A man votes at a polling place at a high school in McLean, Virginia. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP / Getty Images

Sen. James Lankford introduced a bill Thursday that could help prevent foreign tampering in U.S. elections and strengthen election cybersecurity by spending $386 million to replace outdated or vulnerable electronic voting machines. The Secure Elections Act is backed by Sens. Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Susan Collins and Martin Heinrich.

Why it matters: Primaries for the next federal election start as early as March. As Klobuchar — the top Democrat on the Rules Committee with jurisdiction over federal elections — put it: it's about securing the "freedom to choose our leaders and know with full confidence that those leaders were chosen in free and fair elections."

Vulnerable machines: The intelligence community concluded in January that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Many states use old machines that can be easily hacked, eroding the integrity of elections and, in some cases, making a recount virtually impossible. For example, Virginia found that machines in about 22 localities were at risk of tampering in the way they recorded votes.

What the bill would do: In addition to providing grants to states, it aims to streamline the process of information sharing between state election agencies and the federal intelligence community.

  • The bill will also provide a set of voluntary cybersecurity guidelines for election systems, as well as security clearances to state election officials.
  • It would also create a "bug bounty" program to encourage those with knowledge about hacking to identify vulnerabilities in election systems.

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Roger Marshall wins Republican Senate nomination in Kansas primary

Rep. Roger Marshall. Photo: Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Rep. Roger Marshall won the Kansas Republican Senate primary on Tuesday evening, beating former Secretary of State Kris Kobach and a slew of other candidates, AP reports.

Why it matters: Following GOP Sen. Pat Roberts' retirement announcement, some Republicans worry that if Kobach won the primary it would endanger the party's chances of keeping the seat and maintaining a majority in the Senate.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Primary races to watch in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Washington

Photo: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images

Primary elections on Tuesday in fives states see crowded fields of both Republicans and Democrats hoping to make the ballot in 2020.

What to watch: Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is "fighting for her political life" in a tight primary race against Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, who Tlaib beat by 900 votes in 2018, The New York Times writes. Senate Republicans are also watching the primary race in Kansas to see who could replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 18,448,084 — Total deaths: 698,023 — Total recoveries — 11,048,174Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 4,765,170 — Total deaths: 156,668 — Total recoveries: 1,528,979 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. States: New York City health commissioner resigns in protest of De Blasio's coronavirus response — Local governments go to war over schools.
  4. Public health: 59% of Americans support nationwide 2-week stay-at-home order in NPR poll.
  5. Politics: Trump's national security adviser returns to work after coronavirus recovery Republicans push to expand small business loan program.
  6. Sports: Indy 500 to be held without fansRafael Nadal opts out of U.S. Open.