Perlmutter Supports SAFE Act to Strengthen Election Security and Prevent Foreign Interference in the 2020

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Washington, D.C.-, June 27, 2019 | comments

Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter voted to pass H.R. 2722, the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act, to guard against foreign interference in our democracy by providing funding to states to update and secure their state’s voting systems.  The bill mandates paper ballot voting systems, post-election risk-limiting audits, and strict cybersecurity requirements for both election technology vendors and for voting systems.  It builds on the boldest set of democracy reforms passed by the House in H.R. 1, the For The People Act, in a generation.

“The Mueller report and top intelligence and national security officials have issued multiple warnings that our elections and national security are under attack from foreign interference. With the SAFE Act, the House is heeding those warnings and securing our election infrastructure,” said Perlmutter. “From replacing outdated machines to cybersecurity training to vulnerability assessments, the SAFE Act gives states the funding they need to bring their election infrastructure up to speed. This is important to ensure every vote counts and to protect our democracy.”

The SAFE Act:  

  • Authorizes $600 million in Voting System Security Improvement Grants for states to modernize and secure their election infrastructure, which was appropriated by the FY 2020 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill that the House passed on Wednesday.
  • Authorizes $175 million every two years to states to maintain the state’s election infrastructure.
  • Mandates that voting systems use individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballots – a widely agreed upon reform to protect our elections from manipulation.
  • Requires states to conduct post-election risk-limiting audits to ensure election integrity; whether it is a programming error or a cyber-attack, these audits help detect inaccuracies.
  • Sets strict cybersecurity standards for both election technology vendors and for voting systems.
  • Fosters accountability for election technology vendors, creating a “qualified election infrastructure vendor” designation.
  • Bans Internet accessibility or connectivity for devices on which ballots are marked or counted.
  • Requires voting machines to be manufactured in the United States.

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