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Sen. Lankford Discusses Election Security at Brennan Event

With the midterms looming, America’s election systems remain vulnerable to cyberattacks

  • Liz Howard
July 11, 2018

On Tuesday, Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) joined a group of experts on election administration and cybersecurity to discuss threats to election security at a Capitol Hill event organized by the Brennan Center and others.

Also at the event were former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, a Republican, and Dan Savickas of FreedomWorks, among others. It comes a day before the Senate Rules Committee holds a hearing on the issue.

There’s no clear evidence that any vote totals were hacked in 2016, but we know that hackers are testing the waters. A recent Senate report found that foreign agents targeted elections systems in 18 states and gained access to voter registration databases in a small number of states. 

States and the federal government haven’t done enough to respond to the threat, but there are solutions on the table. Last year, Lankford joined with seven other senators — including the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee — to introduce the Secure Elections Act, which would provide federal support to states to shore up their systems against attack. And Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) has introduced a measure to help states move toward paper ballots.

That’s an approach President Trump has endorsed, saying on Election Day in 2016: “There’s something really nice about the old paper ballot system…You don’t worry about hacking.”

Tuesday’s event was sponsored by the Brennan Center, the National Election Defense Coalition, Common Cause, Verified Voting, and FreedomWorks.

(Photo: Susan Greenhalgh, National Election Defense Coalition)