Democrats Request Funding to Help Secure Elections From Russian Interference
(WASHINGTON) – Today, a group of House Democrats, including Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and the Co-Chairs of the Task Force on Election Security, Reps. Robert Brady and Bennie G. Thompson, sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee to express support for the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and to request that the EAC receive $14 million so it can continue to assist states in their urgent efforts to secure voting systems in advance of the 2018 midterm elections.
The members also request $400 million under the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) for states to use to replace aging and vulnerable voting machines with paper ballots and to provide cybersecurity training. President Trump today endorsed the use of paper ballots; however, states still need funding to make this happen.
With the first primary of the 2018 election season being held today, the next federal election is only months away and timing to secure our elections from Russian meddling is critical.
Excerpts from letter:
Intelligence officials continue to warn that our state-based electoral system is a target for foreign meddling and cyber-attacking, and we believe this money is necessary to protect American elections against the possibility of imminent attack.
The EAC is the only federal agency charged with making American elections more secure, accessible, accurate, and transparent. It has built strong relationships with state and local election officials as well as cybersecurity experts, and has been vital to helping states understand and respond to the threats confronting their election infrastructure. The EAC has worked diligently, with a bare-bones budget, over the past few years to provide guidance on cybersecurity and election technology. But at this critical time, the Commission needs additional resources to fully respond to the needs of the states.
We cannot leave states to their own devices in defending against the sophisticated cyber tactics of foreign governments. An attack on the electoral infrastructure in one state is an attack on all of democracy in America.
We urge you to fully fund HAVA and provide the EAC with the support it needs so that the federal government can meaningfully assist states in securing our election systems.
# # #
(Thompson) Adam Comis at 202-225-9978
(Brady) Peter Whippy at 202-225-3072