WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today released the following statement on the announcement from the Administration that the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity will be dissolved. Klobuchar, the Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee with oversight jurisdiction over federal elections, has been a leading voice of opposition against the Commission.
“Since the Administration's misguided formation of the so-called 'voter integrity' commission—and it’s very first act which compromised sensitive information of American voters – I've opposed the Commission and called into question its purpose, lack of transparency, and threat to voting rights. The Commission's practices undermined voter confidence in our election system and the Commission should have never been created to begin with.
“I’ve said from the start that this was a Commission in search of a problem, and it’s clear that search has come up empty handed. It is time for the Administration to focus on legitimate threats to our election system like foreign interference, outdated voting equipment, and ensuring eligible Americans are able to easily participate in our democracy.”
In October, Klobuchar sent her sixth and most recent letter to the Commission asking the individual members of the Commission to provide a timeline for responding to previous letters from members of Congress, detail the vetting process for hiring staffers, and to explain how sensitive voter data will be protected. The letter followed reports that a staffer employed by the Commission was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, raising concerns about the vetting process for the staff the Commission has hired, what sensitive data the staffer had access to, and whether the Commission will adequately address the issue. Klobuchar also called upon the independent Government Accountability Office to review the Commission’s objectivity and motives.
In December, Klobuchar introduced the bipartisan Secure Elections Act to strengthen election cybersecurity in America and protect against foreign interference in future elections. In June, Klobuchar introduced the Helping State and Local Governments Prevent Cyber Attacks Act to help combat foreign interference by providing state and local governments with the information and resources they need to keep our elections secure and improve voter confidence. In addition, Klobuchar has led Senate Rules Committee Democrats in a call for hearings and briefings on foreign attempts to hack into U.S. election systems and improving cybersecurity. Klobuchar also led a group of 26 senators in calling for a full account of the Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) efforts to address Russian cybersecurity threats. In early January, Klobuchar introduced legislation with four other senators to create an independent, nonpartisan commission to comprehensively investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.