Russia Using Top GOP Senators For 2020 Election Meddling

Senator Ron Johnson(R-WI) and Senator Chuck Grassley(R-IA)

A bombshell segment on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow explored the fact that Russia (read Putin), is planning to meddle in the upcoming November 2020 elections in much the same way as it did in 2016–via a misinformation campaign. The only difference in the Russian misinformation campaign in 2020 however is that this time, instead of relying heavily on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Putin is using two top GOP Senators namely Ron Johnson (WI) and Chuck Grassley (IA), to facilitate the misinformation campaign.

You’ll remember reports by right wing media outlets which suggested that former vice president Joe Biden’s son used his father’s influence to profit from corrupt deals in Ukraine. President Trump seriously played up this supposed Biden-Ukraine scandal in the hopes of knee-capping Biden’s 2020 presidential run, a scheme that didn’t work. As it became evident that Biden was poised to become the Democratic nominee for president in 2020, Senator Ron Johnson, who heads the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and Senator Chuck Grassley who heads the Senate Finance Committee, launched investigations into the Biden-Ukraine affair, investigations which many suspected were merely extensions of President Trump’s efforts to undermine Biden’s presidential campaign.

This week U.S. intelligence agencies, in addition to warning us of Russia’s attempt to meddle in our 2020 elections, specifically singled out Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian, as the point man in the misinformation campaign. The shocking part, according to Maddow, is that the same Andriy Derkach, is the one feeding Senators Johnson and Grassley with misinformation about the Bidens for their supposed Senate investigations. In essence, Putin is running his misinformation campaign through two top GOP Senators.

Maddow specifically said, “He [Andriy Derkach] is spreading these claims by providing those claims to…the Republican U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Ron Johnson, who heads the Senate Homeland Security Committee. The same pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian named in today’s intelligence report also indicates to us that he is spreading these claims by providing them to..the Republican senior U.S. Senator from Iowa, Chuck Grassley, who runs the Finance Committee in the U.S. Senate. This is remarkable, the guy who is named by U.S. intelligence in the specific public warning today about what Russia is doing to interfere in the 2020 elections to try to reelect Trump, the way he’s been doing his work for the Russian government to mess with our election, is by feeding material to a purported investigation of Joe Biden by Senator Ron Johnson on the Homeland Security Committee and Senator Chuck Grassley on the Finance Committee in the Senate.”

Also crucially important per Maddow, is the fact that these two GOP Senators are scheduled to release the findings of their “investigations” into the Bidens, sometime in mid-September, right before the November elections. This leaves absolutely no doubt that Senators Johnson and Grassley are knowingly using their powerful U.S. Senate positions to facilitate a Russian misinformation campaign aimed at affecting the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. This is conduct quite unbecoming of U.S. Senators, and should result in their immediate resignation.

Bottom line folks, America is still coming to terms with the effects of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections. Congress has expended a lot of time and energy trying to figure out a way of preventing any future foreign meddling in our elections. Where, as here, top U.S. Senators are the ones responsible for facilitating such foreign meddling in our elections, the only solution is for them to resign from the U.S. Senate. Simply put, Americans have a right to free and fair elections, and any U.S. Senator working to deny them of such a right, does not belong in the U.S. Senate.

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GA Governor’s Former Campaign Manager Is A Lobbyist For Voting Machine Company Responsible For GA Voting Debacle

Tuesday night’s edition of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show(TRMS) featured a segment about the numerous problems voters experienced when trying to cast their ballots in Georgia’s primary elections. As usual, the voting problems were concentrated in democratic party strongholds–urban areas where minorities live. The Maddow segment however threw in an interesting tidbit into the story and that is, the lobbyist for the voting machine company(Dominion) at the center of Georgia’s primary voting debacle is none other than the former campaign manager for Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp. The full Maddow segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

Maddow specifically said, “An electronic voting machine company[Dominion Voting Systems] hired [Governor] Brian Kemp’s former campaign manager to be it’s lobbyist, and then the Brian Kemp administration in Georgia, hired that company to replace all of the voting machines in every city, town and county in Georgia, all in record time–literally record time. The state had this board of evaluators that was looking at the various companies who were trying to get that voting machine contract. This board of evaluators looked at the different bids from the different companies and what they were offering. They did not pick the company that Georgia ultimately went with. They picked a different company altogether. But no, the state administration instead decided they would go with the company that Brian Kemp’s campaign manager was the lobbyist for. The company had never had a job this big ever, in fact there has never been a bigger job in U.S. election history. As the Atlanta Journal Constitution pointed out last November, what Georgia was trying to roll out here, was the largest and fastest roll out of elections equipment in U.S. history.”

