« The Weeds

Our elections are being hacked

2018-10-26

In this episode, Ezra and Jane dig into the dismal state of election security, as well as the many, many ways that people’s votes are obstructed, distorted, and prevented. Isn’t democracy grand? References and further reading: Benjamin Wofford’s piece on our hacked election system Jamelle Bouie in the Daily Beast breaks down the motive behind voter ID laws Issie Lapowsky of Wired clarifies that you cannot cast a vote with a text message The Atlantic reports on black civic engagement versus voter turnout during the Trump era A report from the Brennan Center on democracy Ezra’s interview with Carol Anderson Carol Anderson’s timely book on a history of voter suppression Matt’s piece on the hack gap The Daily Kos explains that when more people vote, Republicans lose 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hi. This is David Rubinstein. The host for the New York, historical society's new podcast for the ages join me as I swore the rich and complex history of United States with a nation's foremost historians and authors. Listen to for the ages, wherever you get your podcast YO, MRS Marquez Brownie Acre and could be hd, and this is Andrew, Manga Nellie Movement. Introduce you to our podcast way, form the new sedition to the Vocs media epoch ass network. So I spent over ten years reviewing tech products and consumer electronics for millions of people. On the empty, Beastie Youtube Channel and now on the way form podcast Andrew and I use that experience to dig even deeper into latest tech for smartphones too. I max to electric cars. So if you're gadget lover or attack head or if you just want to figure out whether the latest gadget is worth your harder in cash, give us a lesson say can find way form the empty beefy pie cast on your favorite Pakistan. Every Friday see over there.
Pakistan, that's for me to low looking through another up, said Louise and walks media like US network. I am as uclaf not like this here. Jane close, then it is the first with Jane and Azra only show flow. Jane Plaza is exciting. Its various We finally got rid of all those other folks. Now we can, we can have a real talk, it's true with thin the herd so let's talk about how our elections are completely unsafe and already hacked. We ran a really really deep and navigation into election security over at boxes by a Benjamin Wolford and the peaceful put in China, but called, Mid terms are already hacked you just don't know it yet, and it is
I would say one of the scariest pieces of reporting I've read in some time he talked over a hundred people involved in either Election Administration Election Security election. Sis and what they total was genuinely scared, I want to start us out by reading this one passage, because I think it frames a problem really well. He writes United States this November, it won't have one mid term election or even fifty, but a number closer to ten thousand elections basing here are locally administrative and these local officials, not the NSA, the FBI or the department, homeland Security who are standing force, against cyber attackers and November, it's as if America's most ancient civilian office, the local election Clark, has become saddled. new and alien responsibilities, tantamount to military contractor, and now here's a quote: we are at a fundamental disadvantage because it's not a fair fight sees a big Tex security expert who spoke on background. It's now every county, verses f be, which is the argument for Russia's version of the CIA, so that seems bad that
seems very bad, and I think, one of the interesting things about the speech which I hope recommend everyone go Reed is how it talks about elections our abilities that fall into three broad camps. So to speak. So there The targeting of individual campaigns through Dd S. Attacks in that kind of thing, email, theft, meddling the hacking of our national discourse propaganda efforts, which I think is what a lot People are most familiar with when we talk about the twenty sixteen election and russian interference and that I think most, turning to me is the honor of the technology itself, that underlies the election infrastructure, and I think that that's been something. That's me coming up a law recently. There is a twitter thread that went around yesterday. That was talking about how in Texas up
Lee on some of the touch pad election devices. It was switching people's votes, people who had voted straight ticket. This specific person had voted straight ticket Democrat when they back through their votes. They saw that their vote for better our work had been switch to a vote for TED crews, and they talked the elections Office in Texas and Texas, respond by saying, oh This has been happening for years. It's just you you! You have to go back and check. This can happen all the time and my first thought that doesn't sound at all reassuring. But the fact that, because this is a local problem, these are local officials that trying to deal with something there now takes on national importance to this line you here, sometimes when you worry about elections being hacked, which is that the UN's? evil. Multiplicity of election administration in America is some kind of advantage because would folks essays look you can hack, the american elections can hack the presidential election. You have to check all these different counties.
