Statement of Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause
While the $250 million in election security spending approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee today is a step in the right direction, that amount still falls far short of the funding and assistance required by state and local election officials facing ongoing attacks from hostile foreign powers. The amendment that Sen. McConnell voiced support for is virtually identical to one he and nearly all Senate Republicans voted against a year ago. In that time, millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Common Cause supporters have contacted Senate Republican offices encouraging them to support additional election security funding. The House-passed $600 million in election security funding is much closer to what states need to update their voting machines and replace outdated equipment vulnerable to hacking. As the appropriations process proceeds, we encourage Congress to advance solutions that fully address the magnitude of threats our democracy faces.
Election systems across the country have been breached by Russian intelligence assets and those attacks continue to this day. These attacks and those of other hostile foreign powers will continue to ramp up as we approach the 2020 elections, and cash-strapped local elections officials desperately need significant federal assistance. The federal government must step in to provide the resources and the expertise to help states and local governments secure the integrity of their election systems against sophisticated foreign cyber attacks.