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Chairman Thompson Lauds Election Security Inclusion in H.R. 1

Language Originated from Legislation Rep. Thompson Introduced Last Year
Jan 4, 2019
Press Release

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, lauded the inclusion of election security in H.R. 1, the For the People Act, introduced today by the new House Democratic Majority to establish electoral reforms, strengthen our democracy, and combat corruption. 

The election security provisions in H.R. 1 were originally part of the Election Security Act (H.R. 5011), authored by Congressman Thompson last year after he served as co-Chair of the Task Force on Election Security.  The Task Force was formed after the 2016 election to investigate vulnerabilities in our election systems and democratic institutions.

Election security provisions in H.R. 1:

  • Requires states use paper ballots.
  • Establishes cybersecurity standards for voting systems vendors.
  • Funds grants for states to improve and maintain the security of their election systems, to provide cybersecurity training to election officials, and to implement post-election risk limiting audits.
  • Requires the DNI to assess threats to election systems 180 days before an election and requires DHS and the Election Assistance Commission to issue recommendations to address threats.
  • Requires the testing of voting systems nine months before an election.
  • Requires the President to produce a national strategy for protecting democratic institutions.
  • Creates a National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions.

Chairman Thompson released the following statement on H.R. 1:

“I am proud to have contributed to the creation of this legislation to strengthen our democracy and protect the integrity of our elections.  With a mandate from the American people, the new House Democratic Majority is now finally in a position to pass legislation that will help secure our election infrastructure and help instill confidence in our democratic institutions.  With passage of H.R. 1, we will be able to provide the support states need to protect the integrity of our elections against foreign interference, ensure confidence in election results by implementing risk-limiting audits, and trust that election infrastructure vendors are meeting appropriate security requirements.”

“This should not be a partisan issue, but Congress has done far too little to prevent foreign election meddling after Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Democrats promised the American people that election security would continue to be a priority and today we are making good on that promise.  The time to act is now. The 2020 election season has already begun.”

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