It's already known what Russians were doing in 2016 to interfere in the United States' elections, and it should be assumed that they'll try to do even more in his year's races, Sen. James Lankford warned Thursday.
"A lot of what they did in 2016 was probing our systems and looking at states, looking at their voter registration data, looking at the equipment that they used, looking at the process, looking at how they verify absentee ballots," the Oklahoma Republican, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
Lankford added that Russia was "clearly" trying to learn as much as they could through the U.S. voting system, and "we should assume they'll try to use that information in 2018."
There's no direct evidence other than the Russians' social media campaign still continues, the same as when it all started in 2014 while preparing for the 2016 campaign, and "some of the same actors still continue," the senator said.
He added that he has a bipartisan bill aimed at preventing election meddling that reaffirms that states, not the federal government, runs elections.
"That's a state responsibility and it's at our best when we do it for security reasons as well," Lankford said, as because there is a wide variety of equipment and voting styles, no no single domestic or international actor can affect the vote.
"We have security clearances months and months before individuals found out what was going on, when the Russians were trying to engage," he said.
"We have faster responses between the states and federal government in sharing between the states back to the federal government. We have to be able to fix that and there's still five states and a total of 12 at least in sine states, they can't audit their election. They're on electronic machines, no paper trail, no receipts. If there's a problem if that software gets hacked there's inway to be able to verify that. So that is a problem," Lankford said.
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