Sherrill Election Security Bill Clears House with Bipartisan Support

By on September 16, 2020

Mikie SherrillRep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ11), chairwoman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on the Environment, applauded the passage of her Election Technology Research Act (H.R. 4990) today. This bipartisan bill will initiate critical research by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) into the security and modernization of U.S. voting systems. The legislation is co-sponsored by Representatives Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH16), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX30), and Frank Lucas (R-OK3).

“The security and sanctity of our elections is at the very core of our democracy,” said Rep. Sherrill. “This bill, which was developed and written with strong input from experts and members on both sides of the aisle, will allow NIST and the NSF to conduct key research into the threats our election technologies face, and how best to modernize them. I’m proud to see the House of Representatives come together to support this core American value.

“I would especially like to thank Representative Gonzalez, Chairwoman Johnson, and Ranking Member Lucas for their leadership on this legislation. They were invaluable partners, and I look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure the sanctity of our elections.”

The Election Technology Research Act of 2019 will authorize new research and standards activities to strengthen the technology supporting elections systems. Specifically, this bill will:

  • Authorize research activities at NIST on cybersecurity, privacy, auditing, and other important areas of research related to the security and integrity of elections;
  • Establish an Elections Systems Center of Excellence at NIST to foster collaborations between NIST, universities, state and local governments, and private stakeholders;
  • Authorize new research grants for elections systems research and education at NSF;
  • Direct NIST to carry out specific tasks supporting secure elections, including providing technical assistance to state and local election officials on implementation of cybersecurity and privacy standards;
  • Require a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to assess the impact of NIST’s activities; and
  • Amend the Help America Vote Act definition of “voting systems” to include not just the voting machines but also electronic poll books and voter registration systems.
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