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Attorneys general ask Congress to protect state election processes from cyberattacks, including Russia’s

PutinTwenty-one attorneys general urged congressional leaders Monday to improve American cybersecurity and protect the integrity of the upcoming 2018 midterm election and elections to come, against cyberattacks and infiltrations such as the ones committed by Russia in 2016.

Investigations have made clear that Russian hackers targeted the American electoral system, stole the private information of hundreds of thousands of people, and infiltrated a company that supplies voting software across the nation, said New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood. 

“No matter how much President Trump waffles, the facts are clear: Russia interfered with our 2016 elections,” said Underwood. “It's high time that Congress act to prevent the next attack – because our democracy depends on it.”

The bipartisan coalition of attorneys general has outlined basic steps Congress can take right now to protect election integrity before it's too late, she said.

The coalition urges Congress to take three steps to address election security concerns:

  • Prioritize and act on election-security legislation, including the Secure Elections Act.
  • Increase funding for the Election Assistance Commission to support election security improvements at the state level and to protect the personal data of the voters. Many states lack the resources and tools they need to protect the polls during this year’s upcoming elections. Additional funding for voting infrastructure will not only allow states to upgrade election systems but will also allow for a comprehensive security risk assessment. Unfortunately, past practice has shown that the existing Election Assistance Commission grants are simply insufficient to provide for the upgraded technology needed. More funding is essential to adequately equip states with the financial resources necessary to safeguard our democracy and protect voter data.
  • Support the development of cybersecurity standards for voting systems to prevent potential future foreign attacks. It’s critical that there be a combined effort between governments and security experts to protect against the increased cyber threats posed by foreign entities seeking to weaken our institutions.

The attorneys general that signed Monday’s letter is from New Mexico, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington. 

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