Senate Democrats asking Republicans to help pass new election safeguards

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Democrats vowed to turn up the heat to force Republicans in the Senate to approve new election security bills.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted Monday the new safeguards are necessary to defend itself against any possible voter meddling-like what the country saw in 2016.

"People have said to us, 'ok, the Russians disrupted our elections, they made a difference in our elections, what are you going to do about it?' SAFE," said Speaker Pelosi.

Democrats have proposed a few bills that, they say, would help protect our elections from future foreign interference. One of them is called the Securing America's Federal Election Act, known as SAFE.

SAFE would upgrade or replace electronic voting machines, hire information technology staff and give financial assistance to states to secure and maintain their election infrastructure.

Congress has already allocated $380 million in grants, but two weeks ago the House voted to add another $600 million.

"What we appropriated so far last year fell short of what's needed. We have equipment in the country that is still running on Windows 2000. We have equipment that can't even be updated that is insecure," explained California Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren of San Jose.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has said he would block this from passing and has said the "case is closed" on the 2016 election investigation even though Special Counsel Robert Mueller said that the threat against the American political process may only be growing.

California has decided not to wait for Congress and will appropriate $220 million to update the voting systems in all 58 counties by 2020.

Even if the U.S. Senate says no, California is going ahead with its plans in time for the elections.
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