July 18, 2019

Senate Unanimously Passes Whitehouse, Blumenthal, & Graham Bill to Prevent Cyberattacks on Voting Machines

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today applauded the U.S. Senate’s unanimous passage of their 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 legislation now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.

“Russia and other hostile actors are constantly trying to breach the cyber defenses of our voting systems and other critical infrastructure in an attempt to weaken the United States,” said Whitehouse.  “Protecting the instruments of democracy from foreign intrusion is vital to our national security and should be the goal of every member of Congress.”

“Our election systems need strong safeguards against enemy hackers seeking to subvert our democracy.  Voting machines are a prime penetrable target, and laws remain woefully outdated.  This bipartisan bill provides the Department of Justice with powerful tools to vigorously prosecute and stop malicious hackers.  Its unanimous passage tells the world that securing our nation’s elections and cyber infrastructure is a bipartisan cause,” said Blumenthal.  “I urge our House colleagues to swiftly pass it so every vote counts.  With less than 16 months before our 2020 elections, there’s no time to waste.”

“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.  The House of Representatives should act quickly to pass this bill to help protect us from further attempts to interfere with the 2020 election.”



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