Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) and Ranking Member of the Committee on House Administration Bob Brady (PA-01) released the following statement today in response to the Appropriations Committee's proposal to terminate the Election Assistance Commission:
“The Appropriations Committee’s proposal to terminate the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is reckless and irresponsible. We now know that Russian hackers attempted to breach voting systems in at least twenty-one states, and the intelligence community agrees that foreign hackers are likely to try again in 2018 and 2020. Instead of strengthening our elections infrastructure, the Committee’s proposal would make our election system more vulnerable, potentially undermining Americans’ faith in our democracy. As the appropriations process moves forward, we will work to defend the EAC’s funding and operations and push for Congress to ensure that the Commission has the necessary resources to fulfill its mission and protect Americans’ votes.
“Congress established the EAC through the Help America Vote Act of 2002 with the goal of helping state election officials adopt best practices to ensure free, fair, and safe elections. The EAC sets standards and provides guidance on voting systems security, and it performs the critical functions of testing and certifying voting equipment. In fact, forty-seven of the fifty states rely on the EAC’s voting machine certification process. The EAC also runs a monitoring program to track reported problems and facilitate the sharing of that information among states.“The EAC plays a vital role in ensuring the integrity of our elections, and the Commission’s testing, certification, and monitoring programs provide one of our strongest built-in protections against cyberattacks. In this past election, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security worked closely with the EAC to furnish to the states critical information on cyber threats. Former FBI Director Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee that ‘one of the most important things we can do is equip [states] with information to make their systems tighter.’ Congress ought to follow that advice and ensure that the EAC can do its job.”