Home>Congress>Menendez bill seeks funds for safeguard foreign interference in elections

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, center, with (left to right) Bergen County Clerk John Hogan, Freeholder Germaine Oritz, County Executive James Tedesco, and Jared Maples, director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness on April 29, 2019.

Menendez bill seeks funds for safeguard foreign interference in elections

Senator: ‘We must treat the Mueller report like a preview of what’s to come’

By David Wildstein, April 29 2019 12:24 pm

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez is introducing legislation to provide federal funding for states seeking to safeguard voting systems.

Menendez cited the Mueller Report’s findings that Russia and others interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections.  The report found that 21 state election systems were hacked in the last presidential election.

“We must treat the Mueller report like a preview of what’s to come,” said Menendez. “Russia-linked actors will target our election infrastructure in 2020—perhaps with even greater sophistication.  With the election a year and half away, we don’t have the luxury of time.”

Menendez says that the 2020 elections “maybe even more vulnerable” unless voting system safeguards are in place.   He said the Trump administration has failed to implement any changes.

“We face evolving cyber threats from many foreign actors, from Russia to Iran, China, North Korea, and beyond.  It’s time for Congress to do what President Trump will not: defend the security of our elections, defend our democracy, and defend the sovereignty of this nation,” Menendez said.

Menendez’s “Protecting the Right to Independent and Democratic Elections Act would provide grants to implement or improve the use of auditable paper ballots; conduct post-election risk limiting audits, and implement cybersecurity standards and best practices.

“The ability to accurately cast a vote during an election is the paramount right of all citizens and the cornerstone of our democracy,” said Jared Maples, director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.  “With the continued support of federal, State, county, and local officials and law enforcement partners, our Office remains committed to ensuring the security and integrity of our election process.”

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