New Democrat Coalition Members and Republican Colleagues Urge Trump to Prioritize Election Security

Oct 10, 2018
Press Release

Members of the New Democrat Coalition and the Republican Tuesday Group, led by Reps. Kathleen Rice and Elise Stefanik, urged President Trump to immediately appoint an Election Security Coordinator within the Executive Office of the President (EOP) to oversee and organize election security efforts across the federal government.

It is clear Russia executed a wide-spread disinformation campaign targeting the American public in order to sow discord, undermine the American public’s faith in the democratic process, and ultimately, interfere in the 2016 election. It is imperative the United States act to prevent foreign governments or entities from meddling in the electoral process. Appointing an Election Security Coordinator to the EOP would be an important first step in acknowledging and mitigating these risks to our democracy.

“Right now our country is facing an unprecedented threat from a foreign adversary. An Election Security Coordinator would bring oversight and cohesion to our splintered election security strategy, and would be responsible for overseeing and coordinating all election security efforts across federal agencies. Russia was already successful once, and with Election Day so close, we need nothing less than an all-hands-on-deck response, including regular public briefings on an Election Security Coordinator’s progress and work,” said Congresswoman Kathleen Rice. “Before they go to the polls in November, the American people deserve real assurance that our government is taking every necessary step to protect our elections. Anything less is unacceptable.”

Earlier this Congress, the New Democrat Coalition’s Cybersecurity Task Force unveiled a robust cyber policy plan. Cyber threats have evolved alongside new innovations so Congress must do more to secure our nation, elections, families and businesses. The future of our nation’s economy, security, and our very democracy will depend on our ability to effectively operate in the cyber domain.

Earlier this year, Rep. Kathleen Rice (NY-04) also released a statement calling for the creation of an Election Security Coordinator to oversee all U.S. election security efforts.

In total the letter is signed by 5 New Democrat Coalition Members, including:

  • Rep. Kathleen Rice (NY-04)
  • Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA-06)
  • Rep. Jim Himes (CT-04)
  • Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10)
  • Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05)

Read the full letter here or below.

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October 10, 2018

Dear President Trump,

We write you today as Members of the New Democrat Coalition and the Republican Tuesday Group to urge you to immediately appoint an Election Security Coordinator within the Executive Office of the President (EOP) to oversee and organize election security efforts across the federal government. It is clear Russia executed a wide-spread disinformation campaign targeting the American public in order to sow discord, undermine the American public’s faith in the democratic process, and ultimately, interfere in the 2016 election. It is imperative the United States act to prevent foreign governments or entities from meddling in the electoral process. Appointing an Election Security Coordinator to the EOP would be an important first step in acknowledging and mitigating these risks to our democracy.

The evidence of foreign infiltration related to the 2016 election is clear. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), and the Intelligence Community, including Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Director Christopher Wray, have all affirmed that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. In addition, the Department of Justice recently indicted 12 Russian agents for various crimes related to infiltrating the election, in addition to the 13 Russian agents and 3 Russian entities indicted in February. There is overwhelming evidence that Russia is still trying to infiltrate our elections, and with the 2018 midterms less than 4 weeks away, we must take immediate action to counter this threat.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FBI, Election Assistance Commission (EAC), National Security Agency (NSA), and U.S. Cyber Command have all developed taskforces and initiatives to secure our elections systems and counter foreign influence. However, these various entities are operating in silos with no lead individual responsible for facilitating comprehensive interagency coordination. An Election Security Coordinator would ensure government-wide information sharing and cooperation.

Elections are the foundation of our democracy. Protecting the integrity of the electoral process and limiting foreign influence on American public opinion requires a centralized, senior position within the EOP to effectively manage this threat across government and communicate its urgency. Protecting U.S. national security requires an Election Security Coordinator, and we urge you to appoint someone immediately.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,