National: Senators push for increased elections security | GCN

To help protect the nation’s voting infrastructure, the Elections Assistance Commission is distributing $380 million in funding to states, while the Department of Homeland Security is conducting  vulnerability scans on election equipment in at least 17 states. But some senators believe there’s much more that could be done to help secure elections. “We want to put some processes in place to make sure that we’ve not forgotten the lessons from 2016,” Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said in his testimony at a July 11 Senate rules committee hearing. “There are some basic things that could be done while still allowing the states to control their election structures and have flexibility on the type of election machines that they want to have.”

Lankford said he has worked with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)  to refine the Senate Elections Act — a bill they first introduced in December 2017 to streamline cybersecurity information sharing between federal and state election agencies, provide security clearances to state election officials and provide resources for states to upgrade their election equipment. The two have held meetings with EAC and DHS officials and in April met with a bipartisan group of secretaries of state who shared their advice on what should be added to elections legislation.

At the same committee hearing, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) discussed his elections bill, the Protecting American Votes and Elections Act of 2018, which was introduced in June.

“My legislation focuses on two common-sense measures that are backed by the overwhelming number of cybersecurity experts in our country: paper ballots and risk-limiting audits,” Wyden said. “I wrote the big voting machine companies asking basic questions about cybersecurity … but the companies refused to answer how or even if they are protecting their systems and the votes of the American people.”

Full Article: Senators push for increased elections security — GCN.

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