Democratic secretaries of state consider election security a priority and will raise it repeatedly at a gathering of secretaries that begins today — in contrast, they say, to what they call President Donald Trump’s dithering on the subject. “While Trump continues to deny Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, and his administration neglects the urgent need to better safeguard our elections, it has never been more important for Secretaries of State to lead,” the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State said in a statement. “It is critical that state election officials do everything we can to defend our elections from foreign interference and cyber threats.” The National Association of Secretaries of State’s summer conference, which runs from today through Monday in Philadelphia, includes several sessions focused on cyber threats to elections, including a meeting of the recently created group that coordinates state and federal security efforts.
“It is imperative that Secretaries of State work collaboratively with federal, state, and local partners to strengthen cyber security in each and every state and give voters the confidence they deserve in our election administration,” DASS said. “In the absence of federal leadership, Secretaries are on the front lines pushing for progress on these issues.” California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, the group’s chairman, argued that the 2016 Russian election meddling highlighted the need to elect members of his party as secretaries of state, who are most states’ top election officials. “As our democracy is under attack from cyber threats as well as federal and state Republican officials working to weaken voting rights,” he said in a statement, “we need to elect Democratic Secretaries of State who will defend voting rights and the integrity of our elections.”
Republicans shot back that comments like Padilla’s were more problematic than cyber meddling. “The biggest threat to our election system is partisanship,” Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, chair of the Republican Secretaries of State Committee, told MC in a statement. Wyman said she was “disappointed” by Padilla’s comments because “divisive partisanship undermines our opportunity for productive discussions for finding solutions that balance ballot access and the security of our elections system for all eligible voters.” Matt Walter, president of the Republican State Leadership Committee, the RSSC’s umbrella group, added, “Between the statements of the DASS, and the litigation strategy of Barack Obama and Eric Holder, Democrats are undermining our election system in nothing more than a naked power grab to rig the system.”
Full Article: Secretaries of state gavel in – POLITICO.