The Latest: Report says states have outdated voting machines
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on U.S. election security (all times local):
A report issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee says the Russian government directed “extensive activity” against U.S. election systems ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
The report, released Thursday, says states weren’t appropriately warned of the threat against their systems and warns many of them still have outdated voting machines.
The election security report is the first chapter of several volumes that the committee is expected to release in its probe of Russian election interference. The panel issued recommendations for election security in May 2018 and is now issuing a complete volume of its findings.
The nation’s intelligence chiefs say Russia remains intent on disrupting U.S. elections after attempting to breach the election systems of 21 states in 2016. There is no evidence that any votes were changed.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is blocking election security bills in Congress, despite former special counsel Robert Mueller’s warning that Russian interference is going on right now.
That’s according to Democrats, who are being rebuffed in attempts to advance the bills.
The Senate Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, is pledging to keep putting forward requests to vote on legislation, including a House-passed bill. It would authorize $775 million in grants over the next two years to help states secure their voting systems.
Schumer says Mueller’s testimony “should be a wake-up call.”
McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, has said federal officials are making strides at improving election security. Republicans are saying no new money is needed immediately.
Mueller testified Wednesday that Russians were interfering “as we sit here.”