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March 21, 2018

Thompson Statement on Election Security Funds in Omnibus

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Co-Chair of the Congressional Task Force on Election Security, released the following statement on news reports that the Omnibus will provide modest election security funding. 

"I am pleased that budget negotiators have accepted the Election Security Task Force’s November and February requests to fund technology grants to allow states to secure their elections and upgrade their voting systems.  Finally, it seems Congress is beginning to make election security a priority and we are seeing action meet rhetoric.  Hopefully, this is not a one-off anomaly.  With this money, states can ensure, for example, they have newer voting machines with paper ballots – the prime recommendation of the Election Security Task Force’s report released in February.”

“Make no mistake, this is a solid down payment on securing our federal elections in 2018 and 2020, but much more must be done.  Having studied this issue for almost a year, we realize that much more funding will be needed to secure elections over the next decade to ensure we don’t see a repeat of what happened in 2016.  Securing our elections is not cheap, but the integrity of our democracy is at stake.”

“Also, I continue to call on Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee to hold hearings on election security and ongoing Russian election interference.  The omnibus with election security funding announced today in no way fixes every problem and we know we cannot simply throw money at every issue.  We must show the American public that we are working together on this issue and are working towards concrete solutions.  If we do nothing, we are just inviting Putin to interfere in our elections for years to come.”

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978