Maddow’s segment raises the prospect that the Tuesday primary election debacle we witnessed in Georgia may not have been the result of some random or unforeseeable technical difficulties but rather, a well orchestrated plan of voter suppression by Georgia Republicans. Governor Brian Kemp is no stranger to allegations of voter suppression. As a matter of fact Kemp has been a constant target of election integrity/security advocates like Jennifer Cohn for years.

This troubling revelation that Kemp’s former campaign manager is the lobbyist for the voting machine company at the center of Georgia’s voting debacle should be cause for a complete and thorough voter suppression investigation. We simply cannot afford to wait until the November general elections to be “surprised” by the same voting machine problems.

Bottom line folks, there’s no longer any doubt that the unpopular policies of the republican party are increasingly turning it into a marginal/regional party. Republican party leaders have long realized that their only chance of clinging on to power is to make sure as few people as possible vote, especially minorities who traditionally vote against them. What we witnessed in Georgia’s primary elections was just the latest example of GOP voter suppression but it definitely will not be the last. If we are going to have free and fair election this Fall, it is imperative that the mainstream media and members of congress take voter suppression allegations like the ones in Georgia very seriously. Simply put, Governor Kemp must not be allowed to orchestrate yet another voting “debacle” in November for GOP’s benefit.

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Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick Wants To Limit Mail Voting To Voters Over 65 Because Covid-19 Mostly Kills Them

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick(R)

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick appeared on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom show and parroted the falsehood currently being spread by President Trump that mail-in ballots are prone to massive voter fraud. Lt. Gov Patrick argued that because CDC data has established that it is people over 65 who are mostly losing their lives due to covid-19 , only Texas voters over 65 should be allowed to vote by mail. As shocking as this sounds, Lt Gov Patrick is literally telling Texas voters under 65 not to worry about contracting covid-19 at the polling places because even if they do, it will not kill them–it only kills people over 65. This is sadly, the kind of reasoning you get from a guy who’s second-in-command to the Texas Governorship.

Lt. Gov Patrick said when asked about voters’ valid fears of covid-19, “I want to go back to what the CDC said. 80% of people who have died from the virus [covid-19] are over 65. Anyone over 65 in America can vote safely from home. That’s already the law virtually everywhere–some states have all mail-in ballots on the west coast. So anyone 65 who is really vulnerable can vote from home. This idea that we want to give you a disability claim because ‘I’m afraid to go vote’ if you are under 65 is laughable. You have more chance of being in a serious auto accident if you are under 65 on the way to vote, than you do from catching the virus and dying from it by voting.”

One of the biggest flaws in Lt Gov Patrick’s reasoning (it’s actually totally flawed), is this idea that covid-19 affects one’s life only if it kills you. A leading pulmonologist Dr Andrew Martin, told Heathline, a medical journal that, “Patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), seen often in severe COVID-19 illness, sometimes develop permanent lung damage or fibrosis as well.” So voters of color who are especially vulnerable to covid-19, have a valid reason to fear contracting covid-19 because even if it does not kill them, there’s a good chance it will leave them with long-term medical problems. It is not unreasonable, or “laughable” as Lt Gov Patrick put it, for them to opt for mail-in voting.

Lt Gov Patrick also pointed out in the same Fox News segment that some states in the west coast already conduct all their elections by mail. Notably, he didn’t point to any reports of widespread voter fraud in elections conducted by the said west coast states.

Another eye-catching moment in Lt Gov Patrick’s interview was his unprompted revelation that he knew of ways someone can easily steal votes to swing a close election. This was an eye-catching revelation because Texas voters to this day, have a lot of questions as to how Senator Ted Cruz narrowly defeated his Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke in the 2018 elections.

Lt. Gov Patrick told host Ed Henry, “We [Texas] have so many elections that are so close…….you can swing the balance easily Ed. I can give you ten scenarios but I won’t because I don’t want to give anyone ideas how you can easily steal thousands of votes…” Actually Lt Gov Patrick, Texans would like to find out what you know about easily stealing thousands of votes.

