U. S. Rep Hank Johnson is among attendees at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Monday, January 19, 2015. KENT D. JOHNSON/ KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM

Hank Johnson wants Congress to protect the nation’s voting systems

U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia, plans to introduce two bills Wednesday seeking to add protections to the nation’s voting systems, including a new mandate for a paper vote trail.

The Election Infrastructure and Security Promotion Act of 2016 would require the Department of Homeland Security to designate voting systems as critical infrastructure, triggering increased federal support while also authorizing the National Science Foundation to research better voting technology.

The Election Integrity Act would require new voting systems to include voter-verified paper ballots and set additional security standards in federal elections.

The bills come after warnings of cyberthreats to states’ election systems. In Georgia, Secretary of State Brian Kemp agreed last month to join a federal task force working on the issue while state elections officials said Georgia’s aging fleet of machines are still in good working order ahead of the November presidential election.

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