National Security Experts, Conservatives to Congress: Secure Election Systems Now

February 21, 2018

Ahead of 2018 Midterms, New Letter Calls for Immediate Action on Stalled Legislation

New York, N.Y. –  A group of prominent national security and intelligence experts, as well as leading conservatives, are urging Congress to act on legislation that would help secure America’s voting infrastructure before midterm elections this fall and the presidential election in 2020.
“These officials know that election security and public faith in our democratic process are inextricably linked to America’s economic and national security,” said Lawrence Norden, deputy director of the democracy program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and co-author of Securing Elections from Foreign Interference. “It’s heartening to see conservatives adding their crucial voice to the diverse group pushing Congress to act now. Our outdated voting infrastructure is a problem, and it’s time to implement the commonsense solutions outlined in the Secure Elections Act.” 
Ret. Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the National Security Agency; former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), who chaired the House Intelligence Committee; Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform; Adam Brandon, president of Freedom Works, and more signed the letter this week to Senate leadership in support of the bipartisan Secure Elections Act. The legislation, they wrote, “strikes a careful balance between state and federal action to secure American voting systems” and would allow states to take “important and time-sensitive” steps like replacing paperless machines and conducing risk assessments on existing infrastructure.
Their support comes on the heels of a Washington Post op-ed by Norquist and Michael Chertoff, former secretary of homeland security under President George W. Bush, calling on Congress to act. A recent Brennan Center survey of election officials across the country found that 33 states need to replace their machines by 2020 but most don’t have the funds to do so. 

To connect with a Brennan Center expert on voting infrastructure, contact Rebecca Autrey at or 646-292-8316.