and on the one hand, it may be that somewhat reassuring, because it would take more resources to do it. It's not like you could just fine one vulnerability and exploit the whole thing, but, on the other hand, like, I think people need to think about this a little bit more. So it would not be hard for Russians or North Koreans are honestly just anyone right, a group of effective hackers who just want to so chaos to identify six mid term six, mid term house races, the could flip a house or two or in a presidential election to log, onto the upshot or log on to five thirty, eight and figure out. What are a couple. A counties in a couple of key states could really change the out, and then, let's see they don't even quite succeed, let's just say they go in and they leave enough havoc and enough of them that and then leave it to the press. such that all election results suddenly become contested. Such an all, the election results fall under doubt. I think people forget this, but there is big argument about what rush was trying to do in the twenty sixteen auction, and what previously too
succeeding beyond their wildest dreams in electing Vladimir Putin's best friend, Donald Trump, what they thought they were doing in America, which was not actually they're, gonna hack, the election and change who- and they didn't think that they could do that, what they were going to was so chaos. What they're gonna do is show that a man Arcos vaunted political system. Its democracy is not that democratic. It's not that trustworthy. It's not that safe and they're gonna turn us against each other by just throwing everything into doubt. and, if you imagine this not as like hacking operation but as a dissension operation, I guess as an operation to so instability in chaos. It would not at all behind to target a couple of the weakest and most critical county election systems whether or not you actually change the bow took. It certainly would leave enough havoc to make people wonder if you had an trying to imagine what the aftermath that would be it's not like. We have strong procedures,
This cut you, we don't have a procedure for we running an election, because now we don't believe the outcome. We have no idea what would happen and what were but we're not even talking about this effectively right, and I think that there is something to be said about the notion that the goal was not inherently with russian interference or with interference in general. The goal is not necessarily we want to elect a specific person. It is to put the entire electoral process under scrutiny. and raise questions about whether or not you are votes count- and I think that that goes to the second part of those three broad camps in which election vulnerabilities fall into which it you information operations and the peace goes into how there has been trainings are based on a mock scenarios like a viral facebook post that claims latino voters were barred from voting, that's being sent from a fake account, mimicking the regional acl you and I think, people who were
deeply online and twenty fifteen twenty. Sixteen remember kind of the very viral. Read it created threads at you. Obviously, that's not russian hackers, such as people on ready or fortune who are eating very posts that look like they're coming from the campaign of Hillary Clinton or the campaign of Donald Trump. That say things like we ve got this. You don't to vote or telling people that they can vote by text message and then giving them a number and the number actually works. And it says I thank you for voting or something like that which it's so deviate, super devious and fur you and I, from majority of listeners there thinking Yahoo would fall for that. But then you know someone of course did and trying to take back. Those kinds of posts are trying to take back. Information is virtually impossible what's out there and so its interest that there has been some efforts made at conferences and bio security experts and officials trying
figure out what to do about these kinds of online puts it are our coming, not necessarily from you the efforts, be or from North Korea, but just from like the internet itself, also one go back to the point you made about who would fall for that. I would really fall for that in another contact. Right I mean look like I'm a professional political journalist, so I happen to know that they have not made voting by text message, something you can do right, but if I were somebody who did not pay close attention to american politics and just assumed that american politics fold similar technological trends to everything else, where I can donate to my favour, podcast by text message or donated disaster relief by text message It is used, text, messages or email or all the digital communication for all kinds of different purposes. I can buy coffee on my phone. The idea like that in sexual idea that you would be able to vote by.
Message: it seems totally reasonable, actually yeah the scariest. These is when they have possibility and in some ways when they are more plausible than the incredibly bizarre archaic system that we have actually constructed. And it's interesting because I feel as if they're scared of two groups here who are getting preyed upon by two different types of electoral interference, So the first group is the kind of very online the people who would think that you could vote VIII, a text message, because they do everything else, be a text message. But then you see the very not online and those of the people who are voting on touch paths for their local county sheriff and those touch pad technology these are all sold by one company and the peace goes into how children have hacked these. And so it's interesting how? There are two separate groups at both notes: think of themselves in very different ways, but are equally vulnerable to different kinds.
