Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) and Ranking Member on the Committee on House Administration Bob Brady released the following statement today on the importance of the Election Assistance Commission in response to reports that Russia may have successfully hacked election systems in 39 states:
“If Russian operatives were successful in hacking into servers in thirty-nine states connected to voting systems and elections personnel, we ought to be very concerned about the security of future elections. Actions must be taken to help states and local governments secure their voting systems and voter data against any breach. Thankfully, we already have in the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) a body capable of addressing this challenge; since it's creation, it has encouraged states to identify and adopt best practices when it comes to the safety and effectiveness of voting systems.
"In fact, when testifying before Congress on May 3, 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey highlighted the importance of the EAC in combating cyberattacks, noting: '[The FBI has] share[d] the tools, tactics, and techniques we see hackers, especially from the 2016 election season, using to attack voter registration databases and try and engage in other hacks. And we’ve pushed that out to all the states and the Election Assistance Commission so they can harden their networks. That’s one of the most important things we can do.'
"Efforts to undermine or eliminate the EAC ought to be put to rest. Congress must pass a reauthorization of the EAC that includes authority to administer grants to states to strengthen voter registration database security. With the new cyber threats we face and Russia’s continued interest in subverting our democratic institutions, it’s time to give the EAC the tools necessary to carry forward its mission and protect American voters."