Bipartisan Bill Aims to Make Election Interference a Federal Crime
WASHINGTON – Representatives Jim Himes, D-Conn., and John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, have introduced legislation to make election interference a federal crime.
The Defending the Integrity of Voting Systems Act would make it a federal crime to hack any voting systems used in a federal election.
According to the Justice Department, current federal law doesn’t directly apply punishments for hacking voting machines that aren’t connected to the internet.
“Every day, our geopolitical rivals are working to infiltrate and interfere with our electoral process,” Representative Himes said in a written statement.
“If we’re not thinking of ways to protect our systems and deter attacks five, ten, fifteen years in the future, we risk falling behind and losing our substantial technological advantage,” he said.
Himes said the bill will expand the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a move the Department of Justice Cyber Task Force has identified as a priority, to prohibit hacking of voting machines.
“I hope that Representative Ratcliffe and I can help set an example with this bill to show the rest of our colleagues that there is an uncontroversial, bipartisan path forward to better protect our nation,” the congressman said.
Ratcliffe said it’s one thing to speak out against the hacking of voting systems, another to take steps to actively deter it.
“We must ensure that those who attempt to interfere in our elections will face strict punishment for their actions,” he said.
“This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s about protecting each American’s right to vote and have their vote count,” Ratcliffe continued. “I’m grateful to be working across the aisle with Representative Himes on legislation that will help us protect our country from the threat of future attacks on our electorate.”
Other co-sponsors of the bill are Reps. Doug Collins, R-Ga., Ro Khanna, D-Calif., Greg Steube, R-Fla., Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., Ben Cline, R-Va., and Jim Cooper, D-Tenn.
In The News
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida’s system for restoring the voting rights of up to 1.4 million ex-felons is an “administrative nightmare” a federal judge said Tuesday, but it could still remain in place during the presidential preference primary in March. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle seemed... Read More
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Californians will be able to register to vote on Election Day at local polling places and voting centers under legislation signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday, a potentially significant step toward boosting turnout in key contests next year. The new law provides... Read More
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday urged both Congress and the Trump administration to take sweeping action to ensure social media sites aren't used as platforms for interference in the 2020 presidential election. The Senate Intelligence Committee has been investigating Russia's efforts to... Read More
SAN JUAN COUNTY, Utah — At the end of a labyrinth of red dirt roads and surrounded by the rusty cliffs of nearby mesas, Marthleen and Shuan Stephenson live on an isolated desert homestead on the sprawling Navajo Nation. Until last month, you couldn’t find their... Read More
WASHINGTON — A handful of Republican-held House seats in the Texas suburbs represent fertile ground for competitive races in 2020, according to recent Democratic polling. The surveys in six GOP districts, shared first with CQ Roll Call, are a sign that Democratic outside groups are willing... Read More
WASHINGTON — After straining all year to make their candidacies about things bigger than disgust with President Donald Trump, Democratic White House hopefuls now find themselves in the thick of a primary contest abruptly upended by the party’s clamor to impeach him. With the launch of... Read More