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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 EllisonMinnesota bar vows to stay open despite lawsuit, ban on indoor dining More than 150 Minnesota businesses vow to defy governor's shutdown order Progressives rally around Turner's House bid 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 LankfordHawley files ethics counter-complaint against seven Democratic senators Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury The Hill's 12:30 Report: What to expect for inauguration 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 McConnellHumanist Report host criticizes 'conservative Democrats:' They 'hold more power' than progressives Dobbs: Republicans lost in 2020 because they 'forgot who was the true leader' Biden's Cabinet gradually confirmed by Senate MORE (R-Ky.) has so far refused to allow a vote on legislation related to the topic. 

Last week, Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerModerates vow to 'be a force' under Biden The next pandemic may be cyber — How Biden administration can stop it Bipartisan Senate gang to talk with Biden aide on coronavirus relief 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 SchumerChuck SchumerHumanist Report host criticizes 'conservative Democrats:' They 'hold more power' than progressives Bush-, Obama-era officials urge Senate to swiftly confirm Biden's DHS pick OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court upholds ruling invalidating Dakota Access, but doesn't shut down pipeline | Schumer calls for Biden to declare climate emergency | Biden seeks to bolster consultation with Indian Country 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.