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Las Vegas voters cast their ballots at Shadow Ridge High School on Election Day, 2016. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

A Senate Intelligence draft report proposing an election cybersecurity strategy is getting good reviews from security experts.

What they are saying: "Wow. That is a very good set of initial findings," said Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology who consulted on voting machine security in three states, via email.

Hall added: "[T]his represents an important and reasonably comprehensive set of non-partisan measures that would reinforce the machinery of democracy, and put other potential foreign influences on notice that we're not a soft target."

"It finally demonstrates that Congress - at least in part - is taking the issue seriously."
— Jane Holl Lute, former deputy director of DHS.

What is in the draft: The Senate Intelligence Committee offers a multi-pronged proposal to:

  • Reaffirm that states are in charge of elections: States frequently fear that any offer of help from the federal government to help bolster election security is the first step toward nationalizing elections. The lawmakers clearly state this is not for that purpose.
  • Clarify to foreign powers there will be consequences to attacks.
  • Develop new election systems security guidelines. The proposal puts DHS in charge of developing new, voluntary security guidelines.
  • Improve threat intelligence sharing from the intelligence community.
  • Provide fiscal resources for the states. That would include grants to hire additional personnel, purchase new equipment and fund audits to ensure voting accuracy.

Yes, but: While the committee is suggesting steps, it is not proposing actual legislation. That, they said during a press conference today, would come out of other committees.

Bottom line: The threat to sharing, Lute said, has to involve more than just the classified intelligence referred. Last week, a general information sharing system, known as an information sharing and analysis center (ISAC), was set up to handle unclassified information sharing. "It's not just about [secure facilities] and security clearances," said Lute.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats target billionaires

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After failing to get a deal on other planned tax increases, key Senate Democrats are pivoting to a billionaires' income tax to pay for President Biden's social spending.

The big picture: No advanced economy has attempted anything similar on such a scale.

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
8 hours ago - Economy & Business

Trump's volatile return to the stock market

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios Visuals 

Donald Trump this week became both a meme stock and a social-media entrepreneur at the same time, by announcing that a new company called Trump Media & Technology Group was going to merge with an existing company listed on the stock market.

Why it matters: The medium-term promise of Trump's media company is that it will replace Twitter for anybody wanting to keep track of Trump's messages. The short-term promise is that it can be a hot new speculative vehicle for people wanting to get rich quick in the stock market.

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