Dan Coats, President Donald Trump’s former director of national intelligence, is calling on Congress to create a bipartisan committee to oversee the November election.
In an op-ed published by the New York Times, Coats acknowledged the concerns expressed by Americans over the legitimacy of voting systems and whether their votes will be counted.
“We hear often that the November election is the most consequential in our lifetime. But the importance of the election is not just which candidate or which party wins,” Coats wrote.
He added, “Voters also face the question of whether the American democratic experiment, one of the boldest political innovations in human history, will survive.”
Coats recognized the efforts of enemies, both foreign and domestic, to discredit the nation’s electoral processes “to create anxiety and conflict, not justice and social peace.”
He claimed the current challenge leaders are facing is to ensure the results of the election are legitimate.
Coats argued the solution is to “save our Democracy” and “reject” partisanship.
“We must firmly, unambiguously reassure all Americans that their vote will be counted, that it will matter, that the people’s will expressed through their votes will not be questioned and will be respected and accepted,” Coats said.
He continued, “I propose that Congress creates a new mechanism to help accomplish this purpose. It should create a supremely high-level bipartisan and nonpartisan commission to oversee the election.”
Coats suggested the committee would verify whether systems reporting results are following the laws and regulations governing them.
It would also ensure that violations are handled appropriately.
The committee would also be required to monitor election interference and report back to law enforcement and national security agencies if there is evidence of fraud or disinformation.
Coats stressed committee members should come from both parties, including congressional leaders, governors, “elder statespersons,” former national security advisors, former Supreme Court justices, and business experts from social media companies.
He noted it would be established through emergency legislation.
“If we fail to take every conceivable effort to ensure the integrity of our election, the winners will not be Donald Trump or Joe Biden, Republicans or Democrats,” Coats said.
He went on, “The only winners will be Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and Ali Khamenei. No one who supports a healthy democracy could want that.”