Protecting Our Democracy

Dear Friend,

Americans must be confident that their votes--and only their votes--are what counts in electing our public leaders. This week, as part of our larger investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, the Senate Intelligence Committee held hearings and released our findings and recommendations on threats to election infrastructure. As we approach the midterm elections and the next presidential election cycle, we need act quickly to pass these bipartisan, pragmatic recommendations into law.

I hope you can take a moment to watch and share my remarks at the Committee's press conference announcing these recommendations earlier this week.


At Wednesday's hearing, former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson told us that Russian interference has not been contained or deterred and more needs to be done by the current administration to protect U.S. elections. President Trump's refusal to acknowledge Russian interference in the 2016 election undermines the legitimacy of cyber threats and creates a challenge in ensuring that state and local officials take threats seriously and take action to implement solutions. I have no doubt that Russia--and other foreign adversaries and malicious actors--will continue to target our elections and try to undermine our democracy.

Over the last year and a half, I have led bipartisan efforts to strengthen election cybersecurity in America and protect against foreign threats. I introduced the bipartisan Secure Elections Act to improve and modernize protections for our voting systems, registration data, and ballots to prevent theft, manipulation, and malicious computer hacking. Yesterday, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.) both signed on as cosponsors. The omnibus spending bill that the Senate just passed also provides $380 million for states to make election security improvements, implement cybersecurity guidelines, and replace outdated electronic voting machines.

We all recognize that our democracy fundamentally hinges on Americans' ability to fairly choose our own leaders. Until we set up stronger protections for our election systems and take the necessary steps to prevent future foreign intervention, our nation's democratic institutions will remain vulnerable to attack. I will keep doing everything I can to safeguard our voting process.

Sincerely,

MARTIN HEINRICH
United States Senator