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May 22, 2019

Tester Fighting Foreign Interference in U.S. Elections

Election Security Act would improve cybersecurity and combat foreign meddling in American elections

(U.S. Senate) - With foreign interference in U.S. elections at an all-time high, U.S. Senator Jon Tester is backing legislation to help states protect voting systems and bolster election security.

Following the 2016 election, national security agencies sounded the alarm about foreign entities influencing U.S. elections and their potential to damage American democracy. Tester is backing the Election Security Act to provide states, including Montana, with resources they need to beef up cybersecurity and ensure their elections are free from foreign meddling.

"Foreign interests are deliberately targeting American elections and threatening the beating heart of our democracy," Tester said. "To defend the Montana way of life and preserve one of the pillars of our republic, we need to act now to ensure that our elections remain free of outside influence."

The Election Security Act funds grants for states to improve the security of their election systems, provide cybersecurity training to election officials, and to test their systems before and after election day. It also requires states to use paper ballots in federal elections and establishes cybersecurity standards for voting system vendors.

Under the Election Security Act, the Director of National Intelligence and Department of Homeland Security would work with states to run threat assessments and improve election security. The bill also requires that voting systems be tested nine months before an election and that states make reasonable efforts to buy voting machines manufactured in the United States. It would also create a bipartisan commission to counter election interference.

This month, Tester slammed the Trump Administration for proposing to spend $5 billion to build 200 miles of walls at the southern border while snubbing funding for cybersecurity and election security. Earlier this year, he helped negotiate a funding deal that provided over $1 billion to cybersecurity operations and readiness. He also recently called on the U.S. Senate to investigate Russian cyberattacks on American elections.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to vote on virtually all bills that would strengthen U.S. election security. Tester is urging Republican leadership to stand up for American democracy and vote on the Election Security Act.

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.

Billings

Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768

Bozeman

Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647

Butte

Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586

Helena

Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974

Missoula

130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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