This bill — the Secure Elections Act — would give the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) the primary responsibility within the federal government for sharing information about election cybersecurity incidents, threats, and vulnerabilities with federal entities and election agencies. The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) would award $386 million in election system cybersecurity and modernization grants to states and election agencies to implement the panel’s guidelines. Grants would be awarded to: 1) remediate vulnerabilities identified by a cybersecurity evaluation; 2) replace electronic voting systems that aren’t optical scanners that read paper ballots; and 3) reimburse states for statistical audits of ballots in close federal elections.
The EAC would establish an advisory panel of independent experts to develop guidelines on election cybersecurity that include standards for procuring, maintaining, testing, auditing, operating, and updating election systems.