President Donald Trump is objecting to the Senate’s effort to help improve election security, citing concerns about imposing federal burdens on state and local governments. The Rules and Administration Committee abruptly scrapped a Wednesday markup of bipartisan election security legislation, and there were rumors that the White House might have been at least in part behind the delay. Some Republican members of the committee were against the bill, including former Chairman Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala. … The White House is asking the Senate, “Do not violate the principles of Federalism — Elections are the responsibility of the states and local governments,” according to the Walters statement. “We cannot support legislation with inappropriate mandates or that moves power or funding from the states to Washington for the planning and operation of elections.”
… Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., meanwhile, one of the co-sponsors of the legislation said he was disappointed in the delay and that states facing complex cybersecurity threats from foreign adversaries cannot be expected to handle them on their own without help from the federal government.
The Constitution requires states and local governments to conduct elections, but “we don’t expect states to protect against a foreign attack,” Lankford said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “That is the responsibility of the federal government.”
Allowing states to have disparate security measures could lead to vulnerable gaps that could undermine all federal elections, Lankford said.