Republican Election Security Proposal Address Mueller Report Concerns

Jun 26, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis (IL-13) released the following statement on the majority's partisan election security bill, H.R. 2722: the SAFE Act, and its failure to address the election security concerns from the Mueller Report. The Election Security Assistance Act, H.R. 3412, introduced by Committee on House Administration Republicans addresses cybersecurity concerns while standing a chance of becoming law.

"'The bill that Democrats are rushing through the House does not address the serious security concerns laid out in the Mueller Report. The Former Special Counsel’s report identifies two areas of attack against our election infrastructure: the first was against voter data in the voter registration systems across 21 states, and the second was a misinformation campaign through social media. H.R. 2722 does not address either of these concerns, but our bill does," said Ranking Member Davis.  

"An obvious solution to cyber threats should be to provide flexible grants and resources that allow states to decide how to use their funds and resources to upgrade their cybersecurity. Instead, the Democrats' bill focuses on forcing states to restructure their election systems through federal mandates and ignores states' rights to choose the election system that best fits their unique needs. In order to protect our election system, we need to assist states in upgrading their election and cyber security efforts, as we do in H.R. 3412, the Election Security Assistance Act." 
 

H.R. 2722, SAFE Act vs. H.R. 3412, Election Security Assistance Act:

The Democrats' H.R. 2722, the SAFE Act:
The Democrats' partisan bill is federalizing elections through: 

Mandatory Paper Ballots – This bill mandates that states exclusively use paper ballots, effectively banning any type of direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines. Paper ballots can come with their own list of problems like causing longer lines at polling locations; they are easy to be lost, destroyed or manipulated; and states who currently don’t use an exclusively paper ballot system will have to restructure their elections, which is both costly and time-intensive.

Federally Mandated Manual Hand Recounts – H.R. 2722 would result in significantly more manual hand recounts of paper ballots. Voters want results at the end of an Election Day. Manual recount requirements will result in longer, drawn out elections that are extremely expensive and may takes weeks, if not months, to reach a decision.

Irresponsible Funding Commitment – The funding of elections is the primary responsibility of the states. Democrats are blindly committing $1.3 billion over the course of 10 years in their partisan bill. The Republican solution, the Election Security Assistance Act, provides $380 million in grants in preparation for the 2020 presidential election. Additionally, there is a 25% funding match requirement from states, which forces states receiving federal funds to have their own skin- in-the-game.

H.R. 3412: Election Security Assistance Act:
This bill focuses on securing election by assisting states through: 

Federal Grants to States to Update Aging and At-Risk Election Infrastructure 
Optional $380 million grants with a 25% match from states provided to assist states with cybersecurity enhancements and additional improvements. It also expands the definition of election infrastructure to include e-poll books to shield voter registration data from cybersecurity attacks.

 
Reporting Requirements from DHS –
The bill provides Top Secret Security Clearances to election officials to better facilitate the sharing of sensitive election security information among Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Commissioners, EAC Executive Director, EAC General Counsel, and chief state election officials. It increases reporting requirements from the Department of Homeland Security to notify state election officials of a cyber intrusion and reports on any foreign threats in a state.
 
Increased Resources for Election Officials –
H.R. 3412 creates the first-ever Election Cyber Assistance Unit, to connect state and local election officials with leading election administration and cybersecurity experts from across the country. It will requiree the Election Assistance Commission to conducting a study on the best ways to design ballots to maximize voter participation by minimizing confusing ballots and user error.
 

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Subcommittees: 
116th Congress