Biden FEC Nominee Avoids Questions on Election Security

Joe Biden’s nominee to the Federal Election Commission refused to respond to questions during a Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday asking if she believes “stolen election” claims impair American faith in the democratic process. Dara Lindenbaum was questioned by Sen.Ted Cruz (R-TX) during the Senate Rules Committee hearing about her work for failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

Abrams claimed that the 2018 election was “stolen” from her because of “voter suppression.” Lindenbaum signed Abrams’s federal complaint that contested the election results. The complaint alleged that “unreliable” Georgia voting machines switched votes from Abrams to Republican Brian Kemp, who won the election.

Lindenbaum refused to answer Cruz’s questions about whether she believes claims like those made in Abrams’s complaint “undermine faith in the democratic process.” She would only say that she thinks the answer “depends on the context.”

She did confirm that she signed the complaint alleging the state’s voting machines were “illegally switching” votes. She refused to comment further, claiming the matter has not yet been resolved in court.

Biden has sharply criticized President Donald Trump for his claims regarding the integrity and security of the 2020 presidential election, even as he nominated Lindenbaum to the important federal election position. Biden has claimed that Trump “created and spread a web of lies” with his claims. He has also said that Trump places his personal interests above those of the nation.

Not surprisingly, Biden has also said that he believes this year’s midterm federal elections could be “illegitimate” unless Democratic lawmakers pass election reform laws. He said that the “prospect of it being illegitimate” is “directly proportional” to whether his party is able to pass the reforms he has called for.

If she is confirmed, Lindenbaum will likely press the FEC further to the left, as she would replace independent Steve Walther. The commission has significant responsibility for shaping election rules nationwide. While the federal government has limited power to directly legislate state and local election rules, federal civil rights legislation drives policy decisions in those elections.

In addition to her work for Abrams, Lindenbaum has also worked for the Georgia church of Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA). Ebenezer Baptist Church was a co-plaintiff in the election lawsuit Lindenbaum filed in 2019.