Election interference, and so I want to go back to some the numbers from the peace other. This is pretty striking since nine eleven the country has spent more than a hunch. billion dollar securing about five thousand airports with ten thousand. Separate electoral jurisdictions. In the U S, the number of potential election targets is far greater and the money allocated so far. Three, Trade and eighty million is a decimal of a percentage point in comparison, something I think that this peace did a really good job of showing and though we don't talk now about, is we don't take, action seriously in this country. We don't take them seriously as something to protect we don't take them seriously is something that we have principles that should govern, at least to a large degree how they are run with, should have outsourced how they run too thousand different jurisdictions, many of which one them and in very different ways, and sometimes in very problematic ways,
actions are like the wellspring of everything else in our political system, and we heard a treat them as things that are meant to take care of themselves that they worked before. They should just work in the future, and you know, even after Wendy. Sixteen. We should have a real wake up call and you can go back to two thousand and four and the panic about Diebold machines and end the that you know you could have imagined that throwing the election in the out of legitimacy and end for many people dead right. There was a lot of come on Liberal said that the election had been hacked not of you I buy into, but but it is definitely out there. You would think we were really try to hard in this. We would think that, if nothing else, we want elections to be legitimate, but we ve not What in the money- and we ve not put in the by partisan, like fury to do so on. This is other part of the peace. When they talk about senators, or tried to pass an additional two hundred and fifty million dollars for states in time. For the mid terms, the amendment was blocked by republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri. He called it a potential new entitlement yet
yeah. It's a fascinating, also because I think that we have an idea about elections. I think it plays into why the mid terms traditionally, unlike this one, there's so much less attention from Americans, but it's interesting as a peace goes into how the campaign staffers of a congressional candidate in North Carolina found that a website for their kids Linda Coleman. There has an entirely new one that has been created and they hired a consultant to investigate. They found that the website registration was russian. Here there is another congressional candidate running in Alabama Tabitha prisoner. She alerted the FBI because the attempts to break into her campaign website had also come from Russia Summit trusting that in local elections. Wow. People in those localities, often, apparently are as invested in voting in them. People from Saint Petersburg
and elsewhere, are very interested in those elections also I listen, I'm not an expert on this. I read that a little bit differently, I read that is practised, runs not that Russia care so much about these local elections, but then, if you are Russia and you need to practise on how to break into local election systems or affect elections, you care about what you do. I do is you would want to take it up, tries it ed and pretty low stakes places where people are paying a lot of attention like how are you gonna get those at bats where you gonna you're gonna use local elections as your targets? That's a good point! Ezra! It's! It's really scary! right right- and I think that getting at getting at the fact that there are thousands of elections. I really like you- you highlighted this in the egg, serve to read that you we're talking. We talk The mid term is, but we mean in setting a sense about ten thousand elections, and these are happening you all across the country, and each of these is incredible:
incredibly vulnerable and even young Democratic Centre, Claire Mechanical ahead, her Senate staff targeted with a spear fishing campaign, and these are high level people. hi name recognition among people who follow politics at the congressional level and Oh, it's not trust these smaller elections at their trying. This on its clear on a dog Missouri, and so I think that it's interesting, how it bring all across the country and one thing had I just think his interesting about this, and this is a point while four makes in a number of times, but the people who elections in this country there, not I t, specialists, you dont into running your local election because you were Google senior vice president of external affairs or her or her. You know facebooks data security chief, although not that that persons whose be doing such a great job- but you don't get
do this job, because your and I t get into this because you're into politics, because your sympathy engage beak your party functionary and in a county, were your party controls power that there a lot of reasons you might become involved in the administration of local? but virtually none of them have to do with tee and it now. Elections are two very heavy extent, and I t question there there very much about information security there much about whether or not the the information devices you're using our usable by people, what you do when they break, and so you have problem where the people coming the elections, are very sophisticated hackers ride like you and me Gemlike, compared to people who predilection of the times are probably pretty online. We work for digital media company. We place to factor authorization and like all these different things but were not at all sophisticated compared to keep of russian or north korean or whatever, belgian hackers right intellect. Is that gap right both that the machinery is quite old, Thee
Software is being bought by a number of third party. Vendors were not great. There they're, making software specifications that were constructed prior to the concern about elections cured against foreign agents, and then the people running, this stuff Donna, what they're doing on an ideal of all like that's a really bad mismatch and I wish we could get people in politics to see. This is a real problem because I address I dont know how to think about what would happen like right now. Like my case Think Russia swung twenty sixty election. I know people disagree with us and they can go back and forth and I can't prove it has received close election, but I think, if you look at the evidence, I think things call me things like the email self like it was much better. It's all of the different things happening there, the Paddy the emails that Russia hacked into a god and released, and some of them there are things that they did. I do