Bottom line folks as we’ve seen numerous times before, Republicans in Texas and elsewhere, will do everything in their power to get as few people as possible to vote. Republicans nationwide have come to terms with the fact they are increasingly becoming a regional party, totally out of step with mainstream American political thought. Lt Gov Patrick’s desperate attempts to stop voting by mail has nothing to do with voter fraud and everything to do with voter suppression–ensuring as few Texans as possible vote in November. It is truly a sad way to “win” an election, but that’s exactly where we are with Trump’s GOP.

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Texas Secretary Of State Allowed GOP To Violate State’s Election Law For Decades

Texas Secretary of State Ruth Rugerro Hughs(Left) and Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman(Right)

An interesting feud that could have national political implications has erupted between two Texas women–Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman, a Democrat, and Texas Secretary of State Ruth Rugerro Hughs, a Republican. At issue is a last minute advisory Secretary of State Hughs’ office handed County Clerk Trautman on how to handle votes cast during the Houston Mayoral race that according to Trautman, resulted in a 12 hour delay in announcing the election results. The 12 hour delay in announcing election results has generated a lot of finger-pointing with Republicans blaming it on Democrat Trautman and Trautman in turn placing the blame squarely on GOP Secretary of State Hughs’ office..

Houston’s Mayoral elections were held on November 5, 2019 and are headed for a December 14, 2019 runoff because no candidate managed to get a majority of the vote(more than 50%). Early voting began on October 21, 2019. On October 23, with early voting already underway, Texas Secretary of State Hughs’ office issued an advisory directing all Texas counties to make copies of election result data before transmitting them electronically. This would ensure that the county had a backup in case hacking was suspected or alleged during electronic transmission of election results.

The problem with this seemingly prudent advisory from Secretary of State Hughs’ office is that it was such a last-minute advisory(issued after early voting commenced) that Harris County officials simply could not abide by it. The county did not have the equipment necessary to make the desired copies and could not get them in time to keep up with the election timetable. Because of this last-minute advisory, County Clerk Diane Trautman made a decision to physically transport all election results to a single point and manually feed them into a single machine thus doing away with the electronic transmission concerns. It is this process of physically transporting election results to a single point and feeding them into a single machine that resulted in the 12-hour delay in announcing election results.

This is the point however that you must not miss. Republicans have been running Harris County elections way before Democrat Diane Trautman came along. Their chosen method of transmitting election results(via modem) has been widely criticized by Houston area Computer Scientists, notably Professor Dan Wallach of Rice University, as being very unsafe and susceptible to hacking. Houston Public Media’s Jen Rice, who wrote a piece about this election feud, spoke to the aforementioned Prof Wallach who told her, “We found that this particular modeming process[used by Republicans] was really not secure….and that has been used unmodified despite our findings for a decade.” 

Despite decades-long concerns by Harris county residents, neither Republican Harris county officials nor the Texas Secretary of State have deemed it prudent to institute the election security advisory they suddenly imposed on Democrat Diane Trautman–copying election data before transmitting them electronically. In other words, Texas Secretary of State has known for decades that transmitting election results via modem was not secure and violated Texas election law(which mandates a secure method of transmission), but allowed Republicans to do it anyway. Their concerns about election security have only been stoked now that Democrat Trautman is in charge. Texas election law specifically bans the use of modems during tabulation yet the Texas Secretary of State has allowed Harris County Republicans and possibly other counties to do that anyway, for decades. It is only now that a Democrat is in charge that they are applying the law.

For the record, reasonable people can disagree as to which mode of election data transmission is more secure–the Republican modem or the Democratic Party’s intranet. All reasonable people will agree however that making a copy of election results before transmitting them electronically is a necessity when there are concerns about the security/safety of election data during transmission. The question now confronting Harris county Republicans and the Republican Secretary of State is why for all these years, they have transmitted election results electronically using non-secure modems, without first making a copy of the data? You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman made the same argument to Houston Public Media’s Jen Rice. Trautman said, “The one that my predecessor used[modems] last November was over a cellular network, which is the internet. So he was violating this 10-year law that the Secretary of State brought up.”

More importantly, Diane Trautman added that the last-minute advisory from Secretary of State Hughs’ office came as a result of political pressure put on her by the Harris County Republican Party and specifically, Harris County GOP Chairman Paul Simpson. This is a very serious allegation which definitely deserves to be investigated further. If Texas Secretary of State Hughs is being unduly influenced by partisan politicians when making decisions about the state’s election procedures, then she needs to resign immediately.

