U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Helps Introduce Landmark Election Security Bill

The Election Security Act would improve election cybersecurity and combat foreign interference in our democracy

Over three dozen senators have cosponsored the legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin helped introduce major election security legislation with 37 Senate cosponsors to require backup paper ballots and provide election security grants to states for cyber improvements and audits. The Election Security Act, led by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), represents the election security portions of H.R.1 and was introduced as standalone legislation in the House of Representatives last week.

“American intelligence officials have made it clear that we face an ongoing threat to our elections from foreign adversaries and hackers. We must take action to protect the integrity of the vote,” said Senator Baldwin. “This legislation to provide our election officials with the necessary tools to secure our federal elections is a commonsense solution that will strengthen election security and help protect our democracy from foreign interference.”

“We have overwhelming evidence that foreign adversaries are interfering in our elections, but we continue to do nothing to protect the integrity of our democracy. Election security is national security, and it is past time for Congress to take action,” said Senator Klobuchar. “We must do everything in our power to protect our election systems from future attacks and this legislation will ensure those on the frontlines of administering elections are equipped with the tools and resources necessary to safeguard elections.”

The bill is cosponsored by Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Specifically, the Election Security Act would:

  • Require states use paper ballots.
  • Establish cybersecurity standards for voting systems vendors.
  • Fund grants for states to improve and maintain the security of their election systems, to provide cybersecurity training to election officials, and to implement post-election risk limiting audits.
  • Require the Director of National Intelligence to assess threats to election systems 180 days before an election and require the Department of Homeland Security and the Election Assistance Commission to issue recommendations to address threats.
  • Require the testing of voting systems nine months before an election.
  • Require the President to produce a national strategy for protecting democratic institutions.
  • Create a National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions.

The bill is endorsed by Public Citizen, Common Cause, Democracy 21, End Citizens United, Protect Democracy and the Brennan Center for Justice.