Today, Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin joined a bipartisan coalition of 21 Attorneys General in urging congressional leaders to improve American cyber security and protect the integrity of the upcoming 2018 midterm election, and elections to come, against cyberattacks and infiltrations like the ones committed by Russia in 2016.
The latest investigations into that attack shows Russian hackers targeted the American electoral system, stole the private information of hundreds of thousands of people, and infiltrated a company that supplies voting software across the nation, putting the upcoming election at serious risk.
"Now more than ever, it is critical that as a country we do everything we can to protect the integrity of our elections, so that the American people can have trust and faith that their vote is properly and securely counted," said Attorney General Kilmartin.
The coalition of AG's urged three steps in addressing election security concerns.
o Prioritizing and acting on election-security legislation. We understand that the Secure Elections Act (S.2261) is before the Senate at this time and may address some of our concerns.
o Increasing funding for the Election Assistance Commission to support election security improvements at the state level and to protect the personal data of the voters of our states. Many states lack the resources and tools they need to protect the polls during this year's upcoming elections. Additional funding for voting infrastructure will not only allow states to upgrade election systems but will also allow for a comprehensive security risk assessment. Unfortunately, past practice has shown that the existing Election Assistance Commission grants are simply insufficient to provide for the upgraded technology needed. More funding is essential to adequately equip states with the financial resources we need to safeguard our democracy and protect the data of voting members in our states.
o Supporting the development of cybersecurity standards for voting systems to prevent potential future foreign attacks. It is critical that there be a combined effort between governments and security experts to protect against the increased cyber threats posed by foreign entities seeking to weaken our institutions.
Protecting the integrity of the American voting system is a vital, bipartisan issue, reflected in the bipartisan nature of the Attorneys General. In addition to Rhode Island, this coalition includes Attorneys General from California, Connecticut, Delaware, The District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia and Washington. A copy of the letter is attached.