Protecting our Democracy

I’ve spent my career promoting democracy around the world; now, it’s time to defend our democracy here at home. At a moment when our basic values, freedoms, and institutions are under constant assault, I’m running to make sure the American Dream is alive for the next generation.

I have devoted the better part of my life to protecting this country, for nearly a decade working as a senior professional on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and later, when I was appointed by President Obama to be Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia.

When I went to work in the Pentagon for President Obama, I knew my job was to protect the new democracies of Eastern Europe from Russian encroachment. I was shocked that by the time I left the Pentagon, I was also protecting our democracy from foreign operations.

I was one of the first to publicly raise the alarm about Russian interference in the 2016 election—I have been, and will continue to be, a steadfast advocate for protecting American elections and key infrastructure from attack.

Efforts to harm our democracy from abroad are only part of the challenge. Civic engagement, and the bonds of trust we share as citizens, is ultimately what promises us liberty. We must find better ways to advocate for the truth and for expertise. We need policies that support, rather than hinder, trust and civic engagement. This is the deepest source of strength in our democracy.

In Congress, I will fight to:

  • Make voting a national holiday
  • Advocate for automatic voter registration nationally upon graduation from high school
  • Classify election infrastructure as critical infrastructure under DHS oversight, and create a non-partisan DHS watchdog that will:
    • Protect elections from foreign or domestic interference—whether that be cyber security, illegal tampering, shutdowns, or malfunctions of equipment that seems to disproportionately impact minority-majority precincts
    • Set federal standards to determine who can be removed from voter rolls, and how, and to investigate issues of access, poll closings, or other behavior that might disenfranchise or otherwise disadvantage American voters
  • Mandate non-partisan districting nationally to avoid racially or politically biased voting districts
  • Reform our campaign finance system to increase transparency and disclosure rules, public financing to lower the barrier to compete, and overturn Citizens United
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