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Congressman Mark DeSaulnier

Representing the 11th District of California

Representatives DeSaulnier and Demings Ask Oversight Republican To Include Voting Machine Vendors In Cyber Security Hearing

November 6, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC –- Representatives Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) and Val Demings (FL-10) called on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s Intergovernmental Affairs Subcommittee Chairman, Gary Palmer, to include vendors of election machines in the committee’s upcoming hearing on “Cybersecurity of Voting Machines.” While the hearing is on voting machines, the Republican Majority has yet to invite a witness from a company that operates the machines or the software.

“To effectively evaluate cyber threats facing voting machines and to safeguard elections, vendors that operate the software for the machines, which ultimately tabulate votes, need to be part of the discussion,” said Congressman Mark DeSaulnier.

Two months before the 2016 election, the Department of Homeland Security informed 21 states that Russian hackers attempted to breach their election systems. In Illinois, evidence was found that hackers were able to access and steal data on voters such as license numbers, and in several cases, the last four digits of their social security numbers.

“The Right to Vote levels the playing field for all people living in this country, regardless of who you are, how much money you have in the bank, or where you live,” said Congresswoman Val Demings. “The bottom line to protecting the right to vote is protecting the integrity of our election systems, including verifying that companies that build or service machines, and those that program the ballots each year, are taking proper security precautions.  It is imperative that those companies be included among the oversight conducted by the Committee.”

“While election machines are generally not connected to the internet, the software they use on election day is vulnerable to hackers. When this software is compromised and voter data is stolen, as in Illinois, it is essential that we know what information was taken, who stole it, and for what purpose. The integrity of future elections depends on it,” concluded DeSaulnier.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

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