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Raoul works to protect Illinois voters from cyber threats

Sen. Kwame RaoulCHICAGO - In light of the fact Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. election system affected over 39 states, including Illinois during the 2016 general election, State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) will head a package of cybersecurity initiatives during the next legislative session.

“Now is the time to take extra cybersecurity precautions. We cannot have another attack on our electoral system,” Raoul said. “We must take direct action to protect our voters from security vulnerabilities within the electoral process.”

In Washington D.C., U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley co-sponsored the Protecting the American Process for Election Results (PAPER) Act, which provides assistance to states allowing them to strengthen cybersecurity defenses against intrusions in their electoral systems.

As for Illinois, Senator Raoul plans to prevent future attacks with the following initiatives:

  • Safeguarding against security vulnerabilities in voting machines by banning foreign-made parts and software in Illinois election equipment and requiring that Illinois voting machines maintain security standards consistent with best practices.
  • Following California’s state-of-the-art cyber-security model by establishing a cyber-crimes bureau to fight crime in the digital era and by requiring businesses and government agencies to notify the State of data breaches affecting more than 500 Illinoisans to assess the nature of the breaches, learn from them what data security threats and vulnerabilities Illinois faces, and make recommendations aimed at reducing the risk of data breaches and mitigating the harms that result from them.
  • Requiring Illinois companies that collect personally identifiable data to use cybersecurity best practices to reduce the risk of data breaches and identity theft.

“We need to keep fighting,” said Raoul. “We’ve embraced voter protection policies in Illinois for a reason; not for them to be demolished with attacks of cyberterrorism.”

Sen. Kwame Raoul

Senator Kwame Raoul

13th District

Years served: 2004 - Present

Committee assignments: Criminal Law (Vice-Chairperson); Judiciary (Chairperson); Public Health; Committee of the Whole; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive; Committee on Restorative Justice (Co-Chairperson).

Biography: Attorney; born September 30, 1964; Bachelor's degree from DePaul University; J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law; has two children.