We know for sure that Russian hackers targeted voting systems in 21 states with the goals of influencing our elections and destroying our democracy.
For the first time since the 2016 election, Congress is now moving forward on legislation to combat Russian hackers and trolls who have been openly targeting American democracy without suffering any negative consequences for their illegal actions.
The bipartisan Secure Elections Act has strong support in Congress as a way to help safeguard our elections and restore faith in the legitimacy of the democratic process. This bill is rare in the amount of bipartisan support it has, as U.S. Senators from both parties have been expressing their favorable opinions on twitter.
Democratic Senator Heinrich of New Mexico:
— Martin Heinrich (@MartinHeinrich) March 22, 2018
Republican Senator Lankford of Oklahoma:
It’s vitally important that we secure our election systems soon. This is about more than just Russia’s meddling. Next time, it could be North Korea or Iran or a hacktivist group. My bipartisan #SecureElectionsAct is the right approach & it deserves a vote https://t.co/CyunIjepXH
— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) March 20, 2018
Democratic Senator Warner of Virginia:
Thank you @MartinHeinrich @SenatorLankford @SenKamalaHarris @SenatorCollins @AmyKlobuchar @LindseyGrahamSC for introducing the #SecureElectionsAct. Proud to cosponsor this bipartisan bill to secure our elections system and protect our democracy. https://t.co/Cs6D3ffddy
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) March 22, 2018
Senator Lankford tweeted again yesterday his support for the revised bill:
Today, I was joined by @AmyKlobuchar, @SenKamalaHarris, @SenatorBurr, @MarkWarner & others to introduce a revised #SecureElectionsAct. This bill will help streamline information-sharing between the feds & the states & help states strengthen their election infrastructure. pic.twitter.com/s13ZIpy6NB
— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) March 22, 2018
Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina:
Our democracy is under attack by foreign actors seeking to destablize our country. @SenatorLankford and @SenKamalaHarris' Secure Elections Act will bolster cybersecurity for 2018 elections & has provisions to ensure threat info is promptly shared w/states. https://t.co/VNbOdKVZsp pic.twitter.com/z49mHbbra0
— Richard Burr (@SenatorBurr) March 22, 2018
Others have also tweeted their favorable opinions of this important bill:
DHS Cybersecurity head Jeanette Manfra admitted there was successful foreign interference in a handful of states during last election. Support marked paper ballots & post-election audits, and get states proper funding to protect their constituents' votes w #SecureElectionsAct!
— Verified Voting (@VerifiedVoting) February 8, 2018
This is really important – We must protect our democratic process from #ActiveMeasures ! It is not about party, it is about country, principle, freedom. Thank you @SenKamalaHarris and @SenatorLankford for your efforts on the #SecureElectionsAct . https://t.co/rGmi5pfW7S
— Active Measures (@ActMeasuresDoc) March 22, 2018
Want to combat Russian meddling? A good start is passing the bi-partisan Secure Elections Act-among other things it calls for a return to paper ballots in every county in the US, this will be CRITICAL for election audits should they be necessary #SecureElectionsAct #2018MidTerms
— Michael Wilde (@mwilde22) February 7, 2018
The measure now has very strong backing from some of the most high-level and powerful lawmakers in Congress. This might result in the first real Congressional action in response to the many urgent calls from cybersecurity experts, election integrity advocates and state officials for Congress to help this threat to American democracy.
Oklahoma Senator Lankford had this to say about the Secure Elections Act: This bill “helps the states to prepare our election infrastructure for the possibility of interference from not just Russia, but possibly another adversary like Iran or North Korea or a hacktivist group.”
All of the states are short of money but they desperately need to upgrade their voting technology which is very much out of date. The Russian hacking and disinformation campaigns cannot be allowed to continue.
In a bit of good news, the $1.3 trillion dollar spending bill approved by Congress on Thursday contained $380 million for election security. This shows that when senators from both parties work together some important things can actually get done in Congress.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.