Source: United States Senator for Rhode Island Sheldon Whitehouse
Washington, DC – U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced bipartisan legislation to improve election security. The Defending the Integrity of Voting Systems Act would make it a federal crime to hack any voting systems used in a federal election. The bill is scheduled to be considered by the Judiciary Committee.
“Russia and other hostile actors are continuously bombarding the cyber defenses of our critical infrastructure in an attempt to sow chaos and distrust,” said Whitehouse. “Protecting the instruments of our democracy from these attacks and safeguarding Americans’ faith in the integrity of elections are bipartisan goals.”
“As the Special Counsel’s report on Russian interference demonstrates, America’s elections infrastructure is the frontline of foreign governments’ efforts to subvert our democracy,” Blumenthal said. “Our legislation to protect voting machines will better equip the Department of Justice to fight back against hackers that intend to interfere with our elections. This bill shows that securing the nation’s elections and cyber infrastructure can be a bipartisan cause, which I look forward to discussing with our colleagues.”
“Russian interference in the 2016 election exposed just a small piece of our adversaries’ cyber capabilities,” said Graham. “Seeking to undermine American democracy and our standing on the world stage, hostile nations like Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea work every day to develop new cyber weapons to deploy against the United States. We should be particularly vigilant of our voting systems. This legislation provides the Department of Justice the ability to investigate and prosecute those who seek to manipulate elections systems equipment. Congress should act quickly to pass this bill to help protect us from further attempts to interfere with the 2020 election.”