Secure, accurate elections are the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy. However, after years of under-investment, America’s election systems are dangerously vulnerable. This is a national security issue that demands immediate action.
State election officials are grappling with difficult challenges: Many voting machines are vulnerable to tampering and cyberattacks because they haven’t been upgraded since 2002, the last time the US made a major national investment in election infrastructure. And, in states that use electronic voting machines without paper backups, it is impossible to check the vote for accuracy. State officials need better technical and financial resources and appropriate access to national security information to handle threats before it is too late.
Public confidence in our elections requires voting systems to be secure and produce trustworthy results. The Secure Elections Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) addresses many critical vulnerabilities with common-sense solutions:
- Paper records to reduce the risk of hacking. The bill provides grants for states to replace paperless electronic voting machines with paper ballots, as recommended by security experts.
- Rigorous, regular “smart” audits to scan for irregularities. To ensure accuracy and build public confidence, the bill encourages routine post-election audits that use the best statistical techniques available.
- Enhanced information sharing to empower state-level officials. The bill encourages information sharing between federal and state officials, while giving state officials appropriate security clearances to access and act quickly on cybersecurity intelligence. It also requires states to notify the federal government if their election systems are hacked.
- Standardized cybersecurity guidelines for long-term cost savings. The bill creates a panel of independent experts to establish cybersecurity guidelines that will promote best practices, enable efficiencies, and reduce costs.
As business leaders, our responsibility is not just to our employees, shareholders, and customers — it is also to our country. We urge Congress to protect our elections by passing and fully funding the Secure Elections Act as an important step toward building an election system that all Americans can trust.