SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KTVU) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi kicked off what she's calling The Election Week of Action, saying Republican leaders need to get on board to protect the sanctity of American elections.
Pelosi kicked off the week-long effort on Monday aimed at putting pressure on Senate Republicans to act on election security measures, saying the Democratic-controlled House has already passed bills to protect America's elections from foreign and domestic interference.
"We recognize that that has happened, our president refuses to do so. He just said if they offered help again he'd accept it. Giving a green light...that's totally unacceptable," said Speaker Pelosi.
Congressional Democrats are calling for $1 billion to update election equipment, audit elections and ensure ballots are used to verify results.
Pelosi was joined by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla who said California is leading the way by hardening the states elections against interference.
"Today many elections officials are grappling with equipment that has reached or is near life expectancy," said Secretary Padilla.
San Francisco is in the process of switching to a new election system which will actually take a photograph of every ballot.
The director of elections says elections security is an ongoing process, everything from taking advantage of the latest technology to keeping paper ballots in the loop as a safeguard. The key he says is a multilayered effort.
"There's actually very many layers of government there are a lot of people, a lot of tools that are applied to make sure elections are secure," said San Francisco Director of Elections John Arntz.
Southbay Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren says it's in Republican interests to make sure no one undermines Americas electoral process.
"It was the Russians last time to benefit Mr. Trump," said Rep. Lofgren. "It could be the Chinese to benefit a Democrat. The whole point is every American citizen should have their vote counted as cast."
Congressional Democrats say time is of the essence. If an election security bill is signed into law this fall it would still be a scramble to get every county in the country up to speed in time for the 2020 presidential election.