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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Langevin part of Congressional Taskforce on Election Security

Can members of Congress stay focused on the challenges to our democracy?
Image result for russiagateEDITOR’S NOTE: This may turn out to be a difficult if not impossible task, given Trump’s bizarre attitude about electoral security. 

On the one hand, he is demanding that his own taskforce find evidence to support his outlandish claim that more than 3 million people voted illegally – presumably all for Hillary Clinton – in the 2016 election. 

On the other hand, Trump not only dismisses irrefutable evidence of Russian tampering in that same election, but also called for a Joint Russia-US taskforce to “solve” this problem. Even though Trump later said this joint taskforce would “never happen,” CNBC reports that, in fact, it is in the works.

Until Congressional Republicans actually accept the fact that America’s free and democrat elections are under threat from hostile foreign powers, like Russia, and from within, from autocrats like Trump, it’s hard to see any constructive work getting done.

That said, Rep. Langevin is going to give it a try.   – Will Collette

Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, was named a member of the new Congressional Task Force on Election Security. 

“As a former Secretary of State of Rhode Island, I have a deep appreciation for the centrality of election systems to our democracy,” said Langevin. “In the aftermath of the Russian election interference operation – perhaps the most successful cyber operation in history – I have worked diligently to strengthen our election system and reduce the risk of future election meddling. 

"I believe that the Task Force has an important role to play in examining the threat to elections, including to auxiliary systems such as those used for vote tallying, and examining solutions like risk limiting audits to protect their integrity. I look forward to working with Chairmen Thompson and Brady to help secure our democracy, and I thank them and Leader Pelosi for leading on this issue.”

The Task Force will be a forum for Members of Congress to hear from election infrastructure experts on both physical security and cybersecurity challenges and identify actions that should be taken to help ensure the integrity of our election systems and guard against future attacks. 

It will be led by Committee on Homeland Security Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Robert Brady (D-PA). 

Reps. Thompson and Brady released the below joint statement announcing the membership:

“Ensuring the security of our election systems for our next major election should not be a partisan issue and should be a top priority for both Republicans and Democrats. It is clear that if we continue to do nothing, we make it easy for Russia – or anyone else – to meddle in our elections and undermine public confidence in democratic institutions. 

"While we are eager to work together on protecting our election systems to prevent a repeat of 2016, to date, Republican leaders on Capitol Hill have displayed no appetite to do so. With our Task Force’s membership established, we are ready to get to work and we welcome the support of Members on both sides of the aisle. We understand that the integrity of our democracy depends on the integrity of our elections.”

The other members of the Task Force on Election Security are Representatives Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Cedric Richmond (D-LA), and Val Demings (D-FL).