Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) released a report detailing the vulnerabilities of American elections to foreign interference that were exposed in the 2016 presidential election. The report outlines solutions for addressing this most urgent issue, which would protect the integrity of our democracy for the upcoming 2018 elections and beyond.
Foreign interference is a democracy issue, and the importance of addressing it goes far beyond the 2016 election. It is about protecting the foundations of our representative form of government, particularly in a world where political advertising is increasingly moving online. From the targeted theft of emails from political parties, to purported offers of opposition research, from a secret social media advertising campaign, to attempted hacking of state election systems, the 2016 elections showed that foreign interference could come in many forms. Our system was not equipped to handle it. In 2018, these threats could come from Russia again, or any number of other foreign countries or actors with an interest in influencing or disrupting U.S. democracy. The report is written by six authors and is a byproduct of a full-day event hosted by CLC in October 2017 convening legal experts, academics, journalists, and practitioners from across disciplines to address the pressing matter of foreign interference in U.S. elections.