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Will a New Bill in Congress Prevent Foreign Influence on Future Elections?
01/02/2017 Election Helen J
keywords: Russian Hacking

The 2016 election has caused a wide array of concerns among different political groups. A key concern that arose after the election results were announced was the idea that Russia or other foreign parties may have hacked into the Democratic National Convention, or DNC, to obtain the emails sent to or from Hilary Clinton. While it is no surprise that the leaked emails may have influenced the election results, it is not yet clear if Russia or other foreign countries were actually involved in the leaks. Regardless of the limited data regarding the perpetrators of the leaked emails, a bill was proposed by Eliot Engel, D-NY on December 20, 2016 in an effort to protect American democracy.

What is H.R. 6533?

H.R. 6533 is a bill set before Congress to protect the American election process. The bill, which is aptly called the Protect American Democracy Act of 2016, strives to expose unlawful or subversive foreign influences on future elections. It also strives to discourage future instances of unlawful influence on the American election process in the future.

The reason for the bill is obvious: many individuals and groups feel that Russian officials or other foreign parties ordered unlawful hacking into the DNC and other groups to influence the outcome of the election. While it is not yet clear who hacked into the DNC to leak information, it is possible that foreign parties may have been involved or may have known about the involvement of certain groups.

Potential Changes in Future Elections

Although the bill may impact future elections and the influence of foreign groups on the elections, it only serves to discourage future attempts to alter or influence election results. Since clear evidence has not been presented to support claims that Russia was involved in the leaked information, it is not yet clear if any foreign influence occurred in the 2016 election.

Ultimately, the changes will likely focus on preventing hacking and improving the security of the country. The bill may also impact foreign visitors to the country who act as diplomats or in official positions for their countries. It strives to identify individuals who may have been involved in the leaked information during the 2016 election cycle; however, the actual impact on different groups is not yet clear and the bill may need some changes before it actually serves it's intended purpose.

Foreign influence is always a concern when it comes to the American elections, but officials are taking measures to limit the risks in the future. Ultimately, it may require some adjustments to protect American interests and elections, but it is possible that it will have an impact on the future by improving computer security and discouraging foreign groups from attempting to get involved in the election process.

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