Legislation introduced by Klobuchar and Lankford would strengthen America’s election cybersecurity
WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee with oversight jurisdiction over federal elections, and James Lankford (R-OK) today announced the addition of two new cosponsors to their bipartisan Secure Elections Act—Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Angus King (I-ME). The additional cosponsors come just days after President Trump met with President Vladimir Putin who denied what American intelligence officials have found—that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and is working to do it again. The Secure Elections Act would strengthen America’s election cybersecurity and protect against the possibility of future foreign interference by streamlining cybersecurity information-sharing between federal intelligence entities and state election agencies and providing security clearances to state election officials.
“Election security is national security. Our intelligence community has confirmed time and time again that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and that they are working to do it again. Congress must take action to prevent this kind of foreign interference in our electoral process,” Klobuchar said. “With Senators Moran and King joining our bipartisan Secure Elections Act, we are continuing to build momentum to pass this critical legislation and protect our democracy.”
“I’m pleased that Senators Moran and King have joined our bipartisan bill, which already has the support of Intelligence Committee Chairman Burr and Vice Chairman Warner. I urge my colleagues in the Senate, and state leaders across America, to take a serious look at the Secure Elections Act. All signs point to Russia continuing this action, and other nations or hacktivist groups could follow Russia’s example in the future; Congress must take action now to be ready,” Lankford said.
“One of the most sacred privileges we as Americans are afforded is our freedom to participate in democracy through elections,” Moran said. “Therefore, we must make certain our elections remain honest, secure and free from invasive influences. Concerningly, backend election systems – including voter registration databases, ballot creation systems, voting machine configuration systems, absentee processing and reporting and tabulation software – are increasingly vulnerable and have been compromised by both private and state actors. The Secure Elections Act helps better safeguard our systems while reaffirming the leadership role states play in administering federal elections, and I urge my colleagues to support this critical legislation to protect future elections.”
“Our elections are extremely vulnerable – and in 2016, our electoral systems were subjected to a sophisticated attack directed by the Russian government,” King said. “But this isn’t just about what happened in 2016 – this is a long-term effort to destabilize our democracy, and we must treat this threat with the urgency it deserves. This is an important step – with bipartisan support – that could go a long way towards defending ourselves against foreign interference in the 2018 elections and beyond.”
The original cosponsors of the Secure Elections Act are Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Burr (R-NC), Mark Warner (D-VA), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM). Earlier this week, Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Bill Nelson (D-FL), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Cyber Subcommittee, also joined the bill.