see the evidence have had a big effect on the phone I ever pica. Some, I am angry, show coming out which on sizeable involve wreck and Michael tests or disrupt this great book identity crisis about the twenty sixteen Are they really go through the date on this and say, look like given the amount information. People being exposed to this isn't reason to think of the extremely small quantity of information being pushed by Russia changed enough minds. but even so, the fact that it was out there trying it is called a lot of the election into doubt for a lot of people, and you have to think of that. Like an early and very successful test run not just for Russia but for all kinds of enemies, right, I mean there might be reasons China wants to do something like this. If there are all kinds of things it they can happen here and You would not need much to really truly throw this ended out and then, if it wasn't in doubt, if we went back now and we could conclusively proof or I meet him put it differently, if we could not conclusively disapprove,
that the key places in Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania that swung those states in defiance of pulling and expectations, were correctly decided if there was evidence of some tampering- and now you had republican County election administrator, saying no nothing happened, don't worry about it. We ve looked into it and you had like democratic I'm experts saying Neuro this really wrong. I'm, like need to do audit and other I'm sorry. We don't have paper ballots safeguard, but a lot of these machines, don't there's no they do an audit and deny even election that may no longer be legitimate. I mean that kind of place I got. We can get into genuine civil violence right because on one side feels a deficit is taking. Power is basically mounting a coup swinging into really bad things, and so I just I feel like we. Even as we ve had demonstrations of how badly this can go, even as we ve had like this, like clacks, in warning, going off in our ears now four years
We are really lacking in imagination about how bad this could get and how fast and like how good that would be, for some of the people who wanted to be that way. I mean a lot of, the countries in the world like what they would like is for America to be consumed by internal division, unlike the really easy to do that. We deal agenda our political system at a time of very high, polarization and very bitter competition. Unlike what this, court of saying what this piece of saying. What we know is it wouldn't be all that hard and Are we treating this as emergency know? It's like a complete like we know people are trying to do this. We, see it coming. We know they ve already tried it it. We know Russia try Dac into some things during that during the twenty sixth, he marked an actual action systems. It doesn't look like this seated, but maybe who knows and were not doing nearly enough. Those is quoted in here from a security exploited at a big technology corporation. He says on us of one to ten with ten being Pentagon security measures. Elections have,
from a to two or three, that's bad. That's very bad! That's very good!. If you like, basically anyone listening to this right now, I'm willing to bet that you are you're dealing with stress, maybe there's it. Of it like an overwhelming amount- or maybe it's more like a low but steady, drumbeat background stress, no matter how you are experiencing stress, it's likely effect. who'd you energy in so many other areas of your life. You feel, like stress, is starting to take over strain your relationships and shorten your temper probably tend to unload and better help is perfect, for that better help is customized online therapy that offers video phony
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that a little bit, and there is a piece in the Wall Street Journal about efforts to motivate black voters and twenty eighteen I remember there is a peace right after the toy sixteen election, in your terms about the black Forest, the Milwaukee who didn't vote and didn't particular, care that they voted because they were not motivated and they were also in some senses de motivated, by the Trump campaign they felt as if it were, the Hilary campaign wasn't enough to get them in. They felt as if their votes didn't We count anyway They didn't really feel the call to talk about the issues or they felt that they'd been called to do so part of issue also is not just your internal divisions or agents of a war of some sort. It is causing people to just give up entirely on the system, because you can operate you're very effective we as the American without voting. or getting involved in politics or seeing. That is something that you can do, and we have seen that there is a terrific piece in the Atlantic, a cup
months ago, about how, while black civics, has decreased as a result. Since the twenty sixteen election, there has been more interest from Africa. Americans, in voting and in getting out the vote, but just to twenty sixteen election was in itself extreme. Lee demotivating for african americans- and I think that that needs to be part of how we talk about this not just that external elements want to drive us to take up arms against our neighbour, but they want people to just stay home and give up, and I think that debts equally concerning to me, Sir Here, I think, is the beside tricky move. To make this conversation, I think we have a generalised view that sort of hacking an election except in the most extreme circumstances. Something can only come from out Side right that you know, I mean yes, if the republic into the Democratic went in and change the results about, be hacking the election, but but very small levels of interference from actual hackers or Russians or whoever you know
Mason campaigns and other things that are considered when some of the legitimate. When, when political parties do them are illegitimate when they come from outside, and so I think it's worth taking a load of principles level view of this are saying is that there is a real problem when somebody intends to vote for candidate, tries to vote for a candidate and is prevented from having that vote. Count. count for the right candidate and you can mess it up at any those apples right. You can mess up their intention by giving them bad information. You can, up on whether or not they are able to vote by, say taking down voting systems or all kinds of things, and he can mess up whether not their vote counted by it by hacking into into the back and and there is a lot of activity right now in this country that I think one should basically think of not that differently from external events.
