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

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 10,695,608 — Total deaths: 516,225 — Total recoveries — 5,481,526Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 2,686,582 — Total deaths: 128,062 — Total recoveries: 729,994 — Total tested: 32,827,359Map.
  3. Federal government: Trump says he still thinks coronavirus will "just disappear" at some point, supports another round of direct payments to Americans.
  4. Public health: Thanks to coronavirus, your home is now your gymFormer FDA chief says 500,000 Americans may be contracting coronavirus a day.
  5. States: Georgia and Arizona report record new coronavirus cases — California shuts down bars and indoor dining for most residents.
  6. 1 ⚽️ thing: 6 players test positive for coronavirus before MLS comeback tournament.
Updated 36 mins ago - Health

U.S. daily coronavirus cases top 50,000 for first time

A medical technologist processes test samples for the coronavirus at a lab in Tampa, Florida, on June 25. Photo: Octavio Jones/Getty Images

A record 50,655 tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the United States on Wednesday, Johns Hopkins data shows.

Driving the news: The pandemic is accelerating across the U.S., with the Sun Belt being hit particularly hard. Daily coronavirus case records were reported on Wednesday in Texas (8,076), Arizona (4,878), Georgia (2,946), North Carolina (1,843) and Tennessee (1,806).

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden outraises Trump again with record $141 million June haul

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden at Philadelphia City Hall in Pennsylvania in June. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party raised $141 million in June, his campaign announced on Wednesday night.

Why it matters: It's the most the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has raised in a month. It's also more than the record $131 million President Trump's re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee raised last month.