Trautman told Houston Public Media, “I believe it’s common knowledge that the Secretary of State admitted to our County Attorney that the Harris County Republican Party put pressure on the Secretary of State to make this last minute advisory.” Harris County GOP Chair Simpson denied this allegation saying, “The advisory went out before the Republican Party was even involved….To my knowledge, we didn’t ask for any advisory.”

Bottom line folks, there are three crucial questions here that beg for some serious answers. First, why has the Texas Secretary of State allowed Republicans to use modems for election data transmission for decades when Texas election law expressly forbids that? Secondly, why didn’t the Texas Secretary of State impose the “copy before electronically transmitting” rule before Democrat Diane Trautman came along? Thirdly, was the last-minute advisory the result of political pressure from Harris County Republican Party officials? A serious investigation needs to be conducted over this third question and if proven, Secretary of State Hughs must resign.

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Russia Was In A Position To Delete Or Change Voter Data

CBS Face The Nation‘s host Margaret Brennan made a bombshell revelation today when reading from a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report she said, “Russia likely targeted election infrastructure in all 50 states. The first known breach was in July 2016 in Illinois where Russian cyber actors scanned state election systems. They were in a position to delete or change voter data. The report does say some progress has been made but the threat is imperfectly understood…”

This mirrors the recent troubling revelation made by Rep Jackie Speier (D-CA) who said Russia likely tampered with our voting machines in 2016 in ways we may never know.

The idea that Russia tampered with our voting machines in 2016 is still largely treated by the mainstream media as some wild conspiracy theory yet time and again we get evidence showing that it is anything but a conspiracy–the latest being this bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report. The question as to what exactly Russia did in 2016 is one House Democrats and the mainstream media should still be digging into even though the Mueller investigation is now over

Bottom line, if we are going to successfully defend ourselves against another foreign attack on our voting infrastructure in 2020, we need to fully understand what Russia did in 2016 so that we know where our vulnerabilities lie. As it currently stands, the stance taken by House Democrats and the mainstream media is that we need to move on now that Mueller probe is over. Yours Truly strongly disagrees and believes that instead of “moving on”, now is the time we need hunker down and dig deeper into the Mueller findings for clues at to what exactly Russia did in 2016 and ways to stop them in 2020. This issue has to be front and center of mainstream media coverage as we head into 2020.

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Beware Of Hackable Paper Ballot Machines

Election security advocate Jennifer Cohn has issued a serious warning regarding the upcoming 2020 elections saying jurisdictions across the country are increasingly installing paper ballot machines that are still prone to hacking. In other words election officials are deceiving the public whether knowingly or not, when they claim that the paper ballot machines they are installing are hack-proof.

As Jennifer Cohn clearly points out, all these so called hack-proof machines do is generate paper summary cards with a barcode. Cohn argues that these barcodes can be manipulated as opposed to the traditional paper ballot where the voter actually uses hand and pen to make a candidate selection. Simply put, Jennifer Cohn wants the public to know that the paper summary cards are not “paper ballots” in the traditional sense because they are machine generated not hand marked. Voters need to be extra vigilant with their state election officials and insist on hand marked paper ballots because that is the only hack-proof way of voting.

Cohn specifically warns; “I am posting this video to warn the public about a dangerous new type of electronic voting system called a universally used ballot marking system that jurisdictions across the United States are recklessly buying in anticipation of the 2020 election. Although many experts are gravely concerned about these new universally used ballot marking devices, their concerns have flown largely under the media’s radar because the ballot marking devices generate paper summary cards that election officials and vendors have misleadingly decided to call paper ballots. But unlike traditional hand marked paper ballots which voters literally mark with their hand and pen, machine marked paper ballots can be hacked.”

According to Jennifer Cohn, the following states have already purchased these “dangerous” new barcode universally used ballot marking devices for 2020; Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Kentucky, California, Colorado, Delaware, New Jersey, Kansas, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Indiana. These devices are also apparently in the pipeline in Georgia, New York and North Carolina.

Importantly Jennifer Cohn urges the public to call their elected representatives asking them to support Ron Wyden’s PAVE Act, which apparently addresses this problem by requiring all jurisdictions to provide voters with a hand marked paper ballot option.

