Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today cosponsored legislation to strengthen the security of our voting systems and bolster federal funding to protect against attacks on America’s elections. Introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the Election Security Act provides grants to states to modernize their election infrastructure so every vote cast in federal elections is secure.
“America’s elections continue to be the targets of bad actors abroad who want to manipulate election outcomes and hack our democratic process. Our intelligence officials are warning us that Russian interference in the 2020 election is a very real threat, and we’ve seen the consequences of these efforts in 2016 and 2018. This legislation is critical to providing support to states to protect the sanctity of every American’s vote and ensure our elections are secure.”
In addition to Senators Cortez Masto and Klobuchar, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael F. Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory A. Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.), Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.), Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-Penn.), Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus S. King, Jr. (I-Maine), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Jeffrey A. Merkley (D-Ore.), Christopher S. Murphy (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Gary C. Peters (D-Mich.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also cosponsored this bill.
The Election Security Act requires that every vote cast in a federal election must produce a paper ballot that is verified by the voter before being cast, whether marked by hand or machine. This legislation provides $1 billion in election security grants to modernize election infrastructure, provide cybersecurity training to election officials and implement post-election, risk-limiting audits. This bill strengthens the federal response to election interference, establishes cybersecurity standards for voting systems vendors and requires the testing of voting systems nine months before an election.