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Congressman David Valadao Introduces Bipartisan Election Security Bill Ahead of 2024 Election

Lawmakers say reports of interference and influence attempts by foreign governments, individuals, and companies continue to persist, further causing Americans to lose faith in U.S. elections. 

California Republican U.S. Rep. David Valadao wants to enhance election security by allowing vetted cybersecurity researchers to carry out simulated attacks on voting systems to help locate and fix vulnerabilities subjected to foreign and domestic threats ahead of the 2024 election.

Valadao, who represents parts of the San Joquin Valley in Congressional District 22, and Virginia Democrat Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) introduced the SECURE IT Act (Strengthening Election Cybersecurity to Uphold Respect for Elections through Independent Testing), which implements a required standard certification process for U.S. voting machines. to help bolster the security of our election systems.

“People need to have confidence in their vote and our elections in order for democracy to succeed,” Valadao said in a news release. “The SECURE IT Act will help us find and fix the vulnerabilities in our voting systems that could be exploited by foreign or domestic adversaries. This is an important step to ensure the safety and security of our nation’s elections.”

The bipartisan bill comes as lawmakers say reports of interference and influence attempts by foreign governments, individuals, and companies continue to persist, further causing Americans to lose faith in U.S. elections. 

Under current regulations, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to conduct testing, certification, decertification, and recertify voting system hardware and software by accredited laboratories. 

However, the lawmakers say the commission is not explicitly required to conduct penetration testing on the voting systems.

According to a bill summary, the SECURE IT Act would direct the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC) to require that voting systems undergo cybersecurity penetration testing from cybersecurity experts using the same tools and techniques as cybercriminals.

The bill would also direct the EAC to create a voluntary program for vetted researchers to access voting systems provided voluntarily by manufacturers to discover vulnerabilities and disclose them to the manufacturer and the commission.

“The sanctity of our free and fair elections is core to our identity as Americans,” Spanberger said in a news release. “I’m proud to lead this bipartisan legislation to help uncover potential vulnerabilities in our election systems, strengthen our elections infrastructure, and raise our defenses against bad actors.”

Common Cause Virginia, a self-described non-partisan watchdog group for good government, called on Congressional lawmakers to quickly pass the legislation as the 2024 election is already underway.

“We must do everything we can to protect our elections and guarantee that the voices of all voters will be heard,” Lauren Coletta, senior advisor of the organization said in a news release. 

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