House Democrats are expected to begin advancing an ambitious overhaul of election security laws this week.
The Secure Elections Act, sponsored by committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), seeks to close perceived gaps in the current voting system. It calls for states to require paper backups for all voting machines, a move that proponents say would make systems more resilient to hacking.
The bill would also set nationwide security requirements and standards for voting equipment, as well as establish cyber-education programs for election officials. It directs the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to develop grants for state election officials to fund cybersecurity measures, such as risk-limiting audits.
The legislation already has the support of a broad, bi-partisan coalition of supporters, including Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger of Georgia and the National Association of Secretaries of State.
With the next presidential election just three years away, Congress is under immense pressure to update the electoral system. As the country continues to fight an uphill battle against cyber attackers, the hope is that this bill will help secure U.S. elections from injustice and foreign interference.