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New Bill Could Finally Get Rid of Paperless Voting Machines

The bill reads like a computer security expert’s wish list.

TIMOTHY B. LEE -  Ars Technica
1/2/2018

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.

America’s voting systems need security upgrades: It’s time to beef up cybersecurity

By R. James Woolsey, Tony Shaffer
Fox News, May 12, 2017

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.

Senators unveil bipartisan push to deter future election interference

By Morgan Chalfant
The Hill, January 16, 2018

A pair of senators from each party is introducing legislation meant to deter foreign governments from interfering in future American elections. 

The bill represents the latest push on Capitol Hill to address Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election and counter potential threats ahead of the 2018 midterms. 

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) on Tuesday introduced the “Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (DETER) Act,” which lays out specific foreign actions against U.S. elections that would warrant penalties from the federal government. 

Van Hollen said in a statement to The Hill that the bill would send “an unequivocal message to Russia and any other foreign actor who may follow its example: if you attack us, the consequences will be severe.” 

The Conservative Case for Election Security Reform

BY LT. COL. TONY SHAFFER (RET.), OPINION CONTRIBUTOR
The Hill,  March 7, 2017

Good news: Most Americans still have at least some degree of confidence in our voting system. We have not devolved to the level of a third-world banana republic — yet.

But Americans' faith in elections has diminished considerably, and I believe justifiably. Now, only four in 10 citizens have "strong confidence" that their votes are counted as cast. Among Republicans, the proportion of people with faith in voting has fallen to just about a third.

Just the mere perception of a rigged system undermines the most basic foundations of our republic. America's incoming government has an obligation — and an opportunity — to restore the faith in our voting systems.

Report: Russia Launched Cyberattack On Voting Vendor Ahead Of Election

June 5, 2017

Heard on All Things Considered

Russia's military intelligence agency launched an attack days before Election Day on a U.S. company that provides election services and systems, including voter registration, according to a top-secret report posted Monday by The Intercept.

The news site published a report, with redactions, by the National Security Agency that described the Russian spear-phishing scheme, one it described as perpetrated by the same intelligence agency — the GRU — that the Obama administration imposed sanctions on for the 2016 cyber mischief.

Advocates Call for Paper Ballots in Georgia Amid FBI Review

By KATHLEEN FOODY, Associated Press
March 14, 2017

ATLANTA (AP) — A group of technology experts said Tuesday that Georgia's top elections officials should stop using electronic voting machines as the FBI reviews a suspected data breach.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Kennesaw State University this month confirmed a federal investigation focused on the school's Center for Election Systems. The center tests and certifies Georgia's voting machines and electronic polling books used to check in voters at polling locations. Employees also format ballots for every election held in the state.