II. Federal-State Updates
The Congressional Task Force on Election Security, which does not have any Republican members, introduced a bill this week seeking more than $1 billion in funds to help state’s secure their voting systems. The bill also includes minimum security standards for all US election systems.
The proposal outlines 10 recommendations for securing election infrastructure such as ensuring that all voting systems have a verifiable paper trail, it calls on voting equipment vendors to prioritize voting infrastructure security, it provides funding for states to upgrade their voter registration databases.
The bill also expands the oversight role of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
In other news, according to The Hill, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have written to Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) demanding “immediate” hearings on cyber vulnerabilities in U.S. election infrastructure.
“We believe the threat is urgent,” wrote the Democrats, led by ranking member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.). “We cannot afford to ignore the mounting evidence of a coordinated effort to undermine the most basic and essential aspects of democratic process.”
In a follow-up to last week’s “breaking” news from NBC about Russian hackers “successfully penetrating” US voter roles in 2016 has the U.S. Department of Homeland Security pushing back.
“Recent NBC reporting has misrepresented facts and confused the public with regard to Department of Homeland Security and state and local government efforts to combat election hacking,” Jeanette Manfra, the department’s chief cybersecurity official, said in a statement.