Reps. Ratcliffe, Himes introduce bill to punish election interference
Washington, June 12, 2019
Reps. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) and Jim Himes (D-Conn.) introduced a bipartisan bill today to establish election interference as a federal crime. The Defending the Integrity of Voting Systems Act would make it a federal crime to hack any voting systems used in a federal election. According to the Justice Department, current federal law doesn’t directly apply punishments for hacking voting machines that aren’t connected to the internet.
“Every day, our geopolitical rivals are working to infiltrate and interfere with our electoral process,” said Himes. “If we’re not thinking of ways to protect our systems and deter attacks five, ten, fifteen years in the future, we risk falling behind and losing our substantial technological advantage. This bill will expand the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a move the Department of Justice Cyber Task Force has identified as a priority, to prohibit hacking of voting machines. I hope that Representative Ratcliffe and I can help set an example with this bill to show the rest of our colleagues that there is an uncontroversial, bipartisan path forward to better protect our nation.”
Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Greg Steube (R-Fla.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Ben Cline (R-Va.) and Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) are original cosponsors.