Last night, the President and his administration decided not to impose any sanctions in retaliation for Russia attacking our elections. The deadline to implement the new sanctions (supported overwhelmingly by Congress) against Russia's defense and energy sectors passed without any action being taken. With no real penalty enacted against Russia, we can guarantee that they will continue with an even more emboldened attitude and that they will not be alone. The world has been watching our actions. The message that we have sent to our adversaries is clear. It is open season on America's elections.
But there are two very important pieces of legislation which could turn the tables drastically. The bipartisan Secure Elections Act will provide states with grants to upgrade outdated voting machines (especially those that do not produce an auditable paper ballot), streamline communications between state election officials and the Department of Homeland Security to remain current on evolving threats, and provide better guidance on software and cyber-security improvements.
The bipartisan DETER Act prepares targeted sanctions to be implemented within 10 days of the Director of National Intelligence determining that a foreign actor interfered in our elections. The bill specifically lists sanctions to be implemented against Russia, bypassing the President. But the bill also asks the administration to identify targeted sanctions to use against North Korea, China, and Iran if they decide to interfere.
These two bills don't solve every problem, but they do address some of the biggest concerns. Contact your Senators today and tell them that these bills must be passed immediately! Americans recognize the threat that we face, but seem lost for answers. Spread the word. Tell your friends and family that the Secure Elections Act and the DETER Act are the first steps that we must take to secure our elections and defend our nation.