Subcommittee on National Security Examined Election Security and Preparedness

May 23, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (May 23, 2019)—This week, the Subcommittee on National Security held a hearing on “Securing U.S. Election Infrastructure and Protecting Political Discourse.” 

TAKEAWAYS

  • Subcommittee Chairman Stephen F. Lynch emphasized that protecting the integrity of our democratic process is critical to safeguarding public confidence in U.S. election outcomes and ensuring a peaceful transition of power.

 

  • Federal Election Commission Chair Ellen Weintraub and Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin highlighted the need for greater congressional oversight of social media companies and information technology platforms to improve transparency about how, and by whom, political and campaign advertisements are financed.

 

  • Chair Weintraub also testified that hidden money from foreign sources represents a significant vulnerability for American democracy.

 

  • Election Assistance Commission Chair Christy McCormick spoke about the need for additional resources and personnel at her agency as they are “strained to the breaking point” in their work with state and local officials to secure election systems.

 

  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Christopher Krebs testified that “auditability is a key tenant of cybersecurity” and that it is important to get “systems that don’t have paper out, and systems with paper in.”  Similarly, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth Galvin explained how his state uses a paper ballot system to serve as a backup in case electronic voting machines fail or are breached.

 

  • Representatives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google testified about their improved information-sharing relationships with federal law enforcement since the 2016 election, but emphasized the need for continued coordination as our adversaries’ information operations and tactics evolve.

 

WITNESSES

 

Panel One

 

The Honorable Christopher Krebs

Director

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

 

Adam Hickey

Deputy Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division

U.S. Department of Justice

 

The Honorable Christy McCormick

Chair

U.S. Election Assistance Commission

 

The Honorable Ellen L. Weintraub

Chair

U.S. Federal Election Commission

 

Panel Two

 

The Honorable Bill Galvin

Secretary of the Commonwealth

State of Massachusetts

 

Richard Salgado

Director of Law Enforcement and Information Security

Google

 

Nathaniel Gleicher

Head of Cybersecurity Policy

Facebook

 

Kevin Kane

Public Policy Manager

Twitter

 

 

VIDEOS

Watch Rep. Lynch’s opening statement.

Watch Chairman Cummings’ question line.

Watch Rep. Wasserman-Schultz’s question line.

Watch Rep. Rouda’s question line.

 

 

 

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116th Congress