Mueller has spoken

KAREN ELIAS

Lock Haven

Robert Mueller has spoken — though in his own taciturn way — leaving us to determine the lessons from his Report that we will need to carry forward.

One of the most important lessons is based on two findings from the Report. The first, from Volume One and emphasized by Mueller in his recent hearing, is that the Russian government attacked our elections in 2016. This attack was directed at both our social media platforms and our voting infrastructure. Mueller characterized this interference as “sweeping and systematic,” and we know now from a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report that all 50 states were targeted by the Russians.

The second finding from the Report is that these attacks are on-going. “They’re doing it as we sit here,” Mueller stated at the hearing. “And they expect to do it in the next campaign.” Calling these attacks one of the most serious threats to our democracy, Mueller cautioned that this should be of concern to every American.

Based on these findings, the lesson is clear: we need to treat Russian interference as a security threat. This means, among other things, that our voting machines must be made secure. This requires a national response so that counties with limited resources are not left having to act on their own. It is our municipal voting precincts that are on the front lines of this fight.

The House has already passed several bills designed to ensure voter security, including one that would allocate hundreds of millions of dollars to update voting equipment, but Senator Mitch McConnell refuses to consider them.

According to Newsweek Magazine, McConnell has received $200 million from Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska (one of Paul Manfort’s Russia connections) for a business investment in Kentucky. He has also taken donations from four voting machine lobbyists as contributions to his campaign.

Is McConnell allowing his business interests to override his patriotic responsibilities?

Write to McConnell and to your senators demanding that we act to mimimize the Russian threat by passing voter security legislation as quickly as possible.

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