Today, the Secure Elections Act, which would greatly improve the security of the United States election system, was introduced by Senators Collins, Graham, Harris, Heinrich, Klobuchar, and Lankford. This bipartisan bill, which would be the first major election legislation since the Help America Vote Act of 2002, would streamline information sharing, establish an election cybersecurity federal advisory panel, provide grants to improve cybersecurity and modernize election systems, as well as establish a vulnerability hunting program for election equipment and infrastructure. The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) supports the Secure Elections Act and believes it is a crucial element in sustainably shoring up election cybersecurity for the future.
“In the wake of the 2016 election cycle, election officials are on the front lines of cybersecurity, protecting their systems and our votes from nation-state attacks. These heroic public servants should not be left in the dark. They need the best advice and dedicated resources in order to adequately defend our democracy,” said Joseph Lorenzo Hall, CDT Chief Technologist and Director of the Internet Architecture Project.
“The Secure Elections Act recognizes that voting systems must have an auditable paper record, and that election officials must regularly audit that paper record to catch sources of error and fraud,” Hall added. “Most importantly, it will create a federal expert advisory panel to make guidelines for election cybersecurity, and a grant program that can be used to improve election cybersecurity and modernize systems that cannot currently produce a paper record. In addition, it includes a formal ‘hack the election’ program which would bring election officials, manufacturers, and the larger information security community together to proactively find and fix flaws in our voting systems.”
You can find more information about CDT’s upcoming work around election security and privacy here.