“2020 election threats extend to the Senate — and jeopardize our democracy”

Sen. Coons op-ed in WP:

It is now well understood that states across the country do not have adequate resources to conduct an election during the novel coronavirus pandemic, largely because Congress and the states have provided only a small portion of the funds necessary to secure protective equipment for poll workers; clean and sanitize polling places; and pay for ballot printing, postage, drop boxes, high-speed scanners and staffing to process a record number of mail-in ballots….

There’s more. Since U.S. election systems were attacked by foreign adversaries three years ago, we haven’t done enough to shore up our cyberdefenses, and some states have had to dip into whatever funds they have for cybersecurity just to buy protective equipment for poll workers. Meanwhile, President Trump’s own FBI director and more than one director of national intelligence have warned that foreign actors — namely, Russia — will intensify their cyber-based attacks on our democracy this year….

Time is running out for us to invest in badly needed security improvements to U.S. voting systems. Congress invested $400 million in emergency funding for elections in a pandemic aid package in March, but election analysts estimate that an additional $3.6 billion is needed to prepare for the fall. The House included this funding more than two months ago as part of the Heroes Act. I’m working alongside Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and others to move this funding forward.

Political leaders from both parties need to make repeated, public commitments to guarding our elections against interference — foreign and domestic.


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