October 11, 2018

Wyden Bill to Require Paper Ballots, Strengthen Election Security Gains Support from Duckworth, Baldwin, Cantwell, Peters

Washington, D.C. – With a month remaining before the 2018 elections, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced that his bill to strengthen election security and require paper ballots has gained the support of Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Gary Peters, D-Mich.

The Protecting American Votes and Elections (PAVE) Act of 2018 requires the use of paper ballots and “risk-limiting” audits for all federal elections, ensuring that election results have not been changed by hackers or foreign governments.

The longer we wait to put real measures in place to protect our election systems, the more vulnerable our democracy becomes to the threat of hackers and foreign adversaries.” Wyden said. “I welcome the support of my colleagues today, which demonstrates the increasing need for Congress to take real action to confront these threats head on.”

“The evidence is clear; our nation’s voter systems were hacked into by foreign adversaries trying to influence the 2016 presidential election,” Duckworth said. “Senator Wyden’s PAVE Act, which requires paper ballots and post-election audits, is a common-sense approach to upholding the value of each American’s vote and strengthening our election security.”

American intelligence officials have made it clear that we face an ongoing threat to our elections from foreign adversaries and hackers. We should take action to protect the integrity of the vote,” said Senator Baldwin. “Senator Wyden’s legislation to require paper ballots is a commonsense solution that will strengthen election security and help protect our democracy from foreign interference.”

We have seen undeniable evidence that adversaries interfered in our 2016 elections and are planning similar efforts in the future,” said Senator Peters. “The integrity of our elections is a matter of national security, and Congress must help state and local governments prepare for possible cyber threats from powerful foreign governments. I’m proud to join my colleagues in cosponsoring this bill to help secure our elections and strengthen faith in our political system.”

The introduction of the PAVE Act comes among growing momentum for the use of paper ballots in federal elections. Last year, Wyden introduced the Vote-By-Mail Act, which would expand Oregon-style vote-by-mail nationwide, knocking down mounting obstacles that voters face across the country when trying to cast their ballots.

The bill has been endorsed by several of the nation’s top cyber and election security experts, including the grassroots voting rights group Common CauseColor of ChangeBrennan Center Democracy Program, the ACLU, Demand Progress, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Learn more about the need for paper ballots here: https://nowthisnews.com/videos/politics/senator-wyden-on-why-we-need-paper-ballots.

Additional cosponsors of the PAVE Act include Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Edward Markey, D-Mass., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, Cory Booker, D-N.J., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Bernard Sanders, I-Vt.