PRINTER'S NO. 1230
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE RESOLUTION
No.
233
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY HUGHES, HAYWOOD, LEACH, SANTARSIERO, BLAKE,
SCHWANK, FONTANA, TARTAGLIONE AND MUTH, SEPTEMBER 30, 2019
REFERRED TO STATE GOVERNMENT, SEPTEMBER 30, 2019
A RESOLUTION
Urging the Congress of the United States to take measures to
protect the security of the nation's election system.
WHEREAS, On July 25, 2019, the United States Senate Select
Committee on Intelligence released a report on the 2016
election; and
WHEREAS, The Select Committee on Intelligence report on
"Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference in the 2016
U. S. Election" found that "[t]he Russian government directed
extensive activity, beginning in at least 2014 and carrying into
at least 2017, against U. S. election infrastructure at the
state and local level"; and
WHEREAS, The Committee found that "Russian efforts exploited
the seams between federal authorities and capabilities, and
protections for the states. The U. S. intelligence apparatus
[has]...limited domestic cybersecurity authorities[.]...State
election officials, who have primacy in running elections, were
not sufficiently warned or prepared to handle an attack from a
hostile nation-state actor"; and
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WHEREAS, The Committee found that "Russian government-
affiliated cyber actors conducted an unprecedented level of
activity against state election infrastructure in the run-up to
the 2016 United States elections"; and
WHEREAS, While the full scope of Russian activity against the
states remains unclear because of collection gaps, the Committee
"found ample evidence to suggest that the Russian government was
developing and implementing capabilities to interfere in the
2016 elections, including undermining confidence in U. S.
democratic institutions and voting processes"; and
WHEREAS, The Committee found that "Russian activities demand
renewed attention to vulnerabilities in U. S. voting
infrastructure. In 2016, cybersecurity for electoral
infrastructure was lacking; for example, voter registration
databases were not as secure as they could have been"; and
WHEREAS, The Committee also found that "[a]ging voting
equipment, particularly voting machines that had no paper record
of votes, were vulnerable to exploitation...[and] some of these
vulnerabilities remain"; and
WHEREAS, The Committee recommended that Congress should
evaluate the results of the $380 million in state election
security grants allocated in 2018 and evaluate whether an
additional appropriation is necessary to address remaining
insecure voting machines and systems; and
WHEREAS, The Committee recommends reinforcing states' primacy
in running elections, building a stronger defense by creating
effective deterrence, improving information sharing on threats,
securing election-related systems and securing the vote by
rapidly replacing outdated and vulnerable voting systems; and
WHEREAS, The right to vote is a foundation of the American
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democracy and any attack, whether internal or external, is a
direct assault on the very foundation of our nation; and
WHEREAS, Foreign interference on any level is unacceptable
and requires the utmost attention from our policymakers and
security community; and
WHEREAS, The United States must create effective deterrences,
communicate to adversaries that an attack on election
infrastructure is a hostile act and respond accordingly to
attacks with a clear message at significant cost to
perpetrators; and
WHEREAS, The Russian interference against United States
election infrastructure is unacceptable and must be addressed;
therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
urge the Congress of the United States to immediately take up
the recommendations of the United States Senate Select Committee
on Intelligence recommendations to strengthen election security;
and be it further
RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to
the President of the United States, the presiding officers of
each chamber of Congress and each member of Congress from
Pennsylvania.
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