrynin asked Humphrey about his campaign’s financial state, Humphrey replied that it “was more than enough for him to have Moscow’s good wishes,” and Dobrynin did not formally convey the offer.  Six years later, Congress made it illegal for foreign nationals to make campaign contributions.

By the mid-1990’s, that again became important when the People’s Republic of China (PRC), “undertook a covert program to influence the U.S. political process through political donations, and other means, during the 1996 election cycle.”  Over Beijing’s strenuous objection, Taiwan’s President was granted a visa in 1995 to speak at his alma mater, Cornell University, after Congress passed resolutions supporting the trip.  The PRC then implemented a plan to influence the U.S. political process to be more favorable toward pro-Beijing policies by making campaign donations through middlemen who could provide access to, and seek to influence, candidates and elected officials at all levels of government.  The Justice Department prosecuted a number of the middlemen who were involved, and a 1999 Congressional report identified the PRC conduct as “a serious threat to our national security.”

And with regard to the 2016 election,  just last week some declassified FBI documents were released by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which indicate that the Clinton campaign was warned about efforts of a foreign government to influence her through campaign contributions that “may come in a form outside established parameters for such contributions.”  The threat of corrupt malign influence activities requires continued vigilance.

So malign foreign influence efforts in our elections has been a perennial problem.  But though the general threat isn’t novel, some of the challenges we’re facing now are different.  As President Trump put it in Executive Order 13848: “In recent years, the proliferation of digital devices and internet-based communications has created significant vulnerabilities and magnified the scope and intensity…”

Historically, malign influence operations were often limited by their reliance on third parties, such as mainstream news outlets or popular magazines, to reach sizeable segments of the American public.  For much of our history, the media were cautious about being used in this way.  For example, many American journalists wrote exposés about Nazi propaganda in the United States and, at least by 1940, the press was largely “immune” to it.  Decades later, the FBI told Congress in 1986 that “[t]he American media is sophisticated, and generally recognizes Soviet influence attempts.”  But today, the media environment is considerably different, and the internet and social media also allow foreign actors to reach unprecedented numbers of Americans covertly, inexpensively, and directly, without ever setting foot on U.S. soil.  We are all now familiar with the findings that, in the 2016 election cycle, the Russian Internet Research Agency “spent a total of about $100,000 over two years on advertisements” on Facebook to promote social discord and division, and similarly placed disguised posts and tweets on several social media platforms.

While the tools of malign influence have proliferated, foreign governments such as Russia and China have also become more sophisticated and more bold.  Back in 1986, the FBI told Congress that Soviet active measures had relatively little success in the United States because they were “often transparent and sometimes clumsily implemented.”  Forged government documents, for instance, could be exposed.  But the arsenal of modern malign influence — like impersonating Americans on social media platforms, or manipulating digital content through “deep fakes” — can be more difficult to detect and counter. 

As to boldness, as the FBI Director has recently pointed out, the PRC has been “engaged in a highly sophisticated malign foreign influence campaign,” using bribery, blackmail, and other malign tactics to influence our year-round policymaking, which certainly has implications for our elections.  Beijing’s corrupt methods are not always as blatant as its illegal campaign financing was in 1996; PRC tactics are more subtly pernicious and complex.  Beijing, for example, works relentlessly to co-opt seemingly independent middlemen who can influence members of Congress on a host of policies.

What is being done about all these malign foreign influence efforts?  Rest assured, as this old problem takes on new looks, the Department of Justice has been responding to these challenges with our own tools.  I’ll mention five of them.

First, the FBI has established a Foreign Influence Task Force that brings together cross-disciplinary and cross-regional expertise, encompassing counterintelligence, cyber, criminal, and even counterterrorism agents and analysts who investigate and counter malign influence by China, Russia, Iran, and other foreign actors.

Second, the Department of Justice has been assisting social media companies, campaigns, and election officials in hardening their platforms, networks, and infrastructure against these threats, and has been providing them with defensive counterintelligence briefings and  steps they can undertake to reduce their vulnerabilities.

Third, the Department of Justice has strengthened compliance efforts for the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, in order to identify and expose malign foreign influence.  FARA helps to ensure transparency by requiring persons who engage in certain foreign influence-related activities to register with the department and publicly disclose those activities.  It doesn’t prohibit any speech, but instead enhances the public’s and the government’s ability to evaluate foreign influence-related speech by ensuring that the source is clear.

Fourth, where malign foreign influence operations violate our federal laws, as with hacking of email systems to make their contents public, these department of Justice has brought criminal charges.  The department remains prepared to bring criminal charges where they are warranted.

Fifth, the department has supported the Administration’s broader efforts to counter malign foreign influence.  For example, the Administration has imposed financial sanctions for Russian efforts to sow discord in connection with the 2016 election, and imposed further sanctions in the last twelve months for Russia’s additional influence operations since then.  In short, the Justice Department and our colleagues in government have been adapting to foreign actors’ malign activities—and actively combatting and defending against them.

