Ron: “Across America from sea to shining sea, our elections are at risk”

Ron met recently with Multnomah County officials to discuss his Protecting American Votes and Elections (PAVE) Act, which would protect U.S. elections from foreign interference by mandating hand-marked paper ballots and setting new cybersecurity standards for all federal elections.

His meeting last Friday came the same week that he introduced the PAVE Act and days before ballots are due May 21 statewide for local elections throughout Oregon.

He praised the elections systems in the county and Oregon as blazing an election-security trail that the rest of the country could emulate with his paper-ballots bill “taking the Oregon Way national.”

“Across America from sea to shining sea, our elections are at risk,” Ron said at a news conference with Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and county Commissioners Lori Lynn Stegmann and Jessica Vega Pederson

A member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Ron also noted public news accounts of Russian election hacking in the 2016 elections and the prospect in the 2020 election of similar threats from hostile foreign entities.

He said that threat could compromise election integrity in other states, potentially thwarting the will of voters in Oregon without the uniform national election-security standards in his PAVE Act.

His bill would give all states the funding they need to defend their election systems and put the Department of Homeland Security in charge of setting strong security standards for every federal election. And the legislation also includes risk-limiting audits recommended by cyber-security experts.

“I’m proud to stand here today with our senior senator in support of a national elections model that literally leaves a paper trail from the point of delivery-by-mail all the way to being counted by hand," Kafoury said.