Bottom line, Democrats have to be especially careful in 2020. Republicans know there is a lot of attention being placed on foreign hacking of voting machines. Naturally Republican election officials nationwide will take actions meant to assure voters that they are serious about countering the threat of foreign hacking. It appears they have settled on these dangerous universally used ballot marking systems that are still very hackable but create the false impression among gullible voters that they are hack-proof paper ballot systems. Democrats and indeed the mainstream media must expose the truth behind these deceptive machines. As Yours Truly has repeatedly stated before, it’s about time the mainstream media started inviting the venerable Jennifer Cohn as a pundit on election security matters. This is way long overdue and quite frankly journalistic malpractice at this juncture.

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McConnell Blocking Floor Debate On Election Security Bill

In case you missed it, Dem Senator Mark Warner(VA) said on CBS Face The Nation that even after all the press coverage about Russia meddling in our elections, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is yet to schedule a floor debate on an election security bill. As Senator Warner correctly pointed out, this is the “height of irresponsibility.”

Sen Warner told host Margaret Brennan, “I would argue there are three things we can do this week when we come back. First we have to go ahead and pass bipartisan election security legislation to make sure for example that there is a paper ballot trail after every vote.” Host Margaret Brennan then interjected, “There’s been no floor time allowed” to which Sen Warner responded, “There’s been no floor time allowed.” It is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who decides which bills come to the Senate floor for debate.

Ever since the 2016 elections, this has been one of those troubling but recurring themes–the reluctance by both President Trump and Congressional Republicans to effectively address the well documented efforts by Russia to interfere in our elections. It is by far one of the most perplexing topics of modern American politics. Nobody in their right mind could ever have envisioned that we would come to a point where sitting members of Congress would have to be dragged/forced to act to prevent an attack on our democracy by a hostile foreign power. Sadly, this is exactly where we find ourselves today and Mitch McConnell’s inaction on a much needed election security legislation serves as exhibit A.

Bottom line, Mitch McConnell is up for reelection in 2020 and both Congressional Democrats and the mainstream media have a duty to confront him about his reluctance to have a floor debate on a desperately needed election security bill. Is Mitch McConnell/GOP counting on help from Russia in the 2020 elections? People should no longer shy away from confronting McConnell and other Congressional Republicans with these types of questions. Yours Truly has been doing just that for some time now.

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Manafort Is Proof Of #YesCollusion

With Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe concluded, President Trump and Congressional Republicans have latched on to the “time to move on” mantra incorrectly suggesting that Mueller was hired to investigate TrumpRussia collusion and found no evidence of such collusion. This is a very clever argument, which Republicans have calculated will be widely accepted by their voting base. From a factual basis however, the argument that Mueller never found any evidence of collusion is as deceptive as it gets.

It is a well established fact that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had multiple contacts (while chairman), with Russians tied to the country’s military intelligence. It is also a well established fact that Manafort as Trump campaign chairman, shared Trump campaign’s internal polling data with a Russian military intelligence aide(Konstantin Kilimnik). It is also a well established fact that Manafort fought tooth and nail to keep his communications with the said Russians away from Mueller’s team, even risking spending the rest of his life in prison to that end. In his recent press briefing, Robert Mueller concluded by saying this about Russian meddling, “There were multiple systematic efforts to interfere in our election and that allegation deserves the attention of every American.”

Any reasonable presented with these set of facts will inevitably arrive at the conclusion that Manafort’s obfuscation/refusal to fully cooperate was the reason Mueller failed to establish a clear cut TrumpRussia collusion case. In other words, Mueller had evidence of TrumpRussia collusion but without cooperation from Manafort, could not make an an iron-clad case. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow did an excellent segment on this very topic.

Bottom line, there cannot be a conclusive determination as to whether Trump campaign colluded with Russians without getting to the bottom of Manafort’s well documented contacts with Russian military intelligence. What was the content of his communications with them? Why did he share polling data with a Russian with close ties to Russian military intelligence? What exactly was the polling data he shared with them? What discussions did Trump’s lawyers have with Manafort regarding his cooperation with Mueller? These and many more, are questions that must be posed to Mueller and Manafort if they ever testify before Congress. Preferably, the Manafort question should be a key aspect of Trump’s impeachment hearings because it would force Manafort, Trump and his lawyers to testify about this incident under oath. Simply put folks, #YesCollusion!!

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DHS Gutting Election Meddling Task Force

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

A bombshell Daily Beast piece says despite the threat of a Russian/foreign attack on the upcoming 2020 Elections, DHS is gutting two task forces specifically created to counter such attacks. According to the Daily Beast piece, the two DHS task forces being downgraded are part of the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) whose job is to guard the nation against foreign cyber attacks including those targeting our election infrastructure.

