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U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA-03) released this statement on June 27 following the passage of H.R. 2722, the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act of 2019.
“The need to safeguard the security and integrity of our elections is urgent. That is why today, I voted in favor of the SAFE Act. We know that Russia interfered in our 2016 elections. We also know that the Administration has done nothing to prevent Russia or other hostile actors from interfering again. The legislation passed by the House this afternoon provides funding to states to replace outdated and vulnerable voting equipment, mandates paper ballot voting systems and requires post-election audits to ensure election integrity, and mandates strict cybersecurity requirements for both election technology vendors and for voting systems. These are all important, commonsense provisions that build off of reforms included in H.R. 1, the For the People Act. Our elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. We must take great care to protect them at all costs,” said Rep. Trahan.
Key Provisions of the Bill
- This bill:
- Authorizes $600 million in Voting System Security Improvement Grants for states to modernize and secure their election infrastructure.
- 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.