Blue Dogs Endorse SAFE Act to Secure Election Infrastructure
WASHINGTON—Today, the Blue Dog Coalition endorsed H.R. 2722, Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act, which requires voting systems to use individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballots, expands risk-limiting audits, and authorizes necessary funding to states to assist in securing election infrastructure. These solutions were included in a package of legislative proposals the Blue Dogs endorsed last week in response to the conclusions presented in Volume I of the Mueller Report.
The idea of requiring states to use paper ballots or machines that produce a voter-verifiable paper audit trail has earned public support from President Trump and Election Systems & Software, a major voting machine vendor. Today, the vast majority of states use paper ballots or machines with a paper trail.
“We are only months away from the next federal election—and there is no time for partisan games,” said Rep. Lou Correa (CA-46), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications. “Americans must have confidence that their country’s electoral process is secure to ensure full faith in every election’s result, no matter the outcome. Requiring states to use methods that we know cannot be hacked by a bad actor and giving states the necessary resources to make those changes is not partisan—it’s commonsense. One of the best ways to prevent Russia and other foreign adversaries from meddling in our elections is to transition our voting system to have a paper backup, and we hope our House Republican colleagues will join us to get this done.”
“As Americans, we stand united on election security,” said Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on National Security. “The SAFE Act is needed to help states replace outdated and vulnerable voting equipment and protect the security and integrity of federal elections. This bill provides localities with cybersecurity training, requires paper backup of ballots, and assesses threats and vulnerabilities in our election process. It is a step in the right direction down a path to restoring faith in our elections that is necessary for our country”
“I support the SAFE Act because—simply put—free, fair and secure elections are critical to our national security and democratic systems,” said Rep. Kendra Horn (OK-05), Co-Chair of the Blue Dog Task Force on National Security. “Commonsense protections such as paper ballots, secure election equipment and other safeguards that prevent hacking by bad actors are essential to protect our most basic right to make our voices heard at the ballot box. I am proud that Oklahoma already employs many of these solutions, and I’m committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to secure our nation’s election infrastructure.”
The SAFE Act will do the following:
- Require voting systems to use individual, durable, voter-verified paper ballots—a widely agreed upon reform to protect our elections from manipulation;
- Expand risk-limiting audits, equipping our states with the systems needed to ensure the accuracy of the vote tallies in an efficient manner;
- Authorize a $600 million Election Assistance Commission grant program to assist in securing election infrastructure, while providing states with $175 million in biannual sustainment funding to help maintain election infrastructure—this initial $600 million is being appropriated by the Financial Services and General Government Accounting Appropriations bill;
- Foster accountability for election technology vendors, creating a “qualified election infrastructure vendor” designation and much needed cyber security deadlines; and
- Implement cyber security safeguards to protect our systems from attack, including prohibition on wireless communications devices and a prohibition on election system internet interconnectivity.