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 22 State AG’s warn action is necessary to prevent against
“persistent threats to our election systems”

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James and 21 other State Attorneys General from across the nation today called on Congress to take action to protect the integrity of America’s elections from “persistent threats” by Russia and other bad actors by asking for grants, updated security standards, and bipartisan election-security legislation.

“The electoral process is the foundation of our democracy and must be protected,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “There is no doubt that Russia and other adversaries will attempt to infiltrate our elections and instill uncertainty in the hearts and minds of American voters, so we must work to prevent any security breaches and safeguard the sanctity of our elections in 2020 and beyond.”

In the letter to the chairs and ranking members of both the Senate Appropriations and Senate Rules Committees, the 22 Attorneys General ask Congress to:

  • Provide additional election security grants to states and localities so that states can upgrade election equipment and voter registration systems and databases, and fortify their election systems from future cyberattacks.
  • Support the establishment of cybersecurity and audit standards for election systems by updating the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s standards for voting machines and taking a stronger regulatory role in testing voting equipment before it is sold to states, while simultaneously keeping state elections officials closely informed about suspected breaches, alerts, and related intelligence.
  • Pass election-security legislation, like the bipartisan Secure Elections Act.

The Attorneys General note warns that “our election systems have been a target for foreign adversaries and that those same adversaries are currently working to undermine the upcoming elections.” Their letter follows confirmed reports that Russia successfully breached election systems in Florida, installed malware on a voting-systems software company used by North Carolina, and targeted the election systems of all 50 states in 2016.

Joining Attorney General James in the letter are the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington. Today’s letter follows up on a similar letter that Attorneys General from 21 states sent to Congress in July 2018.

A copy of today’s letter is available here.

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