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National Security & Defense

State Attorneys General Demand Congress Act to Secure 2020 Elections

An American flag flies at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2019. (Al Drago/Reuters)

A group of 23 Democratic state attorneys general demanded Tuesday that Congress take steps to strengthen election security ahead of 2020’s elections.

In an urgent letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate Rules Committee, the group outlined proposals it wants Congress to act on to secure election systems before next November.

“Our state and local election officials are on the front-lines of the fight to protect our election infrastructure, but they lack the resources necessary to combat a sophisticated foreign adversary like Russia,” the letter reads.

Specifically, the group asked for election-security grants so states can update their equipment and train election officials in information technology and cybersecurity. It urged passage of legislation that would identify and update shaky election infrastructure and improve communication about security threats. And it requested stricter standards for tracking potential breaches of election infrastructure.

Congress must “support the establishment of cybersecurity and audit standards for election systems,” the attorney generals wrote, further asking that state officials should be notified when the federal government suspects a breach.

“Securing our election systems is a matter of national security and we hope that you will take immediate action to protect our election infrastructure and restore Americans’ trust in our election systems,” the group wrote.

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