House Administration Committee Democrats Applaud National Academies Report on Election Security

Sep 6, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC – Democratic Members of the Committee on House Administration today applauded the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for their new report, “Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy,” and called for the House of Representatives to take immediate action to protect our election systems from foreign interference.

From Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Robert A. Brady (D-Pa.), Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.):

“We applaud the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine for a thorough, well-researched report, produced through an objective and nonpartisan process. The National Academies interviewed more than fifty stakeholders, including election security experts, state and local election officials, and academics. Their report reflects the same consensus reached by Democratic members of the House of Representatives and the Committee on House Administration – that our election systems are at risk and that Congress should take swift action to provide states with the resources they need to secure our elections from a repeat attack.

“The policy solutions recommended in this report are not in dispute. Our elections must be secure and verifiable. States should utilize paper ballot voting systems and conduct risk-limiting audits to determine vote accuracy after elections. Vendors should be required to report any detected efforts to probe, tamper with, or interfere with voter registration systems to their customers, DHS, the EAC, and state officials. And Congress should fully fund the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and provide funding for state and local governments to improve their cybersecurity capabilities.

“These solutions are commonsense and straightforward, but they are time sensitive and they require Congress to act.

“Despite this, the Republican Congress has for years failed to take any meaningful action to protect our elections from a second attack. House Republicans didn’t appropriate a single dollar for states’ election security in FY19 appropriations, even after we called for $1.2 million to assist states in securing their election systems. The House Administration Committee has still refused to hold a single hearing on the security of our elections. House Republican Leadership has failed to direct any of the relevant committees to mark up a single piece of legislation related to election security, nor have they brought any bill to protect our elections - bipartisan or otherwise - to the House floor for consideration. This includes the Election Security Act, legislation produced by the Congressional Taskforce on Election Security to provide states with the resources they need to security their election systems, and currently has 119 cosponsors.

“With the 2018 midterms already underway, the National Academies report makes clear that there is no time to waste. It has been over two years since Russia’s sweeping attack on our political democracy. A steady drumbeat of current and former national security officials spanning multiple Presidential administrations have warned that our elections will be targeted again. But House Republicans inexplicably and repeatedly refuse to take any action on this critical issue. It is time for Congress to recognize that an attack on any state’s electoral infrastructure is a direct threat to democracy in all of America.”

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