To effect an action which is organised to efforts to keep people, usually young and non white people. From voting I mean, I think in Georgia, for instance, you have. This, I think, is just crazy. It is Does he think that elections are often administered by people running in them, but camp? The republican candidate for governor is the Secretary of State, which is to say he is estates, key elections, administrator and he's running this very big voting purge in which seventy percent and of the people being purred from the system, I must say, are able to figure it out in time and in the end, get out of it are African American, and I don't know like It's obviously different than the question of people might vote. It happened our voting systems but because I dont think that we act We have a view in this country. Despite saying we do that the vote is sacrosanct to end that what should happen as it should be as easy as possible for people who want to vote to to vote and then have that vote count. There are a lot of efforts to interfere with whether by just making
really difficult for people to vote. I mean in the places where you have very long election lines. Those places are hugely disproportionate. Non white like they're. All these ways that you can. it into the transmission process between I want to vote, and I have voted and my vote has counted and theirs of, I think, a pretty organised effort, primarily on the part of Republicans right now too change the heel action. Else from what they would be If it were easy for everybody to vote and like again, I wish. We didn't see that as just a normal part of partisan politics, I We saw that as violation of the trans, partisan ideals. I like how our political system is meant to work in We see it that way when it is done by outside actors So I actually, I want to read a quote: it's from nineteen, eighty, in its from the late conservative activist, Paul Way, Wretch who, in nineteen seventy three helped to found the cut the heritage Foundation and in eighteen, seventy four who founded the can,
for the survival of a free congress which basically his entire goal, was to go after left, leaning and labour groups that he believed were keeping conservatives from dominating Congress. And so in nineteen eighty he gave a speech in which he said now many of our Christians have what I call goose syndrome, good governance they want everybody to vote. I dont want everybody to, elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have from the beginning of our country and they are not now as a matter of Our leverage in the elections quite candidly, goes up as the voting Populous goes down, and I think that It's a really interesting point that he made there, and I think that that's a point that was also made by Philip safely and other conservative activism nineteen seventy side to navies ninety nineties, which is that you should not have that many people voting, because the wrong people will vote here. There's a quote from Philip safely in a column for world NET daily. A couple years ago, at a late, conserve activist, who said that early
voting violates the Spirit of the constitution and facilitates and her terms a legal votes that cancel out the votes of honest Americans because there's this idea that, like there are certain group of people who should be voting? And there are certain group of people who shouldn't be voting, and it's pretty here, in the view of these conservative activists, that the people who should be voting are the people who are whites living in current middle class areas and they believe, are somehow immune to quoting quote identity politics and don't want to you. I believe that there is a quote in a cab member which election was, but the idea that, like some people, are just voting for free stuff and so I think that we want to believe that everyone across. The boy wants people to vote, and I think that that something you're starting to get a little bit but for long time there has been an idea across a swathe of the right that actually know
Don't want that many people to vote. You don't want voting to be easy. You dont want voting by mail. You don't want absentee voting to be widely accessible because when to many people vote in general Democrats when in a very high turnout elections in general Democrats are successful. And that's right. You know we saw in twenty ten and twenty fourteen. Fourteen is one of the lowest turn out mid term elections in the history of this country and its one in which Republicans dominated because, in general, the p, who would be motivated to go to vote in those types of elections tend to be altered. and tend to be way and tend to be already part of the republican base and I river. In the Olden days of when I worked that and eligibility Rights Foundation, we did a lot of jus tv outrage further. Twenty fourteen election and just the degree to which people were just not interested because it wasn't a presidential election. It didn't see that critical, but the people who were interested
generally right of centre conservatives, and so I think that we can talk about voter, idealize and gerrymandering in some of the issues that have to do with limiting black voters, but that hasn't happened on accidents. It has been a purposeful effort by a swap do people generally on the right who believe that this country works best when fewer people vote and fewer people are able to vote yeah and there's a great new book. She just had her on my other podcast by Carol Anderson called one person, no vote. How about his depression is destroying our democracy and I recommend listen to the podcast that came out. I think about a month and a half ago through this and one of the things It is really important about this. Isn't it what you have running through the entire history of these kinds of arguments going all the way back to do a hundred a hundred fifty years ago is once, America begins to develop an idea of itself as a democracy, a small democracy which doesn't happen there.
