Klobuchar has introduced several bills to protect our elections from foreign interference including the Secure Elections Act, the Honest Ads Act, and the Stop Foreign Donations Affecting Our Elections Act
WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke at yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on election interference about the urgent need to improve our election security. U.S. intelligence officials have confirmed that Russia launched cyberattacks against our voting infrastructure during the 2016 election and that they are continuing to target our cyber networks in advance of the next election, which is only 146 days away. Klobuchar spoke at the hearing about her many legislative efforts to protect our elections against foreign interference, including the Secure Elections Act, the Honest Ads Act, and the Stop Foreign Donations Affecting Our Elections Act.
“The more we make sure the public understands what’s going on and how our elections are being undermined, the more this becomes what it should be—an effort to protect our democracy,” Klobuchar said. “Senator Lankford and I have introduced the Secure Elections Act and we were able to get $380 million in the last budget—that money is now going out to the states to help them shore up their election infrastructure. The Honest Ads Act is something we’re trying to get done too. Senator Blunt and I have also introduced the Stop Foreign Donations Affecting Our Elections Act, along with Senators Feinstein and Warner, to strengthen disclosure by requiring federal campaigns to use to use existing credit card verification protocols to help verify that online credit card donations come from U.S.”
Klobuchar has been leading the fight to protect our future elections from foreign interference. In March, Klobuchar and Senator James Lankford (R-OK) introduced the Secure Elections Act with 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) to strengthen election cybersecurity in America and protect against foreign interference in future elections. The Secure Elections Act streamlines cybersecurity information-sharing between federal intelligence entities and state election agencies; provides security clearances to state election officials; and provides resources for states to upgrade election security. This bipartisan solution would bolster our election systems against future threats while protecting states’ primacy in running elections. Klobuchar and Lankford offered the Secure Elections Act as an amendment for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) reauthorization.
In October, Klobuchar introduced the Honest Ads Act with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, to help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements. Russia attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election by buying and placing political ads on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google. The content and purchaser(s) of those online advertisements are a mystery to the public because of outdated laws that have failed to keep up with evolving technology. The Honest Ads Act would prevent foreign actors from influencing our elections by ensuring that political ads sold online are covered by the same rules as ads sold on TV, radio, and satellite.
Klobuchar and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) have also introduced the bipartisan Stop Foreign Donations Affecting Our Elections Act to strengthen disclosure by requiring federal campaigns to use existing credit card verification protocols to help verify that online credit card donations come from U.S. sources. Last 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 January 2017, Klobuchar introduced legislation with four other senators to create an independent, nonpartisan commission to comprehensively investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Video of Klobuchar speaking at the hearing is available for download here: KLOBUCHAR_JUD_061218.mp4