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VIDEO: Klobuchar Pushes Congress to Do More to Protect Elections Against Foreign Interference at Rules Committee Hearing on Election Security

Klobuchar urged the passage of her Secure Elections Act with Senator Lankford, legislation to strengthen election cybersecurity in America and protect against foreign interference in future elections

There are only 118 days until the next general election 

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee with oversight jurisdiction over federal elections, today called on Congress to do more to protect our elections from foreign interference at the second of a series of Rules Committee hearings on election security. She also urged the Senate to pass her bipartisan Secure Elections Act, legislation she introduced with Senator James Lankford (R-OK) to strengthen election cybersecurity in America and protect against foreign interference in future elections. At the hearing Klobuchar, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, and members of the Committee heard from Senators Lankford and Ron Wyden (D-OR), federal officials, and representatives from voting systems companies about the steps they are taking to secure election infrastructure and ensure confidence in our elections.

“There’s a lot of focus on what has happened in the 2016 elections—and there should be—but we also have to keep our eyes moving forward to how we protect ourselves so this kind of election interference does not happen again,” Klobuchar said. “My Secure Elections Act with Senator Lankford, which has strong bipartisan support, would improve information sharing between election officials and the federal government, provide vital resources and expertise to states, and make it easier to confirm election outcomes through back-up paper ballots and audits.”

“It is truly vital that we work together and that this be bipartisan. The state and local election officials who are administering these elections are on the frontlines, working hard to ensure our election systems are secure. Congress must do everything we can to defend our elections and bolster Americans’ confidence in our democratic process,” she continued.

Klobuchar has been leading the fight to protect our future elections from foreign interference. In March, Klobuchar and Lankford introduced the Secure Elections Act with Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Burr (R-NC), Mark Warner (D-VA), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) to strengthen election cybersecurity in America and protect against foreign interference in future elections. The Secure Elections Act streamlines cybersecurity information-sharing between federal intelligence entities and state election agencies; provides security clearances to state election officials; and provides resources for states to strengthen our election infrastructure. This bipartisan solution would bolster our election systems against future threats while protecting states’ primacy in running elections.

In October, Klobuchar introduced the Honest Ads Act with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, and Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, to help prevent foreign interference in future elections and improve the transparency of online political advertisements. Russia attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election by buying and placing political ads on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google. The content and purchaser(s) of those online advertisements are a mystery to the public because of outdated laws that have failed to keep up with evolving technology. The Honest Ads Act would prevent foreign actors from influencing our elections by ensuring that political ads sold online are covered by the same rules as ads sold on TV, radio, and satellite.

Klobuchar and Blunt have also introduced the bipartisan Stop Foreign Donations Affecting Our Elections Act to strengthen disclosure by requiring federal campaigns to use existing credit card verification protocols to help verify that online credit card donations come from U.S. sources. Last June, Klobuchar introduced the Helping State and Local Governments Prevent Cyber Attacks Act to help combat foreign interference by providing state and local governments with the information and resources they need to keep our elections secure and improve voter confidence.

In addition, Klobuchar has led Senate Rules Committee Democrats in a call for hearings and briefings on foreign attempts to hack into U.S. election systems and improving cybersecurity. Klobuchar also led a group of 26 senators in calling for a full account of the Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) efforts to address Russian cybersecurity threats. In January 2017, Klobuchar introduced legislation with four other senators to create an independent, nonpartisan commission to comprehensively investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Video of Klobuchar speaking at the hearing is available for download here.