House Dem unveils election hacking bill

House Dem unveils election hacking bill
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Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) on Wednesday announced new legislation aimed at preventing voting machine hacking. 

The Election Integrity Act requires all voting machines used in federal elections by 2018 to keep a paper trail, a move often promoted as a safeguard against digital tampering. Voting machines would no longer be allowed to be connected to the internet, which would limit the ability for offsite hackers to attack machines.

Elections officials will be required to perform random audits of the machines to check counting accuracy. 

The bill would make funding available for states to replace machines that no longer would meet standards

Johnson announced the bill in an outdoor ceremony with signs promoting the Twitter hashtag “#donthackmyvote.”

Though most of the bill deals with hacking, other election issues are addressed in the legislation. The Election Integrity Act would also require at least 14 days of early voting, disallow chief elections officials from advising campaigns, order the attorney general to investigate all cases of voter suppression and call for voting stations be distributed evenly throughout states. 

The issue of election hacking entered the public consciousness after Russian agents were accused of hacking a number of Democratic agencies with a suspected aim of impacting the election. 

Both Democrats and Republicans have expressed fears that the other side might try to steal the election. 

Led by Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpOn North Korea, give Trump some credit Exclusive: Bannon says Rosenstein could be fired 'very shortly' GOP dissidents on cusp of forcing immigration votes MORE’s public speculation that the election will be stolen, some Republican voters suspect that the Clinton campaign will use hacking to alter vote outcomes.

Similar concerns have been voiced as far back as the George W. Bush presidency, when some Democrats feared vote tampering from election machine manufacturer Diebold, whose chief executive was a donor and supporter to Bush. 

At Wednesday’s ceremony, Johnson said his bill would thwart both foreign hackers from Russia and other states and “domestic partisans who will not hesitate to steal elections.”