Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Susan Collins. a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, joined a bipartisan group in introducing a revised version of the Secure Elections Act, legislation to strengthen election cybersecurity in America. Senators Collins, James Lankford (R-OK), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) originally introduced the legislation in December and have since worked with stakeholders to revise and strengthen the bill. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) also co-sponsored the bill cosponsored the reintroduced bill.
“While our investigation is still ongoing, we know for certain that the Russians were relentless in their efforts to meddle in the 2016 elections, and that those efforts are ongoing,” said Senator Collins. “This bipartisan legislation will strengthen the integrity of our election process by ensuring that local voting officials have the information and financial resources they need to secure their voting systems. Given that we are already in an election year, the need to act now is urgent.”
The revised legislation maintains the original purpose of the bill to streamline cybersecurity information-sharing between federal intelligence entities and state election agencies; provide security clearances to state election officials; and provide support for state election cybersecurity infrastructure. The updated bill modifies reporting requirements for state election offices, transitions the election security advisory panel from the Department of Homeland Security to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission; and makes grants eligible to local jurisdictions, among several other minor modifications.
At a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing last week examining worldwide security threats to our nation’s election infrastructure, Senator Collins questioned Kirstjen Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security, and Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security, on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) efforts to improve election security.
Click HERE to read the full-text of the bill.