Rep. Maloney Votes to Pass SAFE Act to Strengthen Election Security and Prevent Foreign Interference in the 2020 Election
WASHINGTON, DC – On Thursday, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) voted to pass H.R. 2722, the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act, to better secure our democracy against foreign interference by providing state funding to update and secure their state’s voting systems. The bill mandates paper ballot voting systems, post-election risk-limiting audits, and strict cybersecurity requirements for both election technology vendors and for voting systems. The Congresswoman released the following statement after the vote.
“As New Yorkers head into July 4th and gather with our family and friends to celebrate America’s independence, our nation and our democracy are under urgent threat from foreign adversaries. The Mueller Report outlined very clearly how Russians waged an unprecedented, all-out attack on our elections to undermine our democracy in 2016 and now, our top intelligence and security officials are expecting the same type of foreign interference from Russia in 2020. Our national security demands that Congress act now to prevent such an attack from ever happening again. That is why I was proud to join my colleagues to pass the SAFE Act and uphold our patriotic duty to defend our nation and our democracy against threats, both foreign and domestic.”
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.