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Defending the foundation of our democracy

For years, experts have warned that American elections are vulnerable to foreign interference.

The 2016 election proved them correct.

More than two years later, we're still learning the depths of Russia's attack on our democracy and feeling its aftershocks.

Just this week, the FBI informed Florida governor Ron DeSantis that, thanks to insecure voting machine technology, Russian hackers successfully infiltrated voter registration systems in two counties.

And yet, Donald Trump still actively refuses to talk about foreign interference in our elections or how we can enhance election security, because it hurts his feelings. His handlers have instructed staffers to not even raise the issue in front of him.

That's not just childish and irresponsible. It's a threat to the integrity of American democracy.

This week, I introduced a bill called the Protecting American Votes and Elections (PAVE) Act. It requires the use of hand-marked paper ballots and "risk-limiting" audits for all federal elections. It also, for the first time ever, sets mandatory cyber-security standards for all federal elections.

These are steps that election and cyber security experts have told lawmakers will make a concrete difference in protecting our elections against hackers and foreign interference.

Election interference isn't going away. Those that wish to interfere in the course of American democracy will continue to look for flaws in our system to exploit. We have to take steps to protect the democratic process, and we have to do it now.


Posted on May 19, 2019.

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Ron Wyden & Jeff Merkley at a health care rallyRon Wyden is a champion for our progressive values -- standing up for consumers and the middle class, fighting for digital privacy and an open internet, protecting our planet and Oregon's special places, and always insisting on human rights and equality for all.

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