A bipartisan legislation has been introduced that’s designed to protect the US voting systems infrastructure from foreign interference.
Democrat Martin Heinrich and Republican Susan Collins claim the Securing Americas Voting Equipment, or SAVE, Act will protect US voting systems, voter registration data, and ballots from ‘theft, manipulation, and malicious computer hackers.’
The SAVE Act would deem state election systems as critical infrastructure, requiring the Department of Homeland Security to work with states to develop risk mitigation measures and a federal grant to help states upgrade their equipment. The Director of National Intelligence would be required to sponsor security clearances for federal election officials in each state, and share classified information with the states about potential threats to their infrastructure.
The Act would also require the comptroller general to audit elections and suggests a ‘CooperativeHack the Election’ program be introduced to sniff out system vulnerabilities.
“The SAVE Act would ensure states are better equipped to develop solutions and respond to threats posed to election systems. Until we set up stronger protection of our election systems and take the necessary steps to prevent future foreign influence campaigns, our nation’s democratic institutions will remain vulnerable,” Heinrich claimed.
The SAVE Act is the latest attempt at responding to what many intelligence officials believe was a multi-tiered cyber-attack by Russia attempting to undermine the democratic process and swing the 2016 US election in favor of Donald Trump. In late September the DHS notified 21 states whose election systems were targeted during last years’ 2016 election by what’s believed to be Russian sponsored hackers.
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