Wyden: paper ballots and audits are essential to secure American elections against foreign hackers

Testifying at Senate Rules Committee, Wyden Blasts Voting Machine Manufacturers, Calls for Passage of His Bill Mandating Paper Ballots

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., sounded the alarm about the urgent need for paper ballots to secure American elections against foreign hackers, in testimony at the Senate Rules Committee today.

Wyden called on the Senate to pass his Protecting American Votes and Elections Act, which requires paper ballots and effective audits for all federal elections, and has been endorsed by leading cybersecurity experts. View his full testimony here.

 “At least 44 million Americans – and perhaps millions more – have no choice but to use insecure voting machines that have foreign hackers salivating,”Wyden said. “It is inexcusable that American democracy depends on hackable voting technology made by a handful of companies that have evaded oversight and stonewalled Congress. That must end.”

 Wyden blasted voting machine companies for refusing to answer basic questions about their cybersecurity practices. ES&S continued to stonewall Wyden’s questions even after the New York Times reported the company had sold voting technology with remote monitoring software installed.

 “The only way to make this worse would be to leave unguarded ballot boxes in Moscow and Beijing,” Wyden said. “Americans must move to paper ballots, marked by hand. Until that system is adopted, every election that goes by is an election that Russia could hack.”