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Defending the Electoral College and the Constitution since 2009

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Foreign threats and elections

Department of Justice officials have warned that foreign adversaries, including Russia, Iran, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), are trying to manipulate American elections. Their easiest tools are social media and news websites, but there are also risks of more direct involvement in campaign activities.

This isn’t new. In 1996, the Democratic National Committee was forced to return nearly $3 million in illegal donations from foreign nationals—including some with ties to Chinese military intelligence. Our allies have also been targeted, with Canada’s intelligence service finding that the CCP attempted to interfere with their federal elections in 2019 and 2021, using disinformation campaigns and even donations in support of Liberal party candidates.

A report by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence found “a diverse and growing group of foreign actors” attempting to influence American elections, “including China’s greater willingness to conduct election interference.”

The report, focusing on the 2022 elections, found multiple foreign adversaries working to “heighten sociopolitical divisions.” The CCP engaged in these activities while also attempting to “support or undermine a small number of specific candidates based on their policy positions.”

States need clear rules against direct or indirect political contributions from foreign entities, with rapid investigation and enforcement. They should also prohibit anyone from acting on behalf of a foreign entity in an attempt to influence state or local elections.