November 1, 2018

COMMENTARY: Congress missed an opportunity to improve election security before midterms

By Sarah Rumpf

Rainey Center co-founder and President Bishop Garrison had an op-ed published yesterday at Protego Press on the important topic of election security.

As Garrison points out, Congress had a bill that would have directed $250 million to the Federal Election Assistance Commission (FEAC) for increased cybersecurity efforts, replacing outdated election machinery, and other election security improvements, but it failed to pass the Senate.

This funding would have been crucial in establishing sufficient funds for states to take steps to update and secure their respective election systems—steps that require immediate action given that there are currently five states (Georgia, Delaware, Louisiana, New Jersey, and South Carolina) that rely on paperless electronic voting computers, which top cybersecurity experts say are a serious vulnerability. Plus, as mentioned above, in 2016, Russia succeeded in hacking more than 20 U.S. state election systems and compromising 7 of them; this alone should have ensured full, bipartisan support for bolstering election security efforts.

...This remains a crucial bipartisan issue. The foreign interference to date has helped the Republican Party, but there is no guarantee that they will be the beneficiaries forever. Any effort to attack the sovereignty of our nation by way of interfering in the sacred right to vote should alarm Americans of all political stripes, and that alarm must be translated into action. Whether at the local, state, or national level, Americans deserve to trust that, on election day, only they and their fellow countrymen and women choose who leads our nation forward. When we see the blinking light, we must act to alleviate the problem, or we risk irrevocable harm to the entirety of the system.

Read the full op-ed here: The System is Blinking: Election Security Remains a Priority for Mid-Terms and Beyond

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