In the latest episode of Conversations with Texas Scorecard, Federal Elections Commissioner Trey Trainor sat down to discuss the state of free political speech and election security in the United States.

In 2020 former President Donald Trump appointed Trainor to the Federal Elections Commission, which oversees federal campaign finance laws and tells citizens who is financially backing candidates.

When asked about the importance of free political speech in the United States, Trainor explained how the right to criticize ideas and hear opposing viewpoints allows citizens to participate in the legislative process.

“We need political speech in order for individuals to be able to get answers to problems that they see for the redress of their grievances,” said Trainor. “I mean, that’s exactly what it’s for. And without it, individuals won’t be able to engage in that process. And more importantly than that, it’s important to have free political speech because we need to hear opinions and ideas that we don’t agree with.”

When discussing election security, Trainor said he believes leftists used the judicial system to alter policy and ‘steal’ the 2020 presidential election.

“It was [stolen], but probably not in the way that you think that it was,” said Trainor. “The way I look at the election having been stolen is through a very organized legal process… where you saw in particular swing states, a group of lawyers on the left who went in and said, ‘Hey, we have the opportunity to have changes, fundamental changes made to election law to move the goalposts here. And we’re gonna get these judges to do it.”

Additionally, he explained how a lack of funding leaves rural counties stuck with outdated voting machines and potentially vulnerable to election tampering.

“I think that there are fundamental problems with our voting systems,” said Trainor. “It was back in 2000, with the Help America Vote Act, that we got money for these voting machines, and some of the rural counties around the country can’t afford to buy new machines, and so they’re running on machines that are… older machines. Do those, under current technology, have the ability to be manipulated or misused, probably so.”

With the midterm elections less than three weeks away, Trainor encouraged transparency and urged citizens to take an active role in the election day process.

“I think the number one thing that can happen to give people security in what is taking place is to put themselves actually in a position to see what’s taking place,” said Trainor. “You know, sunshine is the best disinfectant… I would encourage every candidate to put poll watchers in place. To have them in there to watch what’s going on… because the best way to prevent problems on the back end is to notice them on the front end.”

Katy Marshall

Katy graduated from Tarleton State University in 2021 after majoring in history and minoring in political science.