Ahead of November’s General Election, Katko Introduces Bipartisan Legislation Aimed at Empowering Localities to Address Vulnerabilities in Election Systems

Katko’s Bill Responds to Local Concerns Over Lack of Resources for Election Security Experts

Syracuse, NY— U.S. Rep. John Katko (R, NY-24), Ranking Member on the Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection & Innovation Subcommittee, this week introduced the Cyber Navigators Act. Ahead of November’s General Election, Rep. Katko’s bill aims to address the shortage in cyber experts at the state and local level who can navigate the complexities of election systems and address vulnerabilities. Rep. Katko introduced this bipartisan measure alongside U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D, NY-4). 

Earlier this year, Rep. Katko held an election security roundtable to open a dialogue between local election officials and representatives from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). During this meeting, election officials from Central New York expressed concern over the lack of resources local governments have at their disposal to employ dedicated cyber experts capable of assisting with election systems. Rep. Katko acted on this concern, and introduced the Cyber Navigators Act which authorizes a grant program that would enable state and local governments to hire cybersecurity professionals who can provide risk management, resiliency, and technical support in the administration of elections.

“As Ranking Member on the Cybersecurity Subcommittee, I’ve been working tirelessly with Democrats and Republicans to secure our election systems. In a continuation of these efforts, I’m proud to announce the introduction of the Cyber Navigators Act,” said Rep. Katko. “As we quickly approach November’s General Election, state and local governments must have the resources to ensure the integrity of their election systems.  This bipartisan bill authorizes a grant program to enable state and local governments to hire cybersecurity professionals capable of detecting and addressing vulnerabilities within election systems to strengthen our election security.”

In the lead up to the General Election, Rep. Katko has continued to work across party lines to secure election systems in Central New York and across the nation. Most recently, he took bipartisan action with Rep. Rice, urging the New York State Board of Elections to immediately issue guidance for the 2020 General Election that increases preparedness, strengthens election systems, combats disinformation campaigns, and ensures all voters have the means to safely and efficiently vote.