A bill that would have significantly bolstered the nation’s defenses against electoral interference has been held up in the Senate at the behest of the White House, which opposed the proposed legislation, according to congressional sources. The Secure Elections Act, introduced by Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., in December 2017, had co-sponsorship from two of the Senate’s most prominent liberals, Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., as well as from conservative stalwart Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and consummate centrist Susan Collins, R-Me. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., was set to conduct a markup of the bill on Wednesday morning in the Senate Rules Committee, which he chairs. The bill had widespread support, including from some of the committee’s Republican members, and was expected to come to a full Senate vote in October. But then the chairman’s mark, as the critical step is known, was canceled, and no explanation was given.
… A paper record could prove effective against hackers if they tried to change the reporting of votes on the internet, as opposed to altering the votes themselves. Election officials needs to be able to say, “‘Nope, we can check this,’” as Lankford puts it. “Here’s the paper, here’s the machine, here’s our poll count.”
In a statement to Yahoo News, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters says that while the administration “appreciates Congress’s interest in election security, [the Department of Homeland Security] has all the statutory authority it needs to assist state and local officials to improve the security of existing election infrastructure.”
Full Article: White House blocks bill that would protect elections.