Issue Report
For Immediate Release: 
June 27, 2019
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
Today, House Democrats are taking action to secure our elections and protect our democracy. From Special Counsel Mueller’s report to the testimony of intelligence community leaders and election officials, there is overwhelming evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and that foreign interference continues to be a threat to our democracy. House Democrats are responding by taking up legislation today that will combat this threat and prevent foreign interference in our elections.
 
Foreign Interference Continues to Be a Risk to Our Democracy
 
Special Counsel Mueller’s Report: “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” [Mueller Report, 4/18/19] 

Daniel R. Coats, Director of National Intelligence: “Our adversaries and strategic competitors probably already are looking to the 2020 US elections as an opportunity to advance their interests. More broadly, US adversaries and strategic competitors almost certainly will use online influence operations to try to weaken democratic institutions, undermine US alliances and partnerships, and shape policy outcomes in the United States and elsewhere.” [Worldwide Threat Assessment, 1/29/19]

Adam S. Hickey, Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice: “Protecting our Nation’s democratic processes, including our elections, is among the Department’s top priorities, and malign foreign influence operations targeting those processes are among the most pressing threats our Nation faces.” [Congressional Testimony, 5/22/19]

Ellen L. Weintraub, Chair of the U.S. Federal Election Commission: “I have not witnessed a graver danger to our political system than the current threat posed by foreign adversaries set on interfering with U.S. elections. Nor have I ever seen a moment where it has been more essential for Congress to bolster our nation’s ability to combat attacks on our elections.” [Congressional Testimony, 5/22/19]
 
House Democrats Take Action to Secure Our Elections

Today, the House will vote on the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE Act) to improve the security and integrity of U.S. elections. The bill would authorize a $600 million Election Assistance Commission (EAC) grant program to assist states in securing election infrastructure. The EAC was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) and is an independent, bipartisan commission charged with assisting states in adopting modern voting systems, improving election security, and employing best practices to protect the integrity of voting systems. The grant program will assist states in replacing aging voting systems and taking other steps to protect election infrastructure. In addition to this EAC grant program, the legislation:
  • Provides states with funding to maintain election infrastructure;
  • Requires voting systems to use individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballots;
  • Mandates risk limiting audits, which help detect incorrect election outcomes;
  • Strengthens accountability for election technology vendors;
  • Requires new accessibility requirements and establishes a grant program to study accessible paper ballot voting systems; and
  • Prohibits wireless communication devices and internet connectivity from all systems.
Yesterday, the House passed the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill, which includes $600 million in funding for the Election Assistance Commission to support state and local efforts to improve the security and integrity of elections, consistent with the funding authorized by the SAFE Act.