We Need To Pass The Bill For Security Elections Act, Pronto!
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
(Please click on red links & note magenta)
(Rachel Maddow reports on Senator Bill Nelson not backing down on his warning that Russians have penetrated Florida elections systems for this election cycle, below:)
(Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic amendment that would have provided states with more election security funding ahead of the midterm election. Senator Bob Corker was the only Republican to vote in support of the amendment, below:)
(On August 22, 2018, Senator James Lankford delivered a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate about his bipartisan Secure Elections Act and the need for Congress to quickly pass legislation to strengthen our election cybersecurity, below:)
Introduced in Senate (12/21/2017)
Sens. Amy Klobuchar and James Lankford have introduced legislation (back in December of 2017) that would protect against foreign interference in future elections.
Senator Lankford and Klobuchar discuss the reason and how the election would be secured through auditing, below:
Secure Elections Act
This bill gives the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) primary responsibility within the federal government for sharing information about election cybersecurity incidents, threats, and vulnerabilities with federal entities and election agencies.
DHS shall establish an advisory panel of independent experts to develop guidelines on election cybersecurity, including standards for procuring, maintaining, testing, auditing, operating, and updating election systems.
DHS shall award election system cybersecurity and modernization grants to states to implement the advisory panel’s guidelines. Grants shall be awarded to: (1) remediate vulnerabilities identified by a cybersecurity evaluation, (2) replace electronic voting systems that are not optical scanners that read paper ballots, and (3) reimburse states for the inspection of marked paper ballots.
DHS shall establish a Hack the Election program, including a recurring competition, to facilitate and encourage the identification and reporting of election cybersecurity vulnerabilities by independent technical experts.
In essence, the Secure Election Acts would have made significant changes to the way states protect their voting systems in three significant ways:
- Give security clearance to the top election officials in all 50 states so they can follow real-time threats to their voting systems
- Establish a formal channel among the DHS (Department of Homeland Security), other government agencies, and states to share information on the security of each state’s election
- To ensure a state conducts an audit after any federal election, including incentivizing efforts to purchase electronic voting machines that retain a paper record of each ballot
To help ensure that states keep an accurate vote count if cyberattackers tried to manipulate or interfere with a final, electronic-only report, the third part is crucial.
But a White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters told Yahoo News that the government, mainly DHS, “has all the statutory authority it needs to assist state and local officials to improve the security of existing election infrastructure.”
Apparently, the White House does not like this bipartisan bill that would significantly boost the nation’s defense against electoral interference.
Election security is not a partisan issue. It needs to be supported by all Americans. So start calling, writing, texting, emailing your Congressperson to pass this Secure Elections Act, Pronto!
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