WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, participated in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Roles and Responsibilities for Defending the Nation from Cyber Attack. Senator Heinrich questioned officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Department of Defense (DOD) on strengthening election cybersecurity in order to protect the credibility and reliability of our electoral system.
In the hearing, Senator Heinrich outlined the intelligence assessments that show Russian actors attempted to penetrate State election voting centers and State-level voter registration databases during last year’s election, demonstrating a vulnerability to future cyber-attacks and manipulations in our electoral process by foreign hackers. Senator Heinrich is working on legislation to help safeguard voting systems, registration data, and ballots from theft, manipulation, and malicious computer hackers.
Senator Heinrich was also outspoken on the need to start erecting barriers against unfettered Russian influence over American voters online by establishing the same transparency and disclaimers for social media ads that exist in political TV advertisements. He recently led a letter to the Federal Election Commission to consider new rules that would prevent foreign nationals from using online advertising platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, to influence U.S. elections.