Klobuchar asks what steps were taken to protect 2016 election from cyber threats

Sen. Amy Klobuchar – with 25 other supporters in the Senate – wants a detailed explanation.

Intelligence agencies have said Russia engaged in a campaign to influence the 2016 U.S. elections in some way, and will likely try to do it again. President Donald Trump has reportedly acknowledged and accepted that it happened.

And now Sen. Amy Klobuchar – backed by 25 other Democratic senators – is asking the group in charge of monitoring and securing voting systems across the country to explain everything it did to try to prevent any cyber attacks, as well as what other challenges we might face going forward.

Klobuchar and her colleagues sent a letter to the Elections Assistance Commission last week, asking for all that information because of "deep concerns about Russian interference in both U.S. elections and the federal government."

"As motivated and sophisticated cybercriminals will continue to target our election systems, we must ensure that our state and local election administrators have the resources they need to make critical cybersecurity upgrades," the letter says in part.

Every senator that signed the letter is a Democrat (including Klobuchar's colleague, Sen. Al Franken) or liberal-leaning independent (in this case, Bernie Sanders). Here's the list of things they want explained:

The Election Assistance Commission was created in 2002 after the Help America Vote Act was passed, which laid out minimum guidelines for how states run elections. It's bipartisan, and also provides funding for states to get new voting systems.

Commissioners for the EAC are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. It operates on an annual budget of $10 million, USA Today said.

But will it be around to answer the questions?

Answering these questions might be hard though if the Election Assistance Commission doesn't exist.

As The Atlantic reported, a U.S. House panel earlier in February voted to eliminate the entire commission, saying it's outdated and isn't needed anymore.

It would also shift some responsibilities of the EAC to the Federal Elections Commission, USA Today reported.

Opponents who want to see it stay argue that with cybersecurity such an important topic right now, the commission shouldn't go anywhere.

Republicans have actually tried to eliminate it since 2011, but always faced a block from former President Barack Obama, The Atlantic wrote.

The bill itself hasn't actually gone anywhere beyond that yet. Whether the House (or eventually the Senate) even take it up isn't known.

Next Up

Flickr -  Bank Plaze Nov 2020 - Chad Davis

US Bank employees won't return to downtown Minneapolis office next month

The company, citing COVID's resurgence, has pushed back its office return plans.

Katie Storm Twitter Bally Sports North - Aug 4 2021

MN native Katie Storm returning home for role with Bally Sports North

The St. Cloud State grad had worked for Fox Sports North before leaving for Philadelphia.

Flickr - Wisconsin State Fair cream puff - USDA

Free cream puff for people who get vaccinated at the Wisconsin State Fair

Get a shot, then head over to Cream Puff Pavilion for a free treat.

theodore wirth trailhead

Minneapolis parks now requiring masks in all indoor spaces

Anyone going inside recreation centers, ice arenas, and indoor spaces at pools must put on a mask.

Eric Reinbold - Pennington County Sheriff Aug 4 2021

At-large murder suspect was caught after triggering trail camera

Authorities had been searching for Eric Reinbold for nearly a month.

Flickr - toxic algae bloom - MPCA Photos

Climate change is warming lakes, leading to more toxic algae blooms

The MPCA says blue-green algae blooms are occurring all across the state.

vaccine, covid

Minnesotans can now register to get $100 for getting the COVID-19 vaccine

It's available for those who get their first jab between July 30 and Aug. 15.

Phillip Miller

Benton County prosecutor charged with sexual assault of teenager

Phillip Miller has been charged with varying levels of sexual assault charges.

Pixabay - pistol holster handgun

Permit-to-carry law doesn't violate 2nd amendment, MN Supreme Court says

A man charged with carrying a pistol without a permit argued it was unconstitutional.


Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, August 4

The delta variant has been leading to higher case counts and hospitalizations in Minnesota.


What Klobuchar and Franken asked Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch

Both of Minnesota's U.S. senators are on the committee that is questioning Gorsuch.

What Franken and Klobuchar asked during the Sally Yates hearing

Both of Minnesotas senators were part of the big Russia/2016 election/Mike Flynn hearing Monday.

Report of Russian cyberattack days before election has Klobuchar concerned

A leaked NSA document published by The Intercept says Russian intelligence launched a cyberattack days before the election.

2020: Will Amy Klobuchar run for president?

First it was Al Franken with the 2020 buzz. Now it's the other Minnesota senator's turn.

Klobuchar and Franken question Neil Gorsuch, pt. 2

What Minnesota's senators asked about on their final day in front of the SCOTUS nominee.

Klobuchar is also a 'No' on Neil Gorsuch

The senator officially announced she'll vote against the Supreme Court Justice nominee.

Update: AG Sessions recuses himself from any Russia/U.S. election probes

A new report contradicts the attorney general's testimony about communications with Russia.

What Minnesota lawmakers thought of President Trump's address

What Minnesota's U.S. representatives and senators had to say about the president's speech.