Fear of Foreign Interference in U.S. Elections Dates from Nation’s Founding


The fear of foreign interference was a driving issue in the conversations of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787. Several features of the Constitution that the framers produced that summer had their origins in this fear, as former Federal Election Commission Chairman Trevor Potter noted in a 2017 speech. Potter, now president of the Campaign Legal Center, said, “The founders took steps to guard against such [interference] by including in our Constitution guardrails like the requirement that the president be a ‘natural born citizen.’ ”

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