early random. Initially, like you can vote, if your woman, by the African American and you get you can vote in all kinds of circumstances. If you're, if your native American, I mean DE marks very thin ice early on in America, even as it was an expansion from what it was in most of the rest of the world. But as we begin develop, an idea of ourselves is different than that. The kinds of you're talking about Jane. They begin to develop these. It's like, what's almost way to put them in these. like second order justifications right so poultry, This is our way to keep african Americans from voting where they are applied, how they are applied, the nation which they replied. Who is administering them, but the way they are justified it is in this non racial eyes. Contacts with well, you know if we're gonna have people voting, that we should make sure they know enough to cast a judicious vote, Rebecca There is always a strain of that: an american life, whether you should have to earn your voting, that you should have to earn as a city and the right to participate in our democracy
did you know a lot of the stuff like these water purchased over just trying to prevent fraud. Now the fact that they're, basically is no in person voter fraud of the time you purchase would prevent but prevent a lot of people from voting. We should he doesn't matter I would just trying to prevent fraud and, in that sense, good to most people action in a voter fraud- and it's what's made this very difficult to combat over time, because if People would just stand up and say: listen like we want fewer people to vote or, more to the point, one fear people who won't vote for us to vote. We can, I guess, that conversation, but given the way America understands itself, if I wouldn't go, there far. Will you end up as having conversation in which that is the end? People are very clearly pursuing, but they are hiding They are cloaking it in all these other approaches. I mean there this thing. I think it was all maybe was also in Georgia. You play no jane where they were trying to take out a bunch of pulling play is in heavily non white communities. The Republicans were on the ground,
in places were not Americans with disabilities act compliant? Yes, I remember. I remember that yet that the argument being like they're not accessible, so they are true. To take out these pulling places, not replace them with accessible point places, not replace them with more just have them gone and the idea was with them gone there'd be fewer pulling places. It would take much longer to vote people are gonna, come they don't get the day I mean I'm a huge candidate. Either voting should be a holiday, they don't get the day off their work in there Bob the lines to another as Long Bay Leaf and me I like what they're saying is not that that these people should be able to vote. Is that these blindly These are not eighty eight compliant, but is worried about the accessibility upon bases its general. stomach. Turning What I would say, as a criticism here of Democrats, is it. It is something Democrats have a defensive reaction to right. They like, when confronted with something like a harsh road, are ideal, ah m or the reduction of in places are on eighty eight grounds in order to prevent people from being able to. In a timely manner, they will get defensive voting but
really have an offensive of idea like democracy there, not in a consistent way, pushing programme attic efforts and ATO me big de democratic. I mean small democratic. You see something It has been a booters automatic voter registration voting by mail there. There is some good stuff here, but as party as a generalised part of right or given that they have a view that more people should both, and that is a view that accords very well with what Americans think their view of this, is you not see a real prioritization in the party of making America a more against small democratic place. In fact, you see a lot of You're from that on the theory that you know, if you say what are weakens and presence of the District of Columbia were states and they have representation in Congress with. it seems unfair Republicans, even though its just like these are Americans. Listen, you should have representation like at the same time that role begins. Her are being very aggressive in their efforts to pull back the vote you do now.
I think, see a serious counter effort by Democrats to establish no, like this country believes itself to be a democracy. We should constructed like a democracy. We should make it easier for people to vote should make it easier for you to vote if you work harder work to jobs be a day off voting. I mean there's a lot. You can do here too great Brennan's. the report on this that we should talk about, but it is not at a national or coordinated level. A democratic message you here are eight: let's take a quick break and then jump into the report This episode is brought to you by own up. Every bank says they ve got great mortgage rates. So why are people paying billions of dollars and extra interest every year, because it's too hard to know what a great deal looks like for. You are unique scenario. Own up makes it easy to get the personalized data to help you make a smarter home financing decision, learn when a great deal looks like for your mortgage. So you never over pay bills. Your profile today, at o, not dotcom equal. How
the opportunity and am, alas, idea number one. Four five await o five people, often ask me of prosecuting the mob, is like the movies. Well, There is violence he cracks disguise over their head and a pop. Just like the melancholy there are heads, so wasn't just permission to take a map of permission to take out his own. have you been after taking down over one hundred mobsters. I can tell you this is the real thing is much more interesting, Emily holding former mild prosecutor and host of the new podcast up against a mom up against the mob. The bail on the world's most secretive criminal organization, La Cosa, Nostra we'll talk to profit Peters, former mobsters, an undercover agents and Ike Hollywood. All these stories are true. New episodes dry
every Wednesday starting September- Eighth, listen and follow up against the Bob on Apple podcast Spotify or your favorite podcast app. Our aid. As are you ready to talk about this report? I am ready. I am always ready to jump into Brennan Centre Report. I M very excited, so the Breton Centre for Justice came out with a report, democracy, an election agenda for candidates, activists and legislators, and it's really interesting because it talks about specific ideas. concepts that would help to modernize the voting process and make the voting process more accessible and also improve redistricting efforts and reference station- and it goes into things about you- automatically voter registration, expanding early voting, because voters and thirteen states
