Washington, D.C. — At a time when U.S. elections are being threatened by foreign interference, all levels of government have a role to play in improving election security. State and local leaders are on the front lines of these efforts to defend our democracy.
Today, the Center for American Progress released two new fact sheets detailing 10 steps that mayors and state legislators can take to strengthen election security preparedness; support funding for election infrastructure; improve education about cybersecurity threats and solutions; and increase public faith in our elections.
“Leaders at all levels of government have a role to play in defending the security of America’s elections and upholding public confidence in our political process. Every vote matters, and Americans have the right to free, fair, and secure elections so elected representatives are responsive and accountable to them,” said Liz Kennedy, senior director of Democracy and Government Reform at CAP. “There is time to strengthen election security preparedness before the 2018 elections, but it will require immediate investments and concerted efforts.”
- In “10 Steps State Legislators Can Take to Improve Election Security,” the CAP authors recommend that legislators sponsor or support statewide election security legislation that—depending on the needs of each state—focuses on requiring statewide paper ballot voting systems, strong postelection audits, replacing outdated election infrastructure, and requiring cybersecurity training for election officials. Legislators can also support or sponsor legislation calling for election security funding in the state budget and can call on Congress to provide federal funding to invest in election security.
- In “10 Steps Mayors Can Take to Improve Election Security,” the CAP authors recommend that mayors establish an election security commission to assess the election security preparedness of their city. They also recommend that mayors develop emergency protocol and contingency plans for election-related cyberattacks or widespread machine malfunction on Election Day and during early voting periods. Other steps that mayors can take to improve election security include cybersecurity training for election officials and the use of citywide communications or “election security day” events to educate the public about local election security reforms, such as paper ballot voting systems and strong postelection audits.
The authors of the fact sheets are Kennedy; Danielle Root, voting rights manager at CAP; Michael Sozan, senior fellow at CAP; and Jerry Parshall, manager of State and Local Government Affairs at CAP. For more information on the two fact sheets, visit here.
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