BALTIMORE, MD (July 23, 2018) – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today joined a bipartisan coalition of 21 Attorneys General in urging congressional leaders to improve America’s cyber security and protect the integrity upcoming elections against cyberattacks and infiltrations like the ones committed by Russia in 2016. The latest investigations into that attack shows Russian hackers targeted the American electoral system, stole the private information of hundreds of thousands of people, and infiltrated a company that supplies voting software across the nation, putting the upcoming election at serious risk.
“We know that Russians hacked our election systems in 2016 and stole sensitive voter information,” said Attorney General Frosh. “States are taking steps to protect their infrastructure, but we need help from the federal government. Our Congressional leaders must act swiftly to prevent further interference and to protect the integrity of upcoming elections.”
The coalition of attorneys general urged three steps in addressing election security concerns:
- Prioritizing and acting on election-security legislation. The Secure Elections Act (S.2261) is before the Senate at this time and may address some of the issues raised by the coalition.
- Increasing funding for the Election Assistance Commission to support election security improvements at the state level and to protect the personal data of voters. Many states lack the resources and tools they need to protect the polls leading up to year’s elections. Additional funding for voting infrastructure will not only allow states to upgrade election systems, but will also allow for a comprehensive security risk assessment. Unfortunately, past practice has shown that the existing Election Assistance Commission grants are simply insufficient to provide for the upgraded technology needed. More funding is essential to adequately equip states with the financial resources to safeguard our democracy and protect the data of voters.
- Supporting the development of cybersecurity standards for voting systems to prevent future foreign attacks. It is critical that there be a combined effort between governments and security experts to protect against the increased cyber threats posed by foreign entities seeking to weaken our institutions.
Protecting the integrity of the American voting system is a vital, bipartisan issue. In addition to Maryland, the coalition includes Attorneys General from California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington.