Over half a billion dollars has been allocated by the House and needs to be approved by the Senate to help states improve their election security. The deadline for these funds to get the green light is approaching quickly. This will be the last opportunity to get federal funding for election security into the 2020 budget. On Nov 13th a broad coalition of groups is sponsoring a day of action to highlight this urgent issue.
SMART Elections is a co-sponsor of the Day of Action. We strongly encourage anyone who cares about our elections to sign up to host or attend an event.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: We encourage all voters to let Congress know that ALL election security funding MUST come with election security requirements.
The House appropriations bill HR 3551 has some very good language in it:
"... a State shall use such payment to replace voting systems which use direct-recording electronic voting machines with a voting system which uses an individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballot which is marked by the voter by hand or through the use of a non-tabulating ballot-marking device or system, so long as the voter shall have the option to mark his or her ballot by hand, and provides the voter with an opportunity to inspect and confirm the marked ballot before casting..."
If the Senate will adopt the same language as the House in its appropriations bill, then funding for election security will come with strong requirements that actually give us more secure systems. If Congress allocates funds for improvements to elections, with no security requirements, it is likely that many states will buy systems that are insecure, and it could make our election security worse.
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