WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) helped pass the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act of 2019. This legislation would protect our national security and defend our elections from foreign intervention. In 2016, Russia – a foreign adversary – breached the Illinois State Board of Elections database. The SAFE Act would take critical steps to prevent future hacks from countries like Russia.
“Securing our elections isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue – it’s a critical national security issue and our patriotic duty as elected officials,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “In Illinois, our voter database was breached by Russia and, as Americans, we can’t let that happen again. Our legislation would take necessary steps to secure our democracy and elections from foreign interference. For the sake of our national security, I hope the Senate will take up this commonsense bill.”
Watch Congresswoman Bustos speak on the SAFE Act by clicking HERE.
Earlier this year, Congresswoman Bustos helped pass the For the People Act, which would end the rule of dark money in politics, crack down on corruption and protect our elections from foreign interference.
Similarly, the SAFE Act would defend our democracy by:
- Authorize a $600 million election Assistance Commission grant program to help states defend their election infrastructure by replacing aging voting machines, provide voter-verified paper ballot systems, support hiring of IT staff, cybersecurity training and risk vulnerability assessments.
- Provide states with $175 million in biannual sustainment funding to help maintain election security gains.
- Require states to implement risk-limiting audits, including hand-counting a certain number of ballots and using statistical methods to determine the accuracy of the original vote tally.
- Require voting machines to be manufactured in the United States.
- Prohibit wireless and internet connectivity on systems that count ballots or upon systems that voters mark their ballots.