Peters Cosponsors Bill to Strengthen Election Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters today announced he cosponsored legislation to strengthen election security and require paper ballots to counteract efforts by foreign adversaries to interfere in U.S. elections. The Protecting American Votes and Elections (PAVE) Act mandates the use of paper ballots and “risk-limiting” audits for all federal elections, ensuring that election results have not been tampered with by hackers or foreign governments.

“We have seen undeniable evidence that adversaries interfered in America’s 2016 elections and are planning similar efforts in the future,” said Senator Peters, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “The integrity of our elections is a matter of national security, and Congress must help state and local governments prepare for possible cyber threats from powerful foreign governments. I’m proud to join my colleagues in cosponsoring this bill to help secure our elections and strengthen faith in our political system.”

The PAVE Act was introduced in response to growing demand for paper ballots in federal elections due to increased concern throughout the intelligence community regarding foreign intervention in federal elections. The legislation has the support of several of the country’s preeminent cyber and election security experts, including groups such as Common Cause, Color of ChangeBrennan Center Democracy Program, the ACLU, Demand Progress, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Senator Peters strongly supports efforts to protect federal elections from interference by foreign governments or hackers. Last week, Peters questioned Secretary of Homeland Security Kristjen Nielsen about possible threats to upcoming elections and potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities in electronic voting machines that use modem connections to transmit election data and results. In 2017, Peters supported numerous efforts to hold the foreign entities who interfered in the 2016 presidential election accountable, including sanctions against the Russian government and the indictments brought against Russian intelligence officers as a part of the ongoing Special Counsel investigation.