There are many things we need to do to strengthen our democracy, from improving access, campaign finance reform, and removing obstacles that make it hard or impossible for people to cast their votes. But we also need to make sure that our elections infrastructure, that is becoming more and more reliant on technology, is protected against cyber-hackers who seek to manipulate the outcomes of our elections.

The Department of Homeland Security reported that in 2016 there were attempts to hack into 21 states' elections infrastructure. In 2017, the world's oldest and largest hacking conference (DEFCON) took on our elections infrastructure, exposing serious and disturbing vulnerabilities in our elections technology. Some of their least experienced hackers were able to hack into every single one of our elections systems within mere minutes.

While we strengthen our cybersecurity, we also know that as long as something is connected to the Internet it can be hacked. That's why I've introduced the Securing America's Elections Act to mandate paper ballots or paper ballot backups across the country, to protect the integrity and security of the 2018 midterm elections, and beyond. We cannot afford to stall--we must act now.

Add your name to be a citizen cosponsor of the Securing America's Elections Act.

Paper ballots are a commonsense, failsafe measure to make sure everyone's vote counts. After the DEFCON hacking report came out, Virginia recognized they needed to take action to ensure the integrity of their 2017 election. I asked Edgardo Cortes, the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections, about how they made the decision to switch to a voter-verified paper ballot system, and he said, "When it came down to the final decision about what to do with the equipment, our biggest consideration was if there was some issue reported on Election Day, would we have the confidence to go out and tell our voters that the results from the machines were accurate and that we could confirm that. I think that ultimately, we determined, in consultation with our wonderful staff at the state IT agency and their assessment, that we wouldn't be in a position to do that with the equipment that we were using. Without that independent verification, that paper ballot, there would be no way to do that. I think that ultimately was the moment that decertification moved forward, and we decided to have paper ballots state-wide for this past November."

The time of partisan bickering and political posturing must end now. There are serious vulnerabilities within our elections infrastructure and the 2018 midterm elections are nine short months away. We are running out of time. Congress must act now.

Become a citizen cosponsor of the Securing America's Elections Act today.

We must begin the process of renewing faith in the elections if we hope to maintain the fundamentals of our democratic process.

As voters head back to the polls for the first full round of federal elections since 2016, it's our responsibility to provide a strong and transparent path forward. Join me in bringing about this critical change.



Secure America's Elections

Add your name to become a citizen cosponsor of the Securing America's Elections Act.