A bipartisan group of six senators has introduced legislation that would take a huge step toward securing elections in the United States. Called the Secure Elections Act, the bill aims to eliminate insecure paperless voting machines from American elections while promoting routine audits that would dramatically reduce the danger of interference from foreign governments.
The U.S. Senate should enthusiastically pass the Graham-Klobuchar amendment to H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2018.
The amendment would enormously strengthen defenses against cyber attacks that could compromise the integrity of elections in the United States and undermine legitimacy of government. Public confidence in the reliability of elections is a cornerstone of national security—the willingness of the people to fight and die for their country.
There’s no evidence that hacking had any impact whatsoever on the results of the 2016 election.
But—in an age of rapidly rising cybersecurity threats and quickly aging voting infrastructure—there’s no guarantee that elections in 2018, 2020, and beyond will be safe. While alleged Russian hacking has received huge attention this year, the cyber-threat to American electoral democracy could come in the future from Russia, China, North Korea, ISIS, Anonymous, or any of a number of potential players with cyber capacities.