Election 2020

Move Over Putin: Canadian Bernie Bros Are Interfering in Our Election

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at a rally at Town Hall in New York City on June 23, 2016. (Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx via AP)

Move over Vladimir Putin, Canadian Bernie Bros are the next big thing in U.S. election interference! Despite not being eligible to vote in U.S. elections, Canadian college students are volunteering for Bernie Sanders’ campaign and calling and texting Americans to convince them to vote for the Democratic Socialist.

“I see this as really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, not just in American politics, but for left-wing politics around the world,”  Vancouver student Quentin Rowe-Codner told the CBC. “I decided to start making calls and texts and I found that to be good and rewarding. But I started a little bit isolated just doing it on my own.”

Rowe-Codner did some research and discovered that foreigners are actually allowed to volunteer for any U.S. campaign. This seems to contradict the outrage over election interference, particularly that of the Russians, which we’ve been spending so much time and money investigating and trying to prevent.

The 22-year-old student at Simon Fraser University has organized four “bank-a-thons” for his fellow students to “get together and campaign.”

These foreign students are also using tools on the Bernie Sanders campaign website to do it. According to the CBC, volunteers “can access an automatic dialing and messaging system” through Bernie Sanders’ campaign website, then they can “get a batch of phone numbers for American voters and start making calls and sending texts.”

This actually sounds like a far more sophisticated and effective way of influencing the vote than anything attempted by Russia in 2016. Remember the Russian Facebook ads?

The CBC also highlighted Dawson Franks, a University of British Columbia student who “first got involved in January and spends two to three hours a week texting or calling registered voters in the United States.”

After all the outrage about Russian election interference in 2016, how is it that the CBC reports on something like this, and there isn’t national outrage? If the same story was written about Trump supporters in a different country campaigning for Trump, how do you think the media would handle it?

_____

Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis