Aug 20, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Klobuchar, Microsoft's Smith warn of election interference

Klobuchar
Axios' Mike Allen (l) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (r). Photo: Axios

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Microsoft President Brad Smith warned of ongoing election interference through technology on Thursday at an Axios virtual event on the Future of Employability.

What they're saying: "It was four years ago at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia that our eyes were first opened to nation-state cyberattacks on candidates and campaigns ... Here we are again four years later ... We have stronger defenses ... but the threats are becoming more sophisticated," Smith said.

  • "We are seeing attacks that are more likely to succeed than they were four years ago precisely because they are more numerous and more sophisticated," he added.

What to watch: "I think we need to be doing more not only to protect candidates and campaigns and journalists and think tanks, but where I think we really need to focus our energy is continuing to fight misinformation and securing our voting systems," Smith urged.

Klobuchar, who earlier in the year sought the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, said: "Last election was a dress rehearsal for what [Russia is] going to try now. There's every reason to believe they're going to do it again."

  • Klobuchar also commented on President Trump's attempts to thwart mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, stating, "I would rather put ballots in the mailbox than voters in the hospital."
  • "...at least the mail-in ballot can't be hacked into," Klobuchar added.

Editor's note: This Axios event was sponsored by Microsoft.

Watch the event.

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