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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
    IntroducedMarch 22nd, 2018

What is it?

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.

Impact

States and their election agencies; the EAC and its advisory panel; and DHS.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) introduced this bill to improve the security of election systems from cyber threats:

“During the 2016 election, Russian entities hacked presidential campaign accounts, launched cyber-attacks against at least 21 state election systems, and attacked a US voting systems software company. This revised Secure Election Act adequately helps the states prepare our election infrastructure for the possibility of interference from not just Russia, but possibly another adversary like Iran or North Korea or a hacktivist group. Although funding for election security is included in the Omnibus appropriations bill, Congress still must pass the Secure Elections Act in order to put needed improvements into law.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) added:

“We know -- and our top intelligence officials have confirmed -- that our election systems remain a target. The bipartisan group of co-sponsors on the Secure Elections Act have been working with state election officials and the Department of Homeland Security to improve this bill and ensure those on the front-lines of administering elections are equipped with the information and resources necessary to keep them safe. This week we made progress by securing $380 million in funding, but it’s not enough. There are 227 days until the next federal election and primaries have already begun, Congress should pass the bipartisan Secure Elections Act immediately.”

This legislation has the support of 11 bipartisan cosponsors, including five Democrats, five Republicans, and one Independent. The $386 million in election security grants contained in this bill was included in the omnibus appropriations bill, although its other provisions weren’t included.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock / YinYang)

AKA

Secure Elections Act

Official Title

A bill to protect the administration of Federal elections against cybersecurity threats.

    If you’re going to have an Election Assistance Commission wouldn’t the purpose of that commission be, in part, to provide states with expertise and funding to ensure their election systems are secure? This obviously means moving to paper ballots nationwide.
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    Paper ballots prevent cyber threats, and are inexpensive.
    Like (59)
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    This should have been done 6 months ago when the Republicans shut this bill down. Now is almost too late. Yes, YES. YES!! The voting machines that have been around since the 1980s are vulnerable as we saw from the last election.
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    Only if it includes voter ID and prohibits non US citizens from voting in any and all elections at every level of government: federal, state, and local.
    Like (33)
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    I would question whether this is about protecting our elections or if it is another back road to voter suppression.
    Like (26)
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    This commonsense, bipartisan bill would provide needed funding for states to secure their election systems while ensuring that their security is continuously monitored and updated.
    Like (18)
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    Yes, but only if they can actually prove election interference. It’s always easy to protect those who needs no protection. Like Senators Feinstein and her Chinese spy for 20 years.
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    Yes.
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    Hell yes!
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    👍🏻👍🏻S. 2593— the Secure Elections Act👍🏻👍🏻 By all means YES I’d SAY YES to the immediate passage of this commonsense, bipartisan Senatebill S. 3593 - the Secure Elections Act which would provide needed funding for states to secure their election systems while ensuring that their security is continuously monitored and updated. This Senate bill S. 2593— 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. This commonsense, bipartisan bill would provide needed funding for states to secure their election systems while ensuring that their security is continuously monitored and updated. 8*8*28 ..... SneakyPete
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    Feel like I need to do more research on this. For now I will support it, because the federal oversight of elections’ compliance with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is essential to maintaining our democratic republic. My concern would be where and how federal oversight could conflict with the right and obligation of states to design and administer elections.
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    Is this a democracy or an autocracy ruled by the few? If we aim for the former (I certainly do) why would we not want to ensure the integrity of our votes? Electronic voting systems should be banned and replaced by hand marked paper ballots with audit trail and retention. Independent election monitors at every polling station and additional polling stations to make up for the ones the republicans closed in minority districts. That all costs $ for training and yes it is an investment but could be done with proper funding.
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    FOR GODS SAKES YES !! HOW ELSE ARE THE STATES GOING TO PAY FOR HARDENING THE VOTING SYSTEMS AGAINST RUSSIAN INTRUSION !!!!! TRUMP WON'T DO ANYTHING ! HE WANTS RUSSIA TO TAKE OVER THE UNITED STATES FOR HIM !
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    We should charge every federal election candidate 1/2 of 1% of everything they spend to pay for voting machines and elect Tronic fraud protection.
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    It's a Federal election and federal responsibility to make it safe. We have a defense budget that needs to be used where the danger is. We are much more likely to be attacked electronically than by lethal weapons. And I have news for Mr. T. Cyber attacks bypass walls. Put the money where the danger lies.
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    Yes. But it’s important to remember our last presidential election was influenced by social media, not someone hacking into the voting machines and changing vote counts. While this will help with someone changing vote counts, it will do nothing to stop the influence on social media.
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    But only if States requires government issue identification If anybody can vote waste of money
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    What I find amazing is Americans hang on to the Idea that illegals are voting? Trump wanted to prove that there was illegal voting going on (6 million illegals), so he had assembled a committee to look in to it, for the umpteenth time, guess what they found, the same as the last, republicans and Russian. Shut that down real quick.
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    1. States can fund this themselves. 2. This is to try to prevent something that has not even happened yet. 3.I would prefer to see how each state approaches this themselves in a truly federalist way so that the marketplace of ideas can find the best solution. The best solution for New York might not be the best for Iowa, or vice versa.
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    Yes, and paper ballots as backups!
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