Statement of Susannah Goodman, Common Cause Director of Election Security
At a time of deep partisan divide in Washington, Congress deserves credit for allocating significant additional resources for election security in the face of ongoing attacks on our election infrastructure by hostile foreign governments. This $425 million can be put to good use toward critical contingency plans for the 2020 elections should election systems fail due to foreign interference. As national intelligence agencies have warned the attacks on our election infrastructure are ongoing.
In 2017, retired Gen. John Allen emphasized that county government employees and election administrators are the new frontline defending America against cyber-attacks by foreign actors. They are still on the frontlines today and those attacks have only increased. Congress must create a steady source of funding for the state and local officials who make up the front lines in our efforts to stave off foreign interference in our elections.
Americans expect and deserve free and fair elections. Ensuring that they remain free and fair involves officials at every level, and it involves significant and sustained funding and expertise from the federal government. Small town, and even big city, election officials are outgunned when they go up against sophisticated foreign intelligence agencies. Providing consistent funding, expertise, training, and information to those officials must become the new normal.