Congressman Levin Votes to Strengthen Election Security and Prevent Foreign Interference in the 2020 Election
Congressman Andy Levin (MI-09) today voted to pass H.R. 2722, the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act, to guard against foreign interference in our democracy by providing funding to states to update and secure their voting systems. The bill mandates paper ballots, post-election, risk-limiting audits, and strict cybersecurity requirements for both election technology vendors and voting systems. It builds on the boldest set of democracy reforms in a generation passed by the House in H.R. 1, the For The People Act.
“With a little over a year until the next presidential election, time is running out to safeguard our democracy from adversaries aiming to corrupt it,” Congressman Levin said. “We know for certain, and the Mueller Report further affirmed, that Russia attacked our elections in 2016 in an attempt to tear our country apart. Intelligence and security experts, even those in the Trump Administration, warn that we should expect these kinds of attacks to occur again in 2020. The House today voted to prevent such attacks from happening, and with the passage of the SAFE Act, we’ve upheld our duty to shield our democracy against those who wish to undermine it.”
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 for states to maintain their 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.