Saturday, July 6, 2019

The SAFE Act - Protecting Election Integrity

Washington, D.C. - July 6, 2019 - (The Ponder News) -- The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act of 2019 (H.R. 2722), legislation to guard against foreign interference in our democracy.

This bill would provide funding to states to replace outdated and vulnerable voting equipment, mandate paper ballot voting systems and risk-limiting post-election audits, and mandate strict cybersecurity requirements for both election technology vendors and for voting systems.

The SAFE Act is supported by organizations including Common Cause, People for the American Way, End Citizens United Action Fund, Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, NAACP, and Public Citizen.
The SAFE Act:

  • Authorizes $600 million in Voting System Security Improvement Grants for states to modernize and secure their election infrastructure, which was appropriated by the FY 2020 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill that the House passed on Wednesday.
  • Authorizes $175 million every two years to states to maintain the state’s election infrastructure.
  • Mandates that voting systems use individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballots – a widely agreed upon reform to protect our elections from manipulation.
  • Requires states to conduct post-election risk-limiting audits to ensure election integrity; whether it is a programming error or a cyber-attack, these audits help detect inaccuracies.
  • Sets strict cybersecurity standards for both election technology vendors and for voting systems.
  • Fosters accountability for election technology vendors, creating a “qualified election infrastructure vendor” designation.
  • Bans Internet accessibility or connectivity for devices on which ballots are marked or counted.
  • Requires voting machines to be manufactured in the United States.