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2020

4 former Homeland Security secretaries to lead voting trust effort

Citizens for a Strong Democracy campaign seeks to reassure integrity in election.

Four former secretaries of Homeland Security under both Republican and Democratic presidents – Tom Ridge, Michael Chertoff, Janet Napolitano, and Jeh C. Johnson – are taking the lead in a new bipartisan effort to assure Americans of integrity of the election process.

The effort, organized by Citizens for a Strong Democracy, launches today, seeking to engage voters and reinforce the notion that there is strength, safety, and integrity of the election process.

“We want the public to maintain justifiable trust in our institutions, because the underlying foundation of our voting systems remains strong and secure,” the secretaries wrote in a USA Today op-ed published today.

Citizens for a Strong Democracy was founded by the secretaries who led the Department of Homeland Security under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, respectively.

The organization said it aims to provide crucial national leadership at a time of heightened concerns about the integrity of the voting process. A news release notes that the U.S. intelligence community has warned that foreign adversaries intend to meddle in the 2020 election through disinformation campaigns.

Through national media channels and paid advertising, Citizens for a Strong Democracy will press confidence that the electoral process works. The organization will highlight state and federal efforts to protect the security of the election and explain to voters how to safely and securely cast their ballot via mail or in-person early voting or on Election Day.

The organization will continue to work beyond Election Day to ensure all votes are counted and the results are respected.

“We know seeds of doubt will continue to be sown during the remaining weeks of this election season and after it, at home and abroad,” the secretaries wrote in the op-ed. “It is our duty to stand up in a bipartisan fashion and reinforce to the American people that the security of our electoral system will remain and the strength of our democracy will endure.”

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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