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By Bruce Sussman
Wed | May 29, 2019 | 3:59 AM PDT

A new bill being introduced in Congress would require federal officials to "promptly" alert others if they have credible evidence that an elections system has been hacked.

Congressional bill would require election breach notification

Those on the alert list would include state and local officials and members of Congress.

The bill is crafted in response to recent Mueller report and FBI revelations that two counties in Florida had election systems hacked by the Russians during the 2016 elections.

The problem is that residents in Florida are still in the dark about which counties were breached. 

“It is unacceptable that the Russians know which systems were hacked and not the Americans affected,” says U.S. Representative Stephanie Murphy.

Murphy, a Democrat, is introducing the bill with a Republican colleague from Florida, Representative Michael Waltz.

“It’s been a week since our meeting with the FBI and the names of the two infiltrated Florida counties still haven’t been publicly identified," Waltz says. “The FBI’s notification protocol is inadequate and unacceptable.

If we are going to have any success securing our elections, we need to know immediately whether or not an elections system has been compromised—and most importantly, the voters need to know too.”

And Congresswoman Murphy says the notifications will do more than alert voters. “These alerts will empower voters to verify their information was not compromised, while also raising awareness about these critical cyber vulnerabilities."

Exception for harm to ongoing investigations

We're still waiting on the specific language of this particular election security bill.

However, the members of Congress who are introducing it say they are creating a narrow exception to public alerts.

The exception gives federal officials the ability to withhold notification if they determine that notification would compromise intelligence sources or methods or cause harm to an ongoing investigation.

Murphy and Waltz are both former National Security Specialists at the Pentagon.

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