A bipartisan group of senators on Thursday unveiled revised legislation to secure U.S. voting systems from cyberattack. The bill, originally introduced in December, retains its original tenets, including authorizing grants for states to replace outdated voting systems with more secure technology. However, it contains several revisions that appear designed to address individual states’ concerns with the bill. The new bill, like its predecessor, aims to address future threats to voter registration databases and other systems following Russian interference in the 2016 presidential vote. The Department of Homeland Security has said that Russian hackers tried to break into election systems in 21 states before the election, as part of a broader interference plot. In one case, hackers successfully breached a voter registration database in Illinois.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), a lead co-sponsor of the “Secure Elections Act” bill, said Thursday that the revised version “adequately helps the states prepare our election infrastructure for the possibility of interference from not just Russia, but possibly another adversary like Iran or North Korea or a hacktivist group.”
With the revisions, the bill now has the support of Senate Intelligence Committee leaders Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.).