A 2020 presidential hopeful from the state of Massachusetts recently shared her vision for American elections and how they're run. Elizabeth Warren wants to protect elections in the United States, according to an essay she published on Medium on Tuesday. In her essay, Warren passionately called for doing away with outdated voting machines "that are easily hackable with no paper trail."
If elected to the Oval Office, Warren wrote, "The federal government will replace every voting machine in the country with state-of-the-art equipment and require adoption of a uniform federal ballot." Additionally, she wrote, "We will lock all federal voting technology systems behind a security firewall like it’s Fort Knox." Fort Knox, in case you didn't know, is a United States Army post in Kentucky.
Convenient and secure design was key to making sure elections take place without trouble, Warren wrote. The Massachusetts senator said that under her plan there would be "uniform federal ballots all across the country that are based on easy-to-use design principles." The federal government would also be responsible for making sure all polling locations had accessible ballot machines for people with disabilities as well as for people whose first language wasn't English.
When it comes to the cybersecurity as it applies to elections, Warren said that she would replace the Election Assistance Commission with an impartial Secure Democracy Administration run by civil servants. These staffers would be responsible, she noted, with "end-to-end handling of ballots" among other things.
Already Warren's proposed plan for American elections has gained attention on social media. It's no surprise considering, according to The New York Times, election security remains an ever pressing issue in America. As TIME magazine reported, over 40 states in the country used voter registration databases that were more than 10 years old. Such outdated technology could prove to be a security problem, the publication reported.
In order to ensure the security of elections aren't compromised or vulnerable to attacks like hacking, Warren wrote that she would allocate nearly $20 billion over a decade to all states. The federal money would be used for election security, election administration, and audits.
The 2020 presidential candidate emphasized the need to pay for such measures. "Our democracy is too important for it to be under-resourced and insecure," Warren wrote. "We need to do everything we can to make sure our elections are convenient, professional, and secure — and we should be willing to pay for it."
In addition to wanting to replace every single voting machine in America with updated equipment, Warren also wrote that she would make Election Day a federal holiday. Additionally, voters wouldn't be removed from election rolls unless there was "objective evidence" that the voter had passed away, relocated, or had become ineligible to vote.
To promote voting rights for people who were formerly incarcerated, Warren also wrote that people who had completed their prison sentences would be eligible to vote. Furthermore, she wrote that although her plan is meant for federal elections, she would incentivize states to follow the guidelines in state elections as well.
"Democracy hangs on the idea that whoever gets the most votes wins. Politicians are supposed to compete over how many voters they can persuade, not how many they can disqualify or demoralize," Warren wrote at the end of her essay. "That’s why the Constitution gives Congress the tools to regulate the administration of federal elections. It’s time to pick up those tools and use them."
If you're interested, you can read Warren's election plan on Medium.