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Former Vermont Congressman Ben Ptashnik to Discuss Election Integrity

By Hope Bradberry

Former Vermont state senator Ben Ptashnik, a trailblazer in the United States’s movements for campaign-finance reform and LGBTQ civil rights, will be in town to talk about his latest important project—ensuring the integrity of the upcoming 2020 elections.

The San Miguel Chapter of Democrats Abroad is sponsoring Ptashnik’s talk on August 12 in the Teatro Santa Ana at the Biblioteca.

Ptashnik is cofounder and director of the National Election Defense Coalition (NEDC). He will speak about the work his coalition has done to safeguard the 2020 elections and what they are doing to organize legislative actions in Congress and on the state level.

There are three million eligible US voters living overseas, according to the Federal Voting Assistance Program. Recent testimony by Special Counsel Robert Mueller has highlighted the security situation of the US election system.

“Over the course of my career, I’ve seen a number of challenges to our democracy. The Russian government’s effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious,” said Mueller in the opening remarks to his testimony. “This deserves the attention of every American.”

The NEDC is dedicated to reforming US elections by replacing all insecure electronic voting machines with paper ballots before the 2020 elections. NEDC is working to build an effective bipartisan movement to secure election reform that ensures integrity, transparency, and protection of the voting rights of all US citizens.

“The right to vote is useless if our votes are not properly counted or lost, stolen, hacked, or manipulated,” points out Ptashnik.

Throughout the history of Democrats Abroad, the organization has worked to gain passage of legislation to ensure the rights of overseas vote


rs, including The Overseas Citizens Voting Rights Act of 1975. More recently, it has striven to remove obstacles to overseas voting. Democrats Abroad also works on major nonpartisan voter registration drives.

Despite increased focus on security, American elections are a soft target. Leading computer security experts have studied a range of electronic voting infrastructure, including touch-screen machines, optical scanners, and registration database systems, and found serious vulnerabilities that threaten election integrity.

Ptashnik, a former Democratic state senator, has been a social justice activist, environmentalist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist for five decades. He currently lives with his partner, Victoria, at the Tikkun Eco Center just north of San Miguel de Allende. As a senator, Ptashnik spearheaded and passed his state’s key campaign-financing reforms, led in the fight to pass Vermont’s landmark Civil Union Act for LGBT couples, and helped make the state of Vermont an environmental leader in the US. His current project, NEDC, leads a coalition of 15 diversified NGOs and hundreds of computer scientists and cyber experts, ranging from far the left to the far right, dedicated to preserving the security of US democratic elections. For more information, go to and



Hot Topic! Protecting the 2020 US Elections!

Hope Bradberry

Mon, Aug 12, 1–2pm

Teatro Santa Ana

La Biblioteca, Reloj 50A

Free event

Limited seating



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