Voting officials testify on Capitol Hill about election security

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Next year, voters will head to the polls for mid-term elections and officials are looking to beef up security amid hacking concerns.

"We are not naive to the likelihood of future cyber attacks but we also know that the use of paper ballots can just as easily open up fraud, vulnerabilities...unless strong protocols are followed by election officials," said Tom Schedler, Louisiana Secretary of State

Schedler says he’s working with voting officials to address concerns about cyber threats and the security of the upcoming 2018 elections.

He took part in a hearing along with Virginia Elections Commissioner Edgardo Cortés.

“Our hope is that the members of the subcommittee and members of Congress recognize there is a lot of work being done," said Cortés. "but that work also requires resources."

Voting officials from Virginia and Louisiana who testified at this hearing say their states have already taken many steps to ensure secure elections but they also urged lawmakers to approve additional federal dollars for support.

Texas Republican Will Hurd oversaw the hearing and says he understands the concerns about funding but he supports Homeland Security assisting states with advancing security systems.

"There is a federal role here and how can we do it in such a way that the states and the local election administers are getting the kind of help and support that they need," said Hurd.

Also at the hearing, Democratic Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard says she wants to help voters feel confident that their ballot is secure

"The American people need to have faith and trust in our elections infrastructure that the votes that they cast, will actually be counted," said Gabbard.

Leaders of this Information Technology subcommittee are waiting on more documents from Homeland Security with further updates about alleged Russian meddling in 2016. Those documents could help them come up with ways to better secure your next vote.

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