This is of course very serious news given the ongoing TrumpRussia investigation but predictably, it has also escaped the attention of the corporate mainstream media which instead devotes much of its attention and resources to Trump/GOP-inspired “scandals” implicating Democrats, the latest being Senator Warren’s ancestry and the mess in Virginia state government.

The Daily Beast reports that the two task forces meant to guard our elections against foreign meddling, especially by Russia, have seen drastic staff reduction since the 2018 midterm elections and there are no plans to ramp them back up to full force even as we face similar threats in 2020.

One of the excuses being put forward by DHS, an unavailing one, is that the task forces were meant to be temporary in nature and therefore as bad as the staff reductions look given the ongoing Russian threat, there is nothing abnormal or sinister about them. In other words the staff reductions were bound to happen one way or another because the task forces were not set up to be permanent.

Bottom line House Democrats and indeed the mainstream media must put pressure on DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to explain why two DHS task forces specifically charged with election security are being downgraded. Simply put, after the horrendous family separation policy and now this, Secretary Nielsen’s tenure at DHS is becoming increasingly hard to justify from both a professional and moral standpoint.

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How Many Beto Votes Switched To Ted Cruz?

The November elections have come and gone and as expected, they have left in their wake enough political punditry themes to go around. One theme that seems to tower above the rest however, is this quiet acknowledgement by both Democrats and Republicans that there are serious problems with our electronic voting infrastructure that need immediate attention.


This bipartisan reckoning is largely attributed to the bombshell news out of Texas that the eSlate voting machines used in Harris County and many other Texas metroplexes were somehow switching votes meant for Democrat Beto O’Rourke to GOP’s Ted Cruz on straight Democratic party votes.

As is if this was not enough, a stunning video later surfaced on Twitter showing an electronic voting machine in Indiana doing exactly what had been reported in Texas—switching Democratic party votes to GOP.

Needless to say this bombshell video about Indiana vote-switching coupled with the previous news from Texas led to serious concerns from the voting public that electronic machines may have been rigged. This is especially due to the fact that both in Texas and Indiana, it was the Dem votes that were switching to GOP and not the other way around

Somehow in spite of all these concerns from voters regarding the vote-switching issue, the Texas media appears to have shockingly accepted without any reservations this narrative contained in a Texas Secretary of State’s Advisory that said because there were “fewer than 20 reported cases” of vote-switching, this was a non-issue and that anybody questioning the magnitude and scope of the vote-switching was spreading “misinformation”. The Director of Communications for the Texas Secretary of State, Sam Taylor has repeated this narrative in interviews with various sections of the Texas Media essentially arguing that if vote-switching was a big problem, there would be much more reported cases.

This narrative by the Texas Secretary of State that vote-switching is not an issue because there were “fewer than 20 reported cases” is by all objective standards, a highly unsatisfactory answer because it does not address the elephant in the room question as to how many people using eSlate machines voted straight Democratic Party, but for whatever reason did not catch/overlooked the switch and ended up voting for Ted Cruz by mistake?

In Harris County for example where eSlates were used, Beto O’Rourke beat Ted Cruz 58 to 41.3% securing 698,580 votes to Cruz’s 498,175. This represents a total of 1,196,755 votes cast in the U.S. Senate race in Harris County. The question the media should be asking the Texas Secretary of State is how many of these 1,196,755 voters voted straight Democratic party but somehow are reflected as having voted for Ted Cruz? In other words is there a way to go back and verify that people who voted straight Democratic party did not vote for Cruz by mistake? If the answer to that is yes, then the process should be repeated in all counties that used eSlates. Then and only then can the Secretary of State say definitively that vote-switching was not an issue.

If on the other hand there is no way to go back and verify that straight Democratic party voters did not mistakenly vote for Cruz, which is the most likely scenario, then with all due respect to the Texas Secretary of State, there is simply no way he can credibly conclude that vote-switching was not an issue in the U.S. Senate race and Texans have every right to suspect otherwise without being accused of spreading “misinformation”.

Bottom line, the Texas media needs to confront the Texas Secretary of State with the million dollar question; “How many people using eSlate machines voted straight Democratic party but somehow are reflected as having voted for Ted Cruz?” Our good friend Ariella Baker-Archer perfectly summed it, saying two years from now we don’t want to look back and say “we should have checked.”

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