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November 15, 2017

Election Security Task Force Releases Preliminary Recommendations

(WASHINGTON) – The Congressional Task Force on Election Security, chaired by Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Robert Brady (D-PA) released its preliminary findings and recommendations marking one year since the 2016 election.  Because of Republican inaction, the Task Force was created this summer to put forth solutions to secure our election systems after Russia interfered and attempted to influence last year’s election. Just yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions admitted to Congress that he could not report on any Administration election security efforts.

Over the past five months, the Task Force has held public forums with election and cybersecurity experts and has been working to understand the threats to election infrastructure and how to address them. The five findings and six recommendations released today underline the Department of Homeland Security and the Election Assistance Commission as the primary agencies that can help states better secure their election systems. Today’s preliminary findings will inform an upcoming final task force report.

Preliminary recommendations:

  • Maintain the designation of election infrastructure as a critical infrastructure subsector
  • Help states fund and maintain secure election systems
  • States should conduct post-election risk-limiting audits
  • Empower Federal agencies to be effective partners for nationwide security reforms
  • Establish clear and effective channels for sharing threat and intelligence information with election officials
  • Prioritize cybersecurity training at the state and local level

Congressman Thompson and Congressman Brady released the following statement:

“One year ago, 139 million Americans cast their vote in the wake of a massive Russian cyber-enabled influence operation designed to undermine confidence in our democracy.  Russia also targeted voter registration databases in at least 21 states and sought to infiltrate the networks of voting equipment vendors, political parties, and at least one local election board.  If we do nothing,  this will become our new normal.  With the next Federal election only one year away, it is high time we start thinking about enacting real solutions.  The findings and recommendations released today are an outline of concrete steps that we can take to ensure our elections are more secure going forward.”

Link to Findings and Recommendations

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Media contact:
(Thompson) Adam Comis at 202-225-9978
(Brady) Peter Whippy at 202-225-1943