Schneider Meets with County Clerks to Discuss Improving Election Security

February 21, 2018
Press Release
Group discussed steps taken to defend election systems from interference and how to deter future foreign meddling

Today, Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) hosted a roundtable discussion with Cook County Clerk David Orr and Lake County Clerk Carla Wyckoff on local efforts to improve election security. Noah Praetz, Director of Elections at the Cook County Clerk’s Office, and Debra Nieto, Chief Deputy County Clerk at the Lake County Clerk’s Office also attended and participated in the discussion.

Participants discussed steps taken since the last election, our current state of preparedness before 2018, and how the federal government can partner with states on this issue.

“Russia’s interference in our most recent election was a malicious attack on our democratic system and it won’t be their last attempt,” said Schneider. “Ahead of 2018, Illinois is fortunate that the Cook and Lake County Clerks offices take this threat extremely seriously and are working diligently to further strengthen the defenses of our system. I’ll continue to work at the federal level to provide states with the resources they need to improve election security, and prevent future interference from Russia and other adversaries through bipartisan legislation like the DETER Act.”

Photo Caption: Noah Praetz, Director of Elections at the Cook County Clerk’s Office, speaks at a roundtable discussion on election security convened by Congressman Brad Schneider in Northbrook.

Illinois’s voting systems have an important layer of defense by relying on paper ballots, however nearly 20 percent of the country relies on paperless voting systems that do not have this recovery capability. Schneider supports making the more than $300 million remaining authorized in the Help America Vote Act available to states to replace aging, less secure voting machines with paper ballots.

Background:

Last week, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned Russia views the “2018 midterm US elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations.”

Schneider joined with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) to introduce the bipartisan and bicameral DETER Act which seeks to deter future meddling by Russia and other foreign powers by instituting swift and automatic sanctions in response to future interference.

In response to questioning from Schneider in November 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions admitted he had “not followed through” on reviewing how the United States can better defend against future Russian interference and committed to “personally take action to do so.”