Tags: Cyber Security | Russia Probe | Voting Rights | voting systems | james lankford | amy klobuchar | hacking

Lankford, Klobuchar: Bill Necessary to Protect States' Voting Systems

Lankford, Klobuchar: Bill Necessary to Protect States' Voting Systems
Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla. (J. Pat Carter/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 21 December 2017 03:48 PM

Care must be taken to prevent Russia or other countries from interfering in future elections, Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who have presented a bipartisan bill aimed at shoring up the nation's voting systems, said Thursday.

"Interference in the elections happened during the 2016 time period," Lankford told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "The Russians were trying to engage. Our issue is, how do we protect it for the futures."

States run elections, and that should continue, he said, but there are some states that are not able to audit their election systems, and the bill he and Klobuchar are proposing hopes to help those states so they can be contacted when election interference is attempted.

News reports indicate former President Barack Obama's administration knew the Russians were trying to interfere in the election, and the Trump campaign was also warned in July about the interference.

"That's why we join together across the aisle, James and I, along with Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to put this bill forward," Klobuchar said.

"State election heads don't always have the clearance to get warnings about this information. So one of the things we do in the bill is put forth some requirements that they get those security clearances so they're able to share information – in addition to a grant program which, by the way, amounts to 3 percent of the cost of one aircraft carrier."

When one thinks of national security, considering the use of cyber warfare that is happening, the bill will allow states to use the money to upgrade equipment, obtain backup paper ballots, and make voting "safer for all Americans," she added.

If there is a major hack, when 42 states have not upgraded their equipment in 10 years, "it undermines the very democracy that's the foundation of our country," Klobuchar said.

Lankford said the Department of Homeland Security has been helping with the bill, while being engaged in working with states to watch for vulnerability.

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Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., are pushing legislation to put safeguards and process into protecting states' voting systems from cyberattacks.
voting systems, james lankford, amy klobuchar, hacking
Thursday, 21 December 2017 03:48 PM
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