08/06/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/06/2020 15:40
'We know with certainty that Russia, China, and other nations are actively exploiting our domestic political divisions and looking for opportunities to undermine confidence in our elections. Given our nation's current challenges -- a perfect storm of a global pandemic, public lockdowns, subsequent economic turmoil, and social unrest -- these efforts could be like throwing a match on an oil slick.
'But it gets worse.
'Local election officials in critical swing states like Pennsylvania, which saw a 17-fold increase in mail-in ballots for its June primary, are warning that, absent changes, 'there is no way anybody can responsibly call the presidential race in November.' …
'Beijing and other hostile foreign actors would throw their full weight behind a misinformation campaign, complete with falsified evidence, asserting that the results are rife with fraud and the election is in the process of being 'stolen.' They would use unassuming, but fake social media accounts to spread and magnify allegations that some mail-in ballots are being removed from the post office and destroyed, while others are falsified.'In addition to providing states additional flexibility, Rubio writes that 'Congress should immediately pass and President Trump should sign my bipartisan Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act.'Finally, Rubio says the nation needs a 'news media dedicated to truth and country instead of ratings ... To emphasize the point: a free, independent press is vital to our democracy, but a media that prioritizes sensationalism and inflammatory content in a race for ratings, clicks, and retweets would be an unwitting partner as foreign adversaries attempt to push disinformation and undermine Americans' confidence in our electoral system. We've seen it before.'Specifically, Rubio's legislation would: