- Sputnik International
Get the latest news from around the world, live coverage, off-beat stories, features and analysis.

US Lawmakers Unveil Bill to Protect Election Systems From Foreign Interference

© REUTERS / Navesh Chitrakar / A man poses for a picture with the cardboard cutouts of US presidential nominees Hillary Clinton (L) and Donald Trump, at an election event hosted at the US ambassador's residence in Kathmandu, Nepal November 9, 2016.
A man poses for a picture with the cardboard cutouts of US presidential nominees Hillary Clinton (L) and Donald Trump, at an election event hosted at the US ambassador's residence in Kathmandu, Nepal November 9, 2016. - Sputnik International
Two US senators have unveiled a bill amid the ongoing investigation into the alleged Russian meddling in the US 2016 presidential election that has been strongly denied by Moscow.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — New legislation unveiled by US Senators Martin Heinrich and Susan Collins is aimed at protecting election systems in the United States from foreign interference.

"Today, US Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, introduced bipartisan legislation to protect American election systems from foreign interference," according to Heinrich's office's press release.

According to the document, the Securing America's Voting Equipment (SAVE) Act would protect voting systems, registration data and ballots from theft, manipulation and computer hackers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin casting his vote in the Moscow mayoral elections. - Sputnik International
Russian Senator Expects 'Unprecedented' US Pressure During 2018 Election
The Director of National Intelligence would, according to the legislation, give certain election officials in each US state special security clearance so they could receive classified information on election system threats.

The bill would also require the Department of Homeland Security to come up with best practices to deal with risks and start a federal grand program to help US states upgrade their election system.

Collins is quoted in the release as saying, "While the Intelligence Committee’s investigation is still ongoing, one thing is clear: the Russians were very active in trying to influence the 2016 election and will continue their efforts to undermine public confidence in democracies."

So-called "Russian Trace"

The legislation has been introduced amid the first charges in the so-called Russia probe conducted separately by Special Councel Robert Mueller and Congress.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations NIkki Haley speaks to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington, U.S., March 27, 2017 - Sputnik International
Moscow on Election Meddling Claims: 'US Politicians Do Not Know When to Stop'
Russia has repeatedly denied all allegations of interference in the US election and called the accusations "absurd."

President Vladimir Putin said earlier that those insisting on the reliability of information about alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election had been misled, as there was no direct evidence of such intervention.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in his turn, said the US was creating an "artificial impression" about Moscow's meddling in the election.

READ MORE: Lavrov on Manafort Charges: Ukrainian Trace Should Be Investigated

First Charges in Mueller Probe

US President Donald Trump himself has reiterated that there was "no collusion" between his team and Russia, calling the probe a "witch hunt."

US and European flags float in front of the European Commission headquarters in Brussels 22 February 2005 - Sputnik International
Europeans 'Surprisingly' Aware of Extent of US Meddling - Poll
Nevertheless, two former members of his team were indicted by the FBI recently. In particular, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has been charged on 12 counts, including "conspiracy against the US" and money laundering and later placed under house arrest. Manafort, who worked as an advisor to Ukrainian former President, Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted during violent Maidan protests resulting in a coup in February 2014, has been accused of being engaged in a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign in the US on behalf of Kiev.

Following the indictment, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that any accusations Trump's campaign members were a US internal issue and didn't concern Russia.

READ MORE: Russia Has Nothing to Do With Charges Against Trump Campaign Members — Kremlin

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала