Newspaper article

We Must Act Now to Protect Our Democracy and Our Elections

Newspaper article

We Must Act Now to Protect Our Democracy and Our Elections

Article excerpt

In this great state, we have a sense of civic responsibility when it comes to voting that is as Minnesotan as never taking the last piece of pie at the potluck. Voting is sacred, and Minnesotans never take for granted our opportunity to engage in the political process through the fundamental act of casting a ballot on Election Day – or in the weeks before Election Day, voting early by casting an absentee ballot, in person or by mail.

Minnesotans are proud of our voter registration system, which has been a model for the rest of the country. But the current national climate, with questions about Russian meddling in our elections, has given rise to questions about the security of voting systems in this country. We cannot take for granted the very real threats that foreign governments, errors, inaccuracies or other hacking pose to the security of our voting systems.

We must act now to protect our democracy and our proud tradition of civic engagement in Minnesota. Therefore, we have introduced the Secure Access for Minnesota Voters Act to ensure that Minnesota has the safest, most secure and most efficient elections that the 21st century can provide.

The Secure Access for Minnesota Voters Act is a comprehensive set of voting reforms including:

* Protecting the security of our elections from hacking and interference through hardware and software cybersecurity updates to safeguard Minnesota's Voter Registration database from foreign governments messing with our elections. These updates include:

1. Investing $1.4 million over four years to upgrade and modernize the statewide voter registration database.

2. Mandating cybersecurity training of elections officials.

3. Requiring two-factor authentication for access to the statewide voter registration database.

4. Investing in security upgrades to the statewide voter registration system — including a response to the analysis of vulnerabilities and recommendations provided by Secretary of Homeland Security.

* Increasing security and access by creating an upgraded automatic and encrypted voter registration backbone that will allow us to invest in the most up-to-date anti-hacking and cybersecurity software possible. …

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