At this point, I want to touch briefly on the current threat landscape as we head toward Election Day.  The department of Justice, DHS, and other federal agencies, have engaged in an unprecedented level of coordination with and support to all 50 states and numerous local officials to ensure that their election infrastructure is secure.  We have yet to see any activity intended to prevent voting or to change votes, and we continue to think that it would be extraordinarily difficult for foreign adversaries to change vote tallies.

We do, however, continue to see malign foreign influence efforts relevant to the 2020 presidential election.  Some foreign actors are covertly trying to undermine confidence in our elections because they are authoritarian governments opposed to representative democracy.  As the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) recently made public on August 7, some foreign governments have preferences about our election — and have taken or planned malign activities in support of their preferences — including efforts by China and Iran to undermine President Trump and his Administration’s policies and efforts by Russia to undermine former Vice President Biden.  The Intelligence Community, including the FBI, have briefed Congress, as well as both presidential campaigns, about these threats.  ODNI also has also taken unprecedented steps to educate the public about these threats to “better inform Americans so they can play a critical role in safeguarding our election.”

We are working to counter all of these influence activities.  But it is important to remember that there are times when drawing attention to the threats can be precisely what the bad actors want, to generate concern and distrust, division and discord.  And as Americans, we need to avoid the temptation to seek political advantage from the revelation of influence activities that were meant to divide us.

Instead, the right response is for our electorate to be knowledgeable and careful about the sources of information they rely on, to look for accurate information, to inform themselves about the candidates, and to cast their ballots accordingly.  In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society, but the people themselves.”  So let me offer some final thoughts about what the historical records tells us that Americans can do to protect ourselves from the malign influence efforts of foreign governments, in addition to the strong measures being taken by the Justice Department and other government agencies.       

We are given some advice from our predecessors. First, we all need to be aware that malign foreign influence efforts have always existed and they still do.  It’s one of the warnings that President George Washington shared when he counseled Americans that “against the insidious wiles of foreign influence … the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake.”

Second, this means we should not take information from foreign governments or questionable sources at face value.  Information from countries or regions that have a history of propaganda, should be taken with “a grain of salt,” if not “two and then three grains,” as President Franklin Roosevelt said.  We’ve been warning the public that “some foreign governments” have a track record of spreading fabricated stories, disinformation, and propaganda to try to shape voter perceptions, and the Intelligence Community continues to share information about what those governments are doing in 2020.  All Americans can control what information they rely on and can exercise care by evaluating that information with a critical eye.

Finally, while we must remain vigilant, Americans should not be deterred from participating in elections by concerns of malign foreign influence efforts.  All Americans, in the end, can control who they vote for. Foreign propaganda and other influence activities have been concerns since the founding of our Republic, but they are challenges that we’ve been successfully navigating for more than two hundred years.  The measures I’ve outlined today can help us to do so once again this year.

Diane Rufino

References

Remarks of Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen:  https//www.justice.gov/opa/speech/remarks-deputy-attorney-general-jeffrey-rosen-malign-foreign-influence-us-elections

The First Inaugural Address of Thomas Jefferson (March 1, 1801).  Referenced at:   http//founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-33-02-0116-0004                                       

PETITION: Demand Legal Action On Election Fraud (also titled: “Petition To Remedy Voter Disenfranchisement Caused By Electoral Corruption In 2020”), Tom DeWeese and The American Policy Center (www.americanpolicy.org) –   https://americanpolicy.org/archive/     OR      https://americanpolicy.org/2020/11/25/demand-legal-action-on-election-fraud/      [NOTE:  I have referenced the research and conclusions made by Tom DeWeese and the American Policy Center in the section above on the various examples of fraud and voter/election irregularities and on the section citing the Supreme Court case Anderson v. Celebrezze and the case Anderson v. United States (with the brilliant passage from Justice Thurgood Marshall)].   

Connie Hannah, “The Trump Card Report,” The County Compass, week of Dec, 24-29, 2020    [Connie writes a regular column grading President Trump on his performance for the particular week. She has provided me with information as to evidence of election fraud].

Peter Svab, “Fraud Analyst Finds Average of 2 to 3 Percent Shift for Biden in Counties That Used Dominion,” The Epoch Times, Dec. 25, 2020.  Reference at:  Fraud Analyst Finds Average of 2 to 3 Percent Shift for Biden in Counties That Used Dominion (theepochtimes.com)       

Anderson v. Celebrezze, 40 U.S. 780 (1983)   

Anderson v. United States, 417 U.S. 211 (1974)

18 U.S.C. §241 (“Conspiracy Against Rights”) –  [USC02] 18 USC 241: Conspiracy against rights (house.gov)     OR   https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title18-section241&num=0&edition=prelim  

About forloveofgodandcountry

I'm originally from New Jersey where I spent most of my life. I now live in North Carolina with my husband and 4 children. I'm an attorney
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