Election Vendor Hearing Highlights Recent Success Securing Midterm Elections and Need to Update Outdated Voting Law
The Committee on House Administration held an oversight hearing today on election security featuring voting system vendors, election experts, and witnesses with experience administering elections. During the hearing, Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) noted the importance of the funding Congress appropriated since 2018, totaling over $800 million to help states bolster their election security efforts and update their outdated voting systems. He also pointed out the success of secure midterm elections in 2018, as well as several issues with the outdated security requirements in the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA).
"Since the 2016 presidential election, both Congress and states have made strong efforts to ensure our voting systems are more secure. States are receiving the funding they need to update outdated technology and bolster their election security efforts. We should be proud of these efforts and focus on areas where the federal government can continue to assist states," said Ranking Member Davis. "Certain election components, like online centralized voter registration databases, didn't exist when the Help America Vote Act, Congress' last major election overhaul, was initially passed in 2002. It’s been almost 20 years since this law has been updated, and with the recent developments in election security and technology, it’s time to modernize these regulations. I hope the majority will work with us in this effort that has been historically bipartisan, so we can continue to protect Americans' votes without the federal government overstepping states' constitutional right to administer their elections."
EAC Commissioner Donald Palmer began his testimony by thanking Congress for its recent funding efforts. "The addition of $425 million in HAVA grant funds with a 20% state match will go a long way toward enhancing election technology and improving security in state and local elections. Simultaneously, the 40% increase in the EAC budget will allow us to bolster existing programs and enhance resources," said Palmer. "I should note the EAC’s distribution of $380 million in 2018 HAVA funds to states in the lead up to the 2018 midterms was, and continues to be, critically important to helping officials secure elections infrastructure."
"Cybersecurity responsibilities are constantly increasing for local election officials," said Christian County, IL, Clerk and Recorder Michael Gianasi. "The Illinois Cyber Navigator Program has assisted my office in fulfilling several critical responsibilities as we head into the General Primary. I believe this program is beneficial to all election authorities across the nation."
Today's hearing with election vendors was previously requested by the Republicans of the Committee on House Administration in a letter to Speaker Pelosi.
Witnesses who provided testimony include:
Panel One: Mr. Tom Burt, President and CEO, Election Systems & Software; Ms. Julie Mathis, President and CEO, Hart InterCivic; Mr. John Poulos, President and CEO, Dominion Voting Systems
Panel Two: Mr. Matt Blaze, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; Mr. Mike Gianasi, County Clerk and Recorder, Christian County of Illinois; Dr. Juan Gilbert, Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Endowed Professor & Chair, University of Florida; Ms. Liz Howard, Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice; The Honorable Donald Palmer, Commissioner, Election Assistance Commission; Rev. T. Anthony Spearman, President, North Carolina NAACP