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Sen. Coons on election security: 'That's what keeps me up at night more than almost anything else'

Roman Battaglia / Delaware Public Media

Sen. Chris Coons highlighted his deep concerns about the upcoming election at Wednesday night’s Lewes Chamber of Commerce Dinner.


“Thank you for the question Jeff, that's what keeps me up at night more than almost anything else,” said Coons, answering a question from an audience member.


Coons says there’s a lot of red flags popping up when it comes to protecting this year’s elections.


And he criticizes the Trump administration and Republicans for not doing enough to secure them.


“I’m concerned that we are not on target to have a free and fair election," said Coons. "Our framers expected that members of Congress would have some allegiance to their institution and to our structure over a political party.”


During an MSNBC appearance earlier this week, Coons specifically pointed to coordinated campaigns by Russians on social media to undermine the election. 


Delaware’s junior senator also used Wednesday night’s Lewes Chamber of Commerce dinner to highlight the current crisis unfolding with the US Postal Service at a time more people are expected to vote by mail.


“Voting by mail, voting absentee is good enough for our troops, our diplomats and our development professionals overseas. We’ve been voting by mail since the Civil War. We can do it safely, there is no evidence it leads to fraud," said Coons. "Frankly if you’re at all concerned about your health, vote by mail, request a ballot now.”


His words come as the Delaware GOP is suing to stop vote-by-mail from happening in the state, claiming it’s rife with fraud, despite the evidence otherwise.


Coons stresses to voters in Delaware to mail back their vote-by-mail ballot as early as possible or go vote in person to ensure their vote is counted.


He hopes the quote “one functioning committee in the Senate,” the Senate Intelligence Committee, will take Russian interference seriously and take action to prevent what happened in the 2016 election.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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