Sending Office: Committee on Homeland Security
Sent By:
Moira.Bergin@mail.house.gov

PROTECT OUR ELECTIONS AND OUR DEMOCRACY

Sign on to H.R. 2660, The Election Security Act

 

Dear Colleague:

The Mueller Report confirmed the Russian government’s commitment to undermining confidence in our most sacred democratic institution – our elections.

In November 2016, 139 million Americans cast their ballots in the wake of a massive cyber-enabled influence operation, ordered at the highest levels of the Russian government. According
to the Department of Homeland Security, Russian hackers targeted voter registration databases in all 50 states and the Mueller Report provides greater detail on their efforts to infiltrate the networks of voting equipment vendors, political parties, and local
election boards.

Despite over two years of warnings from the Intelligence Community regarding our adversaries’ interests in disrupting our elections, reports show that state and local election infrastructure
remains vulnerable.  The vast majority of states are still relying on outdated voting equipment and other election technologies that lack even basic cybersecurity protections.  Although the $380 million Congress appropriated for election security grants in
FY 2018 marked an important down payment on a long overdue investment in improving election infrastructure, it is hardly enough to equip our state and local election officials to defend themselves against sophisticated state actors like Russia.

In the absence of leadership from White House coordinating a “whole-of-government” approach to securing our elections and defending our democratic institutions, we formed the Congressional
Task Force on Election Security last Congress.  The Task Force met with former DHS officials, commissioners from the Election Assistance Commission, academics specializing in cybersecurity and election security, election integrity advocacy organizations, and
state election officials.  On February 14, 2018, the Task Fore issued its final report with ten recommendations and introduced
The Election Security Act,
which had 126 cosponsors last Congress.

Earlier this year, the
Election Security Act passed the House as part of H.R. 1, and we have reintroduced it as a stand-alone measure to demonstrate our commitment to election security.  We must protect the integrity of the
ballot box. Please cosponsor H.R. 2660, The Election Security Act.  The bill takes a comprehensive approach to securing election systems, most notably by providing $1 billion in surge funding for states
to use to replace aging, vulnerable voting machines with voter-verified paper ballot voting systems, hire IT staff, provide cybersecurity training, and upgrade and maintain IT infrastructure.  In addition, the bill authorizes $175 million in biannual sustainment
funding to move away from the crisis-to-crisis model of funding elections and ensure states can respond to evolving threats. The bill also establishes a $20 million grant program for states to use in implementing risk-limiting audits.  More details also on
the bill are available
here
.

If you have any questions about H.R. 2660 or would like to become a cosponsor, please contact Moira Bergin on the Democratic Staff of the Committee on Homeland Security (Moira.Bergin@mail.house.gov).

Sincerely,

 

Bennie G. Thompson                                                                                                                        John Sarbanes

Chair                                                                                                                                                  Chair

Committee on Homeland Security                                                                                                    Democracy Reform Task Force

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Elections, Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security

Related Bill Information

Bill Type: H.R.
Bill Number: 2660
Special Note:

icon eDC logo e-Dear Colleague version 2.0
 
e-Dear Colleagues are intended for internal House use only.