August 29, 2018

Wyden Bill to Require Paper Ballots, Strengthen Election Security Gains Support from Sanders, Harris, ACLU

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced the addition of Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., as cosponsors to his bill to strengthen election security and require paper ballots, as well as an endorsement of the bill by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

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.

This legislation takes critical, long overdue action to protect American election systems from the threat of hackers and foreign adversaries,” Wyden said. “I welcome the support of my colleagues as we continue to see growing momentum in Congress and nationwide to address these challenges head on."

We must move aggressively to protect our election system from interference or sabotage,” Sanders said. “Protecting our democracy is too important not to act now.”

The last election demonstrated clearly we must fortify our voting systems against attacks,” Harris said. “Election security experts agree that paper ballots and robust audits are critical to securing our elections and it’s time for all states to embrace them.”

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.

Wyden also announced the endorsement of the PAVE Act by the ACLU.

Jennifer Bellamy, Senior Legislation Counsel, Washington Legislative Office, American Civil Liberties Union:

“The PAVE Act of 2018 will ensure that every vote counts. Fair and accurate elections are key to protect and preserve our democracy.”

In addition to the ACLU, 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, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Learn more about the need for paper ballots here:

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., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.