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Forum on Risks to the Public in Computers and Related Systems

ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy, Peter G. Neumann, moderator

U.S. Senate election security bill requiring paper ballot (Maggie Miller)

Peter G. Neumann <>
Wed, 15 May 2019 22:48:26 PDT
Maggie Miller, The Hill, 15 May 2019

Senate Dems introduce election security bill requiring paper ballots

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and a group of 12 other senators introduced a bill
Wednesday to mandate the use of paper ballots in U.S. elections and also ban
all Internet, Wi-Fi and mobile connections to voting machines in order to
limit the potential for cyber interference.

Wyden's office described the Protecting American Votes and Elections (PAVE)
Act as “providing the strongest protections for American elections of any
proposal currently before Congress.''
< American Votes and Elections Act of 2019 Bill Text.pdf>

The legislation would also give the Department of Homeland Security the
power to set minimum cybersecurity standards for U.S. voting machines,
authorize a one-time $500 million grant program for states to buy
ballot-scanning machines to count paper ballots and require states to
conduct risk-limiting audits of all federal elections in order to detect any
cyber hacks.

Among the bill's co-sponsors are 2020 presidential candidates Sens. Bernie
Sanders (I-Vt.),Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten
Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). Rep. Earl Blumenauer
(D-Ore.) is planning to introduce a companion bill in the House.

“The Russian government interfered in American elections in 2016 and if we
don't stop them, they and other governments are going to do it again,''
Wyden said in a statement.  “The administration refuses to do what it takes
to protect our democracy, so Congress has to step up. Our bill will give
voters the confidence they need that our elections are secure.''

Blumenauer said that “if the 2016 and 2018 elections taught us anything, it
is that our election security systems are woefully inadequate.''  [...]

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