FLASHBACK: Kamala Harris co-sponsored bill to 'mandate hand-marked paper ballots in all federal elections'

"Paper ballots are the smartest, safest way to ensure your vote is secure against attacks by foreign actors," she said at the time.

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
Recently unearthed tweets from Kamala Harris have revealed that the now-vice president was a staunch proponent of mandating the use of paper ballots in all federal elections to mitigate foreign interference. The posts, sent in 2019, called on the Trump administration to pass the Secure Elections Act, a bill she co-sponsored while serving in the Senate.

Harris repeatedly referred to paper ballots as the safest way to conduct elections, pointing out numerous examples of voting machines malfunctioning across the nation, especially in Pennsylvania.

"Paper ballots are the smartest, safest way to ensure your vote is secure against attacks by foreign actors," Harris tweeted in February 2019, adding, "Russia can't hack a piece of paper like they can a computer."

She reiterated her point throughout the year, and in December called on then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to initiate proceedings to pass the Secure Elections Act to "mandate hand-marked paper ballots in all federal elections."

The bill, which never got past the introduction stage, would have required Americans to cast their votes by hand, on paper. The ballots would then be counted by hand or "read by an optical character recognition device or other counting device."

As the Washington Post reports, when the pandemic hit in 2020, Harris shifted her focus from paper ballots to mail-in voting, sponsoring the VoteSafe Act, which would have provided $5 billion to states to expand the practice and ensure that anyone who wanted to send their vote through the post could do so without having to provide a reason as to why they couldn't go in person.

In the aftermath of the 2020 election, many on the right expressed concern over potential voting machine problems in numerous states, with some suggesting that errors could have had an impact on Donald Trump's performance.

After Harris' prior tweets on the subject were brought to light, Twitter users pointed out how the perception of those seeking greater election security changed after 2020.

"11 months pre 2020 vote, future VP Harris pushed legislation for paper ballots due to machine failure in PA in Nov 2019," one user said. "If you speak of possible 2020 problems, U R a democracy-undermining conspiracy theorist."
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