State attorneys general demand that Congress take action on election security

State attorneys general demand that Congress take action on election security
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Twenty-two Democratic state attorneys general demanded Tuesday that Congress take action to secure election systems ahead of the 2020 vote.

The group of attorneys general, led by Minnesota’s Keith EllisonKeith Maurice EllisonMinnesota sues Juul over rise in youth vaping Jane Fonda calls for protecting water resources at weekly DC climate protest Progressives ramp up fight against Facebook MORE, sent a letter to the leaders from each party of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Rules Committee begging them to work together to bolster election security in the states, including passing legislation.

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“Our state and local election officials are on the front-lines of the fight to protect our election infrastructure, but they lack the resources necessary to combat a sophisticated foreign adversary like Russia,” they wrote. 

The group of attorneys general asked the senators for “sustained” federal funding to secure election infrastructure against potential interference, for updating the equipment itself and for information technology and cybersecurity training for election officials. 

They also asked that Congress “support the establishment of cybersecurity and audit standards for election systems,” and argued that the federal government needs to keep state election officials informed about suspected breaches and other security intelligence. 

And the attorneys general pushed the senators to support and pass election security legislation, such as the Secure Elections Act. This bill, which Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordTrump's legal team huddles with Senate Republicans Israeli, Palestinian business leaders seek Trump boost for investment project The Hill's Morning Report — Schiff: Clear evidence of a quid pro quo MORE (R-Okla.) told The Hill he plans to reintroduce soon, would improve information-sharing and strengthen the security of voting systems. 

“Securing our election systems is a matter of national security and we hope that you will take immediate action to protect our election infrastructure and restore Americans’ trust in our election systems,” the group wrote. 

The letter was sent in the midst of a sustained push by Senate Democrats to push through election security legislation in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Energy: Pelosi vows bold action to counter 'existential' climate threat | Trump jokes new light bulbs don't make him look as good | 'Forever chemicals' measure pulled from defense bill Overnight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson – House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill | McConnell, Grassley at odds over Trump-backed drug pricing bill | Lawmakers close to deal on surprise medical bills GOP senators request interview with former DNC contractor to probe possible Ukraine ties MORE (R-Ky.) has so far refused to allow a vote on legislation related to the topic. 

Last week, Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHillicon Valley: FTC rules Cambridge Analytica engaged in 'deceptive practices' | NATO researchers warn social media failing to remove fake accounts | Sanders calls for breaking up Comcast, Verizon Bipartisan senators call on FERC to protect against Huawei threats Hillicon Valley: House passes anti-robocall bill | Senators inch forward on privacy legislation | Trump escalates fight over tech tax | Illinois families sue TikTok | Senators get classified briefing on ransomware MORE (D-Va.) tried to push through by unanimous consent legislation to require campaigns to notify the FBI and the Federal Election Commission about attempts by foreign governments and nationals to influence the election; the bill, however, was blocked by Senate Republicans. 

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care — Presented by Johnson & Johnson — Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law | Michigan governor seeks to pause Medicaid work requirements | New front in fight over Medicaid block grants House, Senate Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law Why a second Trump term and a Democratic Congress could be a nightmare scenario for the GOP MORE (D-N.Y.) told reporters that Democrats will try to bring up multiple election security bills by unanimous consent, which would force McConnell to either allow a vote or block the bills. Senate Democrats will also push for more funding to secure election systems.