Cooper Statement on Mueller Indictment & Election Interference

Feb 16, 2018
Press Release

NASHVILLE – U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) today issued the following statement:

“Thanks to the Mueller investigation, we better know how the Russians interfered in the 2016 election. The indictment released today describes manipulation through social media and news channels, including the Russian-controlled fake @TEN_GOP Twitter account. And we already know they targeted states’ voting systems.

Intelligence officials issued dire warnings this week. They unanimously agree: Russia will interfere again and we are NOT ready. But it’s not just Russia. These attacks could come from any of our adversaries.

“I held a press conference this morning to sound the alarm here in Tennessee. Our citizens deserve to have the confidence that our elections are secure. We can – and must – make election security a top priority in our state.

“We need to be proactive in creating a security culture around elections, including major upgrades and reforms to protect our election systems from future interference. For example, paper ballots, which even conservative anti-tax activist Grover Norquist supports, would ensure that every vote has a hard-copy record. And mandatory audits, such as those in other states, could warn us about potential interference.

“I’m glad Tennessee leaders participated in the study Harvard released this week on cybersecurity in elections. According to the latest report, Tennessee has at least $28 million in federal funding – more than almost any other state – that we can use to safeguard our system. It’s time to do it.”

Rep. Cooper has cosponsored the Election Security Act, a bill introduced this week that would provide assistance to states and election administrators to protect their systems – including $1 billion in grants to replace aging voting machines with voter-marked, paper-ballot voting systems.