not vote early and there's been major cutbacks in some states to cut back on early voting. But it's really interesting, as I think it really gets to your point and I'm gonna use the term progressive. But I dont mean, like Liberal Progressive, I mean like a forward thinking agenda. For how to think about voting, because I think that the reaction has been, as you said, this very much like republicans one is to vote, so we will vote more, but not thinking about how we vote or when we vote or how to make voting easier and knew how to put that forward in action. So there's so much here, so I just want to run through a couple the proposals of the report, because the just like when you hear most of them as such obvious, common sense, so enact automatic voter registration, which means that when you interact with the government like what they get a driver's license or or you get student loans, you are registered to be a voter unless he declined to be so. That means it's much easier for you to vote in the future, expand
Early voting should speak. You should just be able to vote earlier cuz. It's prevent long lines hold. I really like this one. I think it's really important by the weights been recommended by partisan commission some, including, I think, one that was co chaired by President Carter and What, if I'm not Ronald, I could be miss remembering that, but the scared you there is no one anywhere in America should wait than thirty minutes to cast about- and it seems reasonable to me, like thirty minutes, is plenty of time to wait to cast about, They propose restoring the Voting Rights ACT, the Supreme Court gotta this. I think it's really worth saying that one of the dynamics in America right now is you have a republican party that heaps winning presidential elections were losing. The popular vote has a six point advantage in this et. I just have this progress. We need silver and warnings. talking about was, if you compare the average state to the population as a whole, at six point more republican, so Republicans how this persistent advantage in the Senate and between those two things they
unable to get persistent advantage in the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court is then passing laws to help make elections easier for applicants including cutting the pre clear inside of voting Rights ACT, so they they recommend restoring that restoring voting rights to citizens with past criminal convictions. I know people argue about this, but I have never stood why you are no longer part of the american community if, if you have a criminal conviction, protecting double voters from improper purchase of voter rules protecting against deceptive election practices hardening voting security. I want stop this hardening voting security thing fur for another moment, because it connects our earlier conversation. There's a bipartisan, ACT in the Senate, its by I'm senators, Amy, COBRA, Char and James. Like Ford, I believe it's called the safe elections act It could be miss remembering this. It does a bunch of things. Wanna things it does. Is it does ran, audits of the voting across the countries. You can see something is going wrong by creating the capacity to audit a vote after the fact
The audit using paper voting, which in theory be, would be pushed under this. You would be able to see. Hay was something that happened in the way that the machines reported the vote that were not seeing in the paper printouts. It were verified by the voters themselves that was gone to pass it was scheduled and then it died and wanted a dime. The White House killed it. And why did the White House killed? They said they cannot. abide by any measure that would transfer power from the states to the federal government now putting aside that they constantly of measures that would transfer power from states that the federal government, like I'm, not gonna, go deep into this, but there's a lot of democracy or the aid, yeah, that that is why they didn't want that bill. The dvd they build all right that they want to bill making sure the vote could be verified as being legitimate and incorrectly counted it so telling he's so unbelievably telling it should be such a scandal and the fact that it is, it breaks my heart. A little bet there's a lot in
and you can just do a lot of other things and about the porter. We go in DC thing, That's been on my mind, a bed because Sheldon White House, whose a Democrat from Rhode Island in the Senate when the most fallen government reformists types. He was asked about this and he said basically like totally waved away. Did he see thing? He said I just short island got, the federal jobs and outlays DC gets which is irrelevant to voting, and then he set up. Eureka, where we can't really do that, because, in order to preserve quoted the balance, Republicans within me need like new states of their own and what like, why? What If there are people in this country who don't representation they should have and if they have that they would vote for democratic. That's not unfair that they, then Republican, should have to compete harder to get their vote like that's how this works there's something that really wrong. Here has been a total loss in the ability to talk about our political system and participation in it from a principles level, and have an agenda like flowing out of those principles that people actually push and
Did you really see it in the splendid report there? So many good ideas here and there? that's not a major focus of the Democratic Party, which then kid is not What a focus on the policies it would prefer to focus on because it keeps losing elections despite having more people vote for it, it's a pretty bad equilibrium. right, and I think it really does get to something I want to hammer on this point. A little bit is We are not operating in a world in which both parties are attempting to make pitches to voters and voters have the option to say like this. One or this one I think Democrats want to believe that were operating at equilibrium at which, if they just present the best possible ideas and Republicans present the best possible ideas. People will select the democratic idea, because I think that there the concept and I think a lot of people of written on this. That, like conservatism, is not an inherently popular ideology, and I think that that something that a lot of people- even you talked a lot of things That is where they recognise its difficult to pitch people on this.
they can talk about limited government and low taxes, which is something that, like you, can talk to people about, but kind of the whole depth and breadth of the conservative movement has not ever been based on the idea that its inherently popular it's time to recognise that for a while, of our politics there's one side. That's like I. Yes, we're having this competition of ideas and there's the other set did saying. no. We do very much would prefer not to do that, and so this report's really helpful, because these are wild and crazy concepts users, you a lot of states, already have a lot of this in placing a voting by mail, for example, which has been a tremendous success in the pacific northwest. But I think that there is an idea that, because they would encourage more people to vote or make voting easier, that they would inherently making it easier for Democrats. to win, which it's not how it should work. It's not how it should work that you don't do something that's inherently good, because it might help the people you dont like and yet that's where we live. Now
I want to push on this a little bit because I think it I think it treats. American politics is to static. because I, as he's a lot so Samantha thought. Spoked is really well on his really great peace on the hack up which again of people not read that it's not quite this conversation, but they should read it and he talks about the There's always studies trying to quantify the push that Fox NEWS and Sinclair. Give Republicans, and you know Fox NEWS going back to the O. Eight election appears to be given Republicans six points more in the past. you're about than they would otherwise have something in that range. I'm it's pretty big scene taking that away, and then all of a sudden like you can look. They say, oh Republicans, whenever one election again, but if they would win elections again. What would happen is that they would be. Appealing to an electorate that reflects the electorate. Can it naturally a little bit more, and so they would moderate in some important ways, and you see you seem for Bob, to do this, and so I take your point Jane. That concern
ism in its pure forms or in in the peer forms of some of the people who would like to define. It may not be popular right, I think, like Michael Conservatism, where you kind of dismantle or around Paul, like we dismantle Medicare and dismantling private eye social security? Do all these different things. It may not be popular, but republicanism can be quite popular rounded off. I think that that is an important point like that. That is, let's get yes raw reg This popular George, W Bush did not win his first campaign for the presidency, but did be John Kerry. I'm in a second campaign for the presidency like it, can be properly poppy. For pumping governor in Massachusetts, whose extremely popular like there are. out of ways for Republicans to be popular. The problem with this is it it's distorting. Everything it's allowing Republicans to compete for less of an electorate to an end. Just like, like, let's be flawed about a more white electorate, an older electorate, to some which were electorate than the one they competing for voting was easier, and
they are competing for that broader electorate, they would have to appeal that brought our electorate and they may do a really good job of it right they make kick. Democrats ask either gets a totally leg plausible outcome here, certainly You know over couple. Election cycles like always a sort of lurking idea of like reformer, con conservatism that you, can imagine someone like a marker Rubio pushing in other people out there who who could do it, but it doesn't happen because there they ve, reckons did their base through gerrymandering may have reconstructed their districts and so the crowd. They are poor, Two is somewhat smaller crowd. And it allows them to spend some of the support they would otherwise have to win on being of a little bit more VA, ideologically extreme party. then there would be- and I think that's bad for politics to like. I think that they should have to be competing for the country as it is not elected not and left her they ve come. Have chosen or where they ve shaved off some of the edges, there would hurt them. I
really dont- want the idea here to be that, like if we had a more small democratic country, if, like we had a country where the will of the people was more cleanly expressed, their problems would never be competitive again. They would be right, they will just have to compete and right now they have created a situation where they dont have to compete for a lot of votes otherwise have to win in order to wind power, that allows them to hew to a more unpopular agenda that would otherwise be possible ray. It's interesting. We had a conversation, Matt Dark and I a couple weeks ago on black conservatism, and I actually I sat down with the president of the Heritage Foundation a couple weeks ago, K James, whose african american- and we talked about this- about how yet why have Republicans stopped reaching out to African Americans and this not a new phenomenon, and I think that there have been five small efforts, but in general they ve cut of written off african american votes and she very
only told me that I needed to know what the hell is going on here too, because I dont understand either, and so this is obviously a very it's a long thread there, but I think that the idea that both parties should have to speak to all people and it's interesting, because I think that there is lot of conservatives. Writing about how liberals have rediscovered federalism and how liberals are you talking about local issue, and that's how their appealing to voters and we saw that special elections in Virginia and elsewhere last year were seeing that again this year, but the idea that there could be campaigns that focus both national issues and on local issues, and both candidates would need to compete on the actual issues, and I talk to everyone, and I think that that's been something that Democrats have attempted to do and, as we are seeing a little bit of some push back on that, I read an interesting piece actually in the weekly standard. That was talking
about how african voters perceive clear Mc Caskey, because apparently he or she has not been doing the outreach that they would like to see. And yet we are not seeing from Republicans Republicans art like how we will take this, we will go to african american voters and talk about how we can pick this better tat but how we are a better option there Noticing that the liberal, who should be doing that, isn't there not filling in that gap, and so I think that if your goal is to have all candidates from all parties have to try to talk to all people and present, why their ideas are better, not just why the alternative is worse, but Their ideas are better. I think that that should be the goal, and I agree with you. I think that, while conservatism is a specific pitch that I personally think is just difficult to sell on people republican
I've been very popular because I think in some senses, YO popular Republicans have occasionally has given up on certain segments of conservatism. There's a reason why TED crews has never actually become president, I've got a good place to end. That is the weeds up. We are, elections would be safe with whom we are concerned. They will be think it a Jane for being here. Producer and engineer different tanner too he superbly studio, or I am currently podcasting out of- and we will see you again on Tuesday, accessible, affordable broadband hubs, communities reach stored there can dream for students. Lectures on a Chavez means rising above the poverty line and becoming valedictorian of international high school at Langley Park, and thanks to access from eighteen t, it can help these.
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Transcript generated on 2021-09-11.