House of Representatives Passes Election Security Bill
The House of Representatives passed an election security bill 225-184 on Thursday of last week. The Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act is designed to prohibit cyberinterference.
- By Kaitlyn DeHaven
- Jul 01, 2019
The House of Representatives passed an election security bill Thursday that is designed to prohibit cyberinterference through the forms of paper ballot voting, postelection audit, and replacing voting equipment.
The Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act was Democrat-backed, spearheaded by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Cali.), and passed with only one Republican vote from Republican, Rep. Brain Mast (R-Fla.). The vote passed 225-184.
According to The Washington Post, the bill would authorize $600 million for the Election Assistance Commission, which would be put toward the new rules requiring the use of paper ballots, updating equipment, and keeping the voting machines from connecting to the internet. In addition, the voting machines may not be made outside of the United States. This would be done by November 2020.
Before the bill was passed, many Republicans shared concerns about the bill’s flaws. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) said that the paper ballots are more likely to be ripped or lost, which makes them less secure than they are electronically.
“Mandating the exclusive use of paper ballots will create longer lines at polling places and can be lost, destroyed or manipulated far easier than electronic voting machines with a paper trail backup,” The Hill reports.
The bill now awaits a vote in the Senate.
This is the first in a series of bills Democrats plan to push in response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, with another potentially requiring campaigns to report offers of foreign assistance to the FBI, according to The New York Times.
Kaitlyn DeHaven is the Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.