Attacks on election processes and other democratic institutions are designed to damage American legitimacy and weaken the nation. Absent significant reform, adversaries will continue to target U.S. elections through complex cyber operations designed to steal sensitive data, spread misinformation, and rob organizations of millions of dollars. The CSC recommends that Congress should improve the structure and sustain the funding of the Election Assistance Commission (CSC Report Recommendation 3.4
), which will both enable it to increase its operational capacity to support states and localities in defense of the digital election infrastructure, as well as ensure the widest use of voter-verifiable, auditable, and paper-based voting systems.
Moreover, while Congress has already taken some initial steps through the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the CSC recommends that Congress should also codify into law Executive Order 13848, “Executive Order on Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election” (CSC Report Recommendation 2.1.5). In keeping with the Solarium Commission’s strategy of layered deterrence, the government must be able to use all instruments of statecraft to cultivate resilience to such attacks, as well as identify and punish hackers with speed and agility when such malicious activity occurs—especially in the context of election security.