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U.S. Rep. Sarbanes: Senate must act on 2020 election security | READER COMMENTARY

In this Aug. 16, 2019, file photo, a digital voting machine sits on a table in Raleigh, N.C. In the rush to find reliable new voting machines, many state and local officials are turning to pricey models that some computer security experts see as risky.
In this Aug. 16, 2019, file photo, a digital voting machine sits on a table in Raleigh, N.C. In the rush to find reliable new voting machines, many state and local officials are turning to pricey models that some computer security experts see as risky. (Allen G. Breed/AP)

Recent reporting underscores the alarming vulnerabilities that exist in voting systems across the country (“Voting machines face new criticism,” Feb. 24). As the 2020 election rapidly approaches, we must act urgently to protect our elections and guard against foreign interference.

In Congress, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives has made election security a top priority. As our first order of business, we passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act, the most sweeping anti-corruption bill in a generation which included significant election security reforms and resources. Soon after, we passed H.R. 2722, the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act, a comprehensive effort to modernize election systems in every state by increasing the adoption of paper ballots and ensuring the accuracy of vote tallies. We also passed H.R. 4617, the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act, a bipartisan bill to counter foreign interference in our democracy.

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For months, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans have refused to allow a vote on any of these critical election security bills. Despite swearing a sacred oath to defend the Constitution and protect our country from foreign attack, Senate Republicans are missing in action.

The American people, not some foreign country, should decide American elections. Republicans must work together with Democrats to keep our country safe. We have no time to waste.

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John Sarbanes, Towson

The writer, a Democrat, represents Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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