As primaries ramp up in states across the U.S., concerns about election cybersecurity are mounting too. This week, a group of Democratic senators introduced a bill to mitigate some of the well-established risks that the nation’s uneven mix of voting machines and election systems poses. The new bill, known as the Protecting American Votes and Elections Act , proposes two significant measures. First, because not all digital voting systems produce a paper trail, it would require all state and local elections to ensure that their equipment produces voter-verified paper ballots that can be cross-referenced. Second, for all federal elections regardless of outcome, state and local governments would be required to conduct audits comparing digital ballots to a random selection of paper ballots. The latter policy would cover the 22 states that currently don’t require audits following elections. “Leaving the fate of America’s democracy up to hackable election machines is like leaving your front door open, unlocked and putting up a sign that says ‘out of town.’ It’s not a question of if bad guys get in, it’s just a question of when,” Oregon Senator Ron Wyden said in a statement accompanying the bill. Voting integrity is one of Wyden’s pet issues and the senator has pressed for his home state of Oregon’s vote-by-mail system to be adopted nationally. Wyden is joined by Democratic Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Ed Markey, Jeff Merkley, Patty Murray and Elizabeth Warren on the legislation. Congressman Earl Blumenauer plans to introduce a corresponding bill in the house. “We know that Russia hacked into American voter systems to influence our election – and we know they’ll try to do it again,” Sen. Warren said. “Our national security experts have warned us that the country’s election infrastructure is vulnerable – this bill will take important steps to help secure it.” While the bill isn’t a bipartisan proposal — yet, anyway — these same measures are widely supported by election security experts as well as the Department of Homeland Security and a Senate Intelligence Committee report offering recommendations for securing the vote from earlier this year. The full text of the bill is embedded below. View this document on Scribd
India’s food delivery race is hotting up after Swiggy , one of the startups vying for pole position, landed $210 million in new capital for expansion and joined the billion-dollar startup unicorn club. The investment is led by existing backer Naspers, the media conglomerate famous for an early bet on Tencent in China, and new investor DST Global. Others taking part in the round include returning investor China’s Meituan Dianping and (another new investor) Coatue Management. The deal takes Swiggy’s valuation past the $1 billion mark for the first, with sources close to the company confirming that the deal values the company at around $1.3 billion. That’s perhaps not a tonne of surprise around today’s announcement since it has been rumored in Indian press for some time, with Economic Times first reporting on it in April . This Series G investment comes just months after Naspers and Meituan Dianping invested $100 million into Swiggy in February . The new round takes Swiggy to over $465 million raised from investors to date, making it India’s most-capitalized food delivery startup. Nearest competitor Zomato has raised some $440 million from investors that include Alibaba’s Ant Financial affiliate, Sequoia Capital and Temasek, but its business also includes markets outside of India, whereas Swiggy’s is firmly focused on its homeland. ( Zomato was most recently valued at $1.1 billion. ) Swiggy claims to cover 35,000 restaurants with a delivery fleet of over 40,000. The company isn’t giving financials at this point, but it said that it has seen “a three-fold increase in revenues in the last financial year.” The company isn’t saying in specifics how it will use the new capital, but a representative told TechCrunch that the plan is to invest in extending its reach to new locations in India and also to build out its logistics network to better serve customers.