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Tarleton’s election security bill passes both chambers

A bill aimed at protecting Washington’s elections from cyber attacks by enhancing coordination with local elections officials passed in the Senate this week with bipartisan support.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Gael Tarleton, who is running for Secretary of State.

House Bill 1251 aims to protect Washington’s elections from cyber-attacks and help prepare local and state officials for possible election interference. The bill requires the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Chief Information Officer to consult with county auditors to identify instances of security breaches in elections systems and data and determine whether the source of any breaches are foreign or domestic entities. Additionally, it mandates the Secretary of State to report to the Legislature when security breaches occur, as well as provide recommendations to increase the security of Washington’s elections system.

Tarleton has taken umbrage with her opponent, incumbent Sec. Kim Wyman, for what she has called a lack of coordination with county auditors on matters related to election security.

Elections are the foundation of our representative democracy. Our legitimacy depends on the people believing that we are their duly elected representatives,” said Tarleton. “It’s critical that we take steps to guard against cyber-attacks and election interference, whether foreign or domestic, to help preserve the integrity of our electoral system.”


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