National Election Defense Coalition (NEDC), the only organization building a bipartisan national movement to secure elections technology, Free Speech For People (FSFP), a leading force in defending the Constitution and our democracy, and actress and activist Alyssa Milano have joined forces to form the Creative Arts Council: a network of creative artists with a shared interest in ensuring our elections are free, fair and protected from cyber interference.
The goal of the council is to harness the public profile of the creative arts community to bring attention to the significant vulnerabilities that still remain in our computerized voting systems and to press for reforms and contingency plans before the elections.
In addition to Alyssa Milano, members of the council currently include: Robert De Niro, Alec Baldwin, Glenn Close, Alan Cumming, Henry Winkler, Melissa Etheridge, Sterling K. Brown, Ron Perlman, Debra Messing, Patricia Arquette, Katey Sagal, Ken Olin, Yvette Nicole Brown, Frances Fisher, Rosie O’Donnell and Danny Zuker.
With the common message that U.S. elections should be conducted transparently with paper ballots and routine post-election audits to confirm the results, the Creative Arts Council is aiming to build public momentum necessary to dislodge the existing obstacles to essential election security reforms. The council’s goal is to raise public awareness and press for common-sense reforms that will protect our elections, increase election transparency and build voter confidence.
The council was formed to address the real and present threat of possible cyber interference in our elections. Many states still use touchscreen voting systems that provide no paper ballots and cannot be audited. The states that do use paper ballots often do not audit the computerized ballot scanners that count the votes. All of these systems are computers and therefore vulnerable to manipulation from hacking even if they are not directly connected to the internet, which is why mandatory routine audits are essential to check and confirm election results. Though the U.S. intelligence community has warned that our election systems are actively being targeted by hackers and our adversaries, some election officials have resisted these common-sense reforms.
“Our democracy is on the line and this is an all-hands-on-deck situation,” said actress and activist Alyssa Milano. “The public must be made aware of how at risk we are so that the necessary changes can be made to protect our democracy.”
The Creative Arts Council will be spreading the message, through social media and other means, that the only way to protect the elections from interference is with secure, hand-marked paper ballots, assistive paper ballot marking devices for voters that choose them, robust post-election audits capable of detecting and correcting manipulation, and guarantees that no voting systems are connected to the internet.
Read more about our Creative Arts Council in Variety Magazine.