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Who wants to protect our voting systems from hackers?

You would hope the answer to that question would be “everyone”, but that’s not the world we currently live in.

A bipartisan group of 21 state attorneys general are demanding Congress’ assistance in protecting the 2018 election. Writing to Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and Sen. Roy Blunt, Senate Rules and Administration Committee Chairman, the AGs ask for “assistance in shoring up our systems so that we may protect our elections from foreign attacks and interference.”

“As the latest investigations and indictments make clear,” they write “during the 2016 election, hackers within Russia’s military intelligence service not only targeted state and local election boards, but also successfully invaded a state election website to steal the sensitive information of approximately 500,000 American voters and infiltrated a company that supplies voting software across the United States.” Combatting that incursion and giving the electorate “confidence in our democratic voting process” is “imperative,” they write. “The integrity of the nation’s voting infrastructure is a bipartisan issue, and one that affects not only the national political landscape, but elections at the state, county, municipal, and local levels.”

Their direct demands: “Prioritizing and acting on election-security legislation” in the form of the Secure Elections Act (S.2261), a bipartisan bill that would provide additional grants and assistance to states to shore up systems; “Increasing funding for the Election Assistance Commission to support election security improvements at the state level and to protect the personal data of the voters of our states”; and, “Supporting the development of cybersecurity standards for voting systems to prevent potential future foreign attacks.”

You can see the very reasonable letter here. Seems simple and straightforward, no? You can also see that none of those AGs are Ken Paxton. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t want to debate – he doesn’t want to get asked pesky questions about that sort of thing.

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4 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Interesting that protecting voting systems from hacking has bipartisan support, but requiring voter ID, like most every other country in the world, including Mexico, does, does NOT have bipartisan support.

    For the record, I support both.

    As to Paxton, he doesn’t want to debate because he doesn’t want to face the questions about his criminal legal troubles. If I was his opponent, I’d put together an ad with the people Paxton helped cheat out of their money. “I’m Joe Blow, and Ken Paxton sold me worthless securities. I lost $ xxx and now I can’t ever retire.” Rinse and repeat. Something like that. If Ken won’t debate, take the fight to Ken.

  2. Greg Wythe says:

    “Voter ID” does not mean just one thing. For the record, I find it interesting that anyone supporting Texas’ version of Voter ID thinks we need over five hundred government agencies to address voter registration and election administration in the state.

    Show me a Voter ID law that works in conjunction with either Same-Day Voter Reg or Automatic Voter Reg and I’m open to consideration.

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    Greg.

    First of all, automatic voter registration isn’t going to work, if it’s tied to driver’s licenses, because not everyone who has a TDL is a citizen. Back in the day, even illegal aliens could get one. That’s been tightened up, thankfully, but if you are a non citizen here legally, you shouldn’t automatically get signed up to vote just because you got a TDL. Felons on parole have DL’s, too……they are prohibited from voting, they shouldn’t get automatically signed up either.

    I also don’t see any problems with showing ID and same day voter registration. I’d be OK with same day registration, but with the same vetting, and that’s kinda basic. Who are you? That’s where the state issued ID comes in. You need that whether you registered to vote 50 years ago, or whether you are registering to vote for your very first election as a pimply faced newly minted 18 year old.

    Also, I’m questioning your ‘500 state agencies’ figure. There are 254 counties in Texas, to start off with, so unless you are advocating consolidating county functions, I don’t get where you are going with that.

  4. Greg Wythe says:

    Just as “Voter ID” doesn’t mean Just one thing, automatic voter registration doesn’t mean that people ineligible to vote are registered. I’m not even clear on how you assume that. The entire point is that there shouldn’t necessarily be a different process for voter registration if the argument is that state-issued voter IDs inform us of the “who you are.”

    As for the 500+ state agencies, there is a County Clerk and Voter Registrar office for each county, while several counties consolidate to a single Election Administrator. Add in the Sec. of State, and DPS. Consolidated offices in many counties may bring the total to under 500, but we’re close enough for horseshoes.