From: The Honorable Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.
REQUIRE DHS TO HELP PROTECT OUR ELECTORAL SYSTEMS
Cosponsor H.R. 6073, “The Election Infrastructure and Security Promotion Act of 2016”
Cosponsors: Mike Honda, David Scott, Steve Cohen, John Conyers, Bobby Rush, Sanford Bishop, Ted Lieu, Jared Huffman, Danny Davis, Gregory Meeks, Cedric L. Richmond, Marcia L. Fudge, Karen Bass, Yvette D. Clarke,
G. K. Butterfield, Elijah E. Cummings, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Al Green, Charles B. Rangel, Barbara Lee, Robert C. Scott, Alcee L. Hastings, Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson Lee, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Louise Slaughter, Barbara Lee, Donald Norcross, Jerry McNerney,
Donald M. Payne, Jr., David Cicilline, Judy Chu, Anna Eshoo, Frederica S. Wilson.
Endorsed by: Open Source Election Technology (OSET) Foundation, People Demanding Action, Progressive Democrats of America, Verifiedvoting.org
Cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee and
state voter registration systems alert us to the real possibility of how vulnerable our electoral process could be to
outside disruption in the digital age. To mitigate these risks, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should designate our voting systems as critical infrastructure.
White House is already calling for DHS to assist state and federal election officials so that breaches and future disruptions will be prevented. On September 29, 2016, FBI Director Comey testified in front of the Judiciary Committee that our
voter registration rolls are being targeted by hackers. Speaker Ryan, Leader Pelosi, and Senate Leaders McConnell & Reid then
led a letter urging the states to seek protection and assistance from DHS for their systems.
Election Infrastructure and Security Promotion Act of 2016 (H.R. 6073) calls on DHS to designate our voting systems as critical infrastructure under the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act. It requires DHS to submit to Congress a comprehensive plan on
protecting our critical electoral process from a variety of threats, including cyber terrorism. It calls on the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop operational security standards to be used in federal elections and transparency
standards so that voters may verify their votes.
Finally, the bill authorizes the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish an election technology innovation program to support and promote research into improving our voting process. Currently, only
a small handful of companies engage in voting machine development. This bill will promote diversity and competition in this critical space by also requiring new developments
to be open source. This bill will lead to innovative developments in voting technology, including internet voting.
When DHS labels an asset as critical infrastructure, it heightens its security obligations and requires DHS to provide increased support – be it the power grid, water supply, or electoral infrastructure. We cannot risk state-sponsored sabotage or lone-wolf
attacks on our digital campaign or electoral infrastructure. It risks crippling major campaigns and unduly impacting close elections.
I hope you will join me as a cosponsor of the Election Infrastructure and Security Promotion Act. If you have any questions or would like to cosponsor, please contact Arya Hariharan at
firